This Saturday, Merkin and I indulged in 2012. Neither of us can resist a disaster flick (except Armageddon)--especially one that was made by the folks of Independence Day. It was great fun even if a little disappointing. Both of us were stoked to see the falling of the Jesus in Rio De Janeiro--it's an amazing landscape and to add disaster and a crumbling Jesus would have been amazing. However, that was only seen from the small screen of a television set during a news report.
I did not attend 2012 for some insights about the end of the world, humanity, or the Christian faith. I attended 2012 for some mindless fun and cool (albeit cheesey) special effects. That said, there were 2 specific scenes of destruction that have stayed with me. The Vatican crumbling down and the Washington Memorial nailing the president.
Yesterday was Christ the King Sunday. As we proclaim Christ our King we get this whole kingship thing screwed up in our heads. That Christ is king is ironic, its subversion at its finest but too often we forget this. Instead we talk about heaven having streets paved with gold, jewels for doorknobs, etc. We picture Jesus in a gold crown and glorious robes. Yet, this was a guy born in a cave/barn shared with animals; a God-man who died on a cross rather than call upon the heavenly powers that be to curse his persecutors with Old Testament wrath and fury.
All of this we forget and we build monuments, cathedrals lined with gold, silver, filled with gorgeous artwork, all to remember that Christ is our King. We build these cathedrals and monuments out of our need to create beauty and art. We build these cathedrals and monuments to honor our God and other heroes.
And yet, in 2012 we watch as people gather before these monuments and cathedrals in their time of desperation and prayer only to be destroyed, killed by them. The adoration and praise that is channelled into the building of these monuments and cathedrals was terribly misdirected. Time, energy, and cash was funnelled to these projects instead of helping humanity, giving to the least, and hence giving to our Lord and Saviour.
As the priests kneeled in the Vatican and the walls came crashing down around them, you wondered if they felt foolish worshipping a god that wasnm't there. I imagine that was the intention of this particular scene, yet I did not wonder about the absence of God. I wondered if in that moment they realize how misdirected they had, we have become. Rather than worshipping the living God, we spend too much time, energy, and money crafting institutions and memorials. Those things we create and craft only serve to come crashing down around us, crushing us rather than helping us to experience God--they kill us.
The president watches as the tip of the Washington Memorial points directly at him and topples ontop of him and the White House. What is he thinking at this moment? Is he wondering if the money spent on a humongous spike would have been better spent on the people of the United States providing health care? food? housing?
Probably not, afterall it is a scene in an end of the world disaster flick. But it made me think of such things, it made me wonder if all the "stuff" we've crafted and created to honor God has done more to make us forget the subversion of Christ the King and led us to imitating our governments and culture. All the stuff contributes to our drift (sometimes a deadheat run) away from the "un-King", Jesus the Christ.