I am not accustomed to writing “year in review” type articles. The closest I’ve come is probably my personal, end-of-the-year update letter to friends and extended family. It is a tradition I inherited from my mother, who every year would faithfully provide a succinct update on our immediate family–my father, me, and my three, older brothers– to our acquaintances. However, when the editors reached out to me to say something about 2022 as it relates to Evangelicals, I felt compelled to provide some kind of service. I hope this essay will deliver something of value as it relates to looking back on 2022.
Oddly enough, there are some common challenges to writing a “year in review” article like this, whether it be a personal review of the events of one’s own, biological family, or a review of the events of what is, in essence, one’s spiritual family, the Church. Thus, in spite of the many differences between one’s biological family and one’s spiritual family, such as: the number of members, social diversity, geographic location(s), and, of course, personal acquaintance; a few factors make writing about both family and Church relatable. And, being so related, similar challenges emerge for writing about each family and the events that have shaped them over the last 12 months.
The Church as Family
The best and most frequently used metaphor by the early church for itself was that of family. Jesus himself institutes this understanding of God’s people as the family of God in Mark 3:31-35. In this scandalous passage, Christ makes a critical distinction between biological and spiritual relationships. The ultimate expression of family is not based in biology. It is not ethnic. Instead it is grounded in the shared will of those who love and serve God. It is this bond, a bond of wills, that makes all other distinctions, biological or social, relative and non-essential. Paul reinforces Christ’s teachings about His church, when he states that members of the Church are all members of “one household of God” (Eph 2:19) and “one faith” (Gal 6:10) who treat each other as fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters (1 Tim 5:1-2).
It is therefore not in virtue of blood, or ethnic kinship, or any other biologic or social feature or property, that one person is properly related to another. It is only through a genuine relationship to God that people are genuinely related to one another. For those who have the right relationship to God through Christ, a metaphysical bond exists that is unfathomably deep and infinitely more valuable than any bond which might exist merely in virtue of shared DNA, shared culture or shared history.
And so to write an essay about an entire year as it relates to the Evangelical church is, in the most real sense, to write an essay about how that year affected my family. This is in spite of the fact that I know only a very few members of that family personally, something which will not always be the case. It is also in spite of the fact that I may know people personally who say they are members of my household, but who in reality are imposters. And it is further in spite of the fact that there are some who are in the same family, yet who call themselves by a different family name other than “Evangelical.”
In short, what I have been tasked to do is write a summary of one year in the life of the Church, assuming that those who are true Evangelicals are also those who are truly members of God’s family. The common challenge I find in doing this task, as with doing the same for my own, biological family, is trying to give an accurate account. An accurate report would neither gloss over the unsavory or uncomfortable bits–the stories that don’t quite fit “the Story”– nor would it downplay the parts that do lend support and stability to the grand, family narrative. In every family history there are real victories and real defeats. In every family story there is hard-won gain, crushing tragedy and, sometimes, even if rarely, unbounded joy. And so, hopefully, this essay can provide an accurate, albeit by no means exhaustive, recollection of the past year of our Lord: AD 2022.
The Events That Shaped Our Family
So, what happened in 2022 that shaped our family, the “Evangelical” Church (in America)? Obviously this is a question that cannot be answered in a mere blog post. An entire book could barely scratch its surface. Still, perhaps we can think of some general categories of events that matter to Evangelicals, and then choose one or two examples from those categories to elucidate. Of course, some of these matter more generally to all Americans, others more specifically to Christians. Perhaps others relate even more specifically to evangelical Christians in America.
Judicial Rulings (Dobbs v. Jackson):
Manmade laws are only as just as they reflect the will and character of man’s Creator. Roughly speaking that is what most Evangelical Christians believe about the law (along with all other Christians and orthodox Jews). Others might go further and say that laws are only as just as they reflect specific injunctions of man’s Creator as given to us in His written revelation, the Bible. The former believe there are general moral laws that can be known apart from any specific biblical commands, and that these are what common law should reflect. The latter are not so confident that this can be successfully done and, rightly fearing the depravity of man, advocate a Bible-first approach to the formation of public laws. There are good arguments for both sides.
Regardless of this in-house debate, the justice or injustice of laws are relevant not just to Evangelicals. They are obviously relevant to all. Yet because law and morality are essentially one and the same thing, despite the plethora of childish memes that claim they are not, judicial decisions are always an important category of event in the life of the Church. This is especially the case since any proper ecclesiology recognizes the role of the local church in a culture as akin to that of the voice of the prophet in the ancient kingdom of Israel. The Church is supposed to call the nation to right its wrongs, to practice justice and pursue peace.
The following decisions by the SCOTUS were especially significant for various reasons: Dobbs vs. Jackson, Kennedy vs. Bremerton School District, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association vs. Bruen, Carson vs. Makin, Shurtleff vs. Boston, and Covid in the Workplace and Covid in Health Care Facilities. However, for brevity’s sake, I only care to highlight one. But is it the one that Evangelicals have been agonizing over for years: Dobbs.
Finally, after decades of struggle for the sake of innocent, human life, Roe v. Wade was overturned and the legalization of abortion turned back to the individual states. For Evangelicals, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, other religious groups and even many ethical atheists, this was a major victory for truth, justice and love. It was, in fact, the major legal win over the last several decades of SCOTUS adjudications, as it hallmarks the first step toward redressing the greatest, ongoing human atrocity since the Holocaust.
As I wrote at the time, with the Dobbs decision Evangelicals can begin to hope that this change in law, i.e., this moral adjudication, will affect the hearts and minds of the next generation of Americans. Acts of righteousness are always met with great resistance early on, as cultures become inured toward great evil in their midst. It is ironic that so-called progressive Christians, always keen to remind Evangelicals about how this apathy toward evil played out among professing Christians in the eras of slavery and Jim Crow, have themselves become the most lukewarm defenders of the unborn, often preferring to maintain the status quo of evil, rather than risk upsetting the cultural applecart for the sake of the higher good.
However, once moral action mounts and gains traction, it can sway future generations from the hardness of heart of prior generations. This, in turn, can open the door for America to recapture its role as a true symbol of hope. As dignity is restored to the most defenseless among us, America can again resume its place as a model for the world. Until that day comes, however, America cannot be considered a model of humanitarianism or shining city upon the hill.
At the same time we saw hope for a renewed appreciation for the inherent dignity of human life in the Dobbs decision, tragically, in Canada, we saw a further groping toward despair as Canada’s “MAiD” (Medical Assistance in Dying) laws were altered in 2022 to include people who show no signs of imminent or foreseeable death. According to this new turn in end-of-life “care,” someone with a chronic back pain could, in principle, apply for and receive physician assisted suicide. Some reports even suggest that the new MAiD laws could be being abused for far more nefarious reasons than just playing off of human, psychological weakness.
In the end, the battle that was won in 2022 through Dobbs only intensifies the war at this point. For until people see as God would have them, namely, that being and goodness are one and the same, Evangelicals will have to continue to fight for the preservation of being at its most vulnerable stages– both of development and decline.
Political Legislation (“Respect” for Marriage Act):
On December 13th, the “Respect” For Marriage Act was signed into law by President Biden. I hesitate to call this a “loss” for Evangelicals, even if most Evangelicals were correct in seeing it as a loss. What the Respect for Marriage Act is, however, is not really a “loss” to particular religious groups in America, of which there will be many affected. I say this with the knowledge that the RFMA may lead to certain Catholics, Evangelicals, and Jews winding up in court for persisting in their biblically accurate beliefs and practices.
But for Christians at least, a “loss” that enables the Church to suffer for what is right can actually be the greatest of blessings. For it is the genuine suffering of the Christian for the sake of truth that often becomes the means God uses to convert those still enemies of Christ. We see this most poignantly at the cross of Christ, where it is a Roman solider who, in the face of the Son of God’s suffering, becomes the first in history to declare publicly that “truly this was God’s Son” (Mark 15:39). In this sense, Evangelical schools and colleges, Catholic seminaries and parishes, and other faithful Christian institutions, can begin to prepare themselves to bless the nation through righteous resistance to untruth.
Of course, for this blessing to occur, it will require that Christians actually resist the law in place, and suffer the actual consequences for that resistance. Whether or not any will do that, I cannot say. What I can say, however, is that if this is not a loss for Evangelicals, then it is a loss for all Americans.
Most especially, it is a loss for those Americans who are, or who long to be, united with a same-sex partner. It is a loss in that it further rationalizes that which, on account of sin, can never actually be legitimate. The unfortunate reality being that the continued attempt to redefine, via language, the institution that both nature and nature’s Creator have established, can never make the thing de facto something else. Trying to ground our most fundamental institutions solely in the desires of our human instincts, as deep and encompassing as they might seem, can never succeed. Our desires are woefully insufficient to establish truly healthy conventions. Some real correspondence to nature and nature’s design must inform our conventions.
And so, it will be the Evangelical who will consistently find himself in the role of cultural reformer, pointing out to an unrepentant nation that it is not man who calls things into existence, but God. Therefore, as “inhumane” as it may sound to modern ears, same-sex marriage will never be marriage in fact, but will only ever be “marriage” de jure. It is for this pointing out of reality that Evangelicals can expect to have a harder time of it in 2023 and beyond. Still, to fail in this prophetic task, would be to meet with far more drastic consequences than that which an inimical culture might bring to bear. It is not proper for the Christian to attempt to save themself or protect their own interests, just as Christ did not preserver or protect His (Phil 2:5-11).
Church Conventions & Doctrinal Disputes (SBC 2022 & The Role of Women):
The Southern Baptist Convention held a major conference in Anaheim, CA in June 2022. This conference had many highlights, but the one that made much noise among Evangelicals more broadly had to do with what is quickly becoming the most visible, “in-house” doctrinal dispute in Evangelical churches today: the role of woman in the Church. At the conference there was a virtual showdown between two factions: complementarians, represented most augustly by Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and egalitarians, championed by celebrity pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forrest. For more on what happened at SBC and how it affects that denomination, see here.
As alluded to, the clash at the SBC convention over the role of women is not something isolated to Southern Baptist churches. However, as the largest, and most recognizable, Protestant denomination in the country, what happens in the SBC is often indicative of what is happening in American Evangelicalism at large. This dispute over the role of women is affecting the Evangelical church in America at the national level, and a new wave of dialogue has emerged over what exactly are the biblical parameters set upon men and women in leadership and how those should be applied in our current culture.
While this debate is by no means a new one, having already played out in most mainline Protestant churches several decades ago, it gained a new momentum in 2022. How this dispute is resolved among Evangelical denominations like the SBC will matter. On the one hand, egalitarian decisions will further alter the structure and trajectory of American Evangelicalism in a decidedly western and progressive way. On the other, complementarian commitments will reestablish Evangelicalism within its historic roots, a move which would also entail maintaining solidarity with its more global, and decidedly less colonial, branches.
Church Scandals (MacArthur, Falwell, and the SBC again):
No family update would be accurate without a report of some scandal or other. As I said, the challenges for writing a family review, either of one’s biological or one’s spiritual family, are similar in this regard. To act honestly, which is central to our faith, we cannot obscure the realities that seem to bear negatively upon our cause. Of course, scandals must also be put in their proper context, as I have tried to point out here, here and here. And so we are commanded on the one hand to “expose fruitless works of evil” (Ephesians 5:11), while on the other to avoid gossip (Romans 1:29; 2 Cor 12:20; 1 Tim 5:13). This balance demands wisdom.
First, one must recall that not all scandals are equal in weight, severity or size. Nor are all scandals in the Church as clear-cut as others. In fact, most are too complex to adjudicate, and, as such, are properly concealed from the public eye. Further, scandals are, in some sense, to be expected in the Church. After all, the Church is the place where sinners come to heal, where the fallen are in the process of learning how to fly. Then again, as I have mentioned several times before, there are, and always have been, wolves among the flock.
Finally, in looking at scandals we must beware of our own petty and sinful natures. It is easy to acquire a subtle, yet unsavory, taste for gazing too long and too frequently at the evils of others. The pharisees made a vocation out of finding and condemning the faults of others with regard to the moral Law. In doing so, their own self-righteousness became a foul stench before the Lord. Thus, with every Church scandal over which the skeptic might gloat, the follower of Jesus must both lament with bitter tears the plight of the victim, while also checking his or her own attitudes toward the perpetrators of the miscarriage of justice.
Most of the church scandals reported in 2022 were, like most every year, related to some kind of sexual indecency. Most of those indecencies happened prior to 2022, being only revealed in 2022 or their consequences coming to a head in 2022. The most notable of these were the revelation of John MacArthur covering up a severe case of sexual immorality in 2002, the sexual deviancy of Jerry and Becki Falwell, and the May 22, Southern Baptist Convention Report on Sexual Abuse.
I have listed here three of what are the clearest-cut and most egregious of the family scandals for 2022. I am sure there are more than these, and am also quite confident, and equally distraught, we will hear of more in the upcoming year. There are also other scandals that made the Evangelical news, but, in comparison to these, seem hardly worth mentioning. The lesson for Evangelicals who have been paying attention the last few years is clear: we must cleanse our house of sexual impurity. Until chastity is restored as a virtue in Christ’s Church, it will be near impossible for Evangelicals to preach about sexual ethics to a non-believing world, no matter how sound the arguments. In the final audit of things, most people are swayed to truth not by arguments, but by the lives of the men and women they encounter who speak the truth.
Movements and Countermovements (Uprising in Iran, “Kidults?”):
In 2022 we heard more about Christian Nationalism, whatever it may be, than in any previous year. At the same time we heard less about Black Lives Matter than in the previous two years. This was probably due to increasing problems within the organization itself, as well as growing external criticisms of BLM’s efficacy for black communities.
Given that the first movement remains rather ill-defined in the culture, it may be inappropriate to juxtapose CN and BLM. However, I believe most Evangelicals have a general sense that whatever Christian Nationalism is, be it an explicit move to enshrine particular biblical doctrines into federal law, or a more nuanced step to reinstating a popular, yet generic, form of ethical monotheism into the nation’s public life, Christian Nationalism acts as a countermovement to the kind of social justice embodied in Garza, Cullors and Tometi’s organization. Nevertheless, while there was much debate about CN in 2022, the best of which I will link to here, I choose to focus on two other movements of 2022 that I believe are of great importance to Evangelicals.
The first movement to highlight from 2022 is the renewed, and increasingly intense, popular uprising in Iran against the theocratic tyranny of the Ayatollahs. Moral outrage inflamed by the brutal death of Mahsa Amini has led to a new revolt in Tehran, one led mainly by Iranian woman. Not only has this reinvigorated protest reminded the world that alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Iranian regime is one of the most brutal in history, it has also garnered fresh international support that we can only hope will facilitate real change for the Iranian people. As Evangelicals, injustice matters most to us, because we have a full-blown grasp of the magnitude of human life. And there is no greater region of injustice in our world today than Iran (although there are obviously many others). Our support: financial, emotional and spiritual, must be with the revolutionaries in Iran as they fight and die for that most basic, and biblical, of human goods: the exodus from tyranny.
Turning then from real men and real women in the throes of life’s most harrowing circumstances, we look at yet another movement of profound moral turpitude and cultural degeneracy in our own country, the rise of the social category, “Kidult,” in the US. Kidults are adults who have become a consumer category of their own. Defined as consumers over the age of 12 that spend roughly $9 billion dollars annually on toys (apparently toys designed for children under 12), these now make up 25% of the total of toy consumers. Mind you, these are not men, or women, who are buying toys for their own children, or their nieces or nephews or grandchildren. These are adults males and females (although we suspect there are more men involved here than women) who are buying children’s toys for themselves.
Many will write off the “Kidult” as merely the “young at heart.” The assumption being that childlike playfulness is an inherently good thing, and we should strive to maintain it even into adulthood. While playfulness is indeed a critical element of any happy, sane and even virtuous life, what seems disturbing about “Kidulting” is not so much the playfulness as the mode of play. The idea that squishing around Silly Putty or combing Malibu Barbi’s hair can be as rewarding to an adult as reading War and Peace, listening to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1, playing an actual game of ultimate frisbee with friends, or practicing one’s woodworking or needlework skills is disturbing on many counts, not only on the psychological.
As commentator Matt Walsh puts it, “the gamer is mature and refined compared to a 40-year old man sitting around playing with silly putty all day.” This further decline into infantilism, a trend I thought had peaked with the height of Will Farrell’s movie career, apparently has not ended. Instead it has simply morphed into a new genre of behavior: grown men playing with GoBots, on their own. But this problem is greater than just that of men and women playing with toys. “Kidulting” is just one more social manifestation of our greater retreat into fantasy, our western escape from reality that is made possible by economic abundance, technological abuse and the lack of any sense of objective meaning and purpose to life.
As real men and women fight real tyrannies of the world, like those in Iran, with real blood, “plastic people” in America fight off the tyrant of boredom that exists in their heads. Their preferred weapon in this bloodless, yet not victimless, battle: the Slinky. One cannot help but wonder in thinking about such trends, what the average “Kidult” will do when the next Pandemic hits the nation, and we are told once again to go on lock down, or else. Will it be to the “Kidult” next door to whom we turn, when tragedy strikes our community?
God help us.
Deaths (Queens, Soccer Kings, and Popes):
It is hard to say how death affects a family. Death is loss, and different people process loss in various ways. Some see death as the most natural thing after birth. Others view it as the greatest of all intruders, to be avoided as long as humanly possible. I will save waxing poetically about death for another time, although my own brush with death in 2022 was itself quite pleasant. Speaking theologically, for the Evangelical Christian, death should indeed have no sting, its victory being made null and void on the third day after Christ’s crucifixion. Still, we do well as Christians to ponder the mortality of our current bodies and present souls. Too often we avoid serious rumination on death and dying, and, in doing so, reduce our capacity to deal with the death of others, as well as face our own impending demise.
Three deaths stand out to me from 2022: the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning English monarch in history, who also held the title of “Supreme Governor of the Church of England,” and “Defender of the Faith.” The second was that of Kardinal Josef Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict XVI, and the third, Pelé, perhaps the greatest soccer player of all time. In all truthfulness, I have no idea why these deaths, or any of the other hundreds of “celebrity” deaths I linked to above, should mean anything more to any Evangelical than the death of someone they knew personally in 2022. In fact, these deaths shouldn’t mean any more than any other death. And, since we know that God is, in this regard, no respecter of persons (2 Chron 19:7; Job 34:19; Prov 28:21; Acts 10:34-35; Rom 2:10-11), they really don’t.
However, perhaps there are one or two things to glean from a reflection on the death of a celebrity figure. Let’s take Queen Elizabeth II, for example. It is thought that Elizabeth’s faith was not only a public one, a political faith, but also that it was deeply private. The evidence seems to point to genuine belief, or a fides salvifica, as opposed to a mere fides historica. If this be the case, that Queen Elizabeth II was a true follower of Christ, then it will also be the case that every Christian of good faith, regardless of their place in society, regardless of their status in their own, biological family, regardless of the course of their own life, will get to spend an eternity with Elizabeth Mary Windsor in the new heavens and on the new earth. The same might, and most likely does, go for Josef Ratzinger and perhaps even for Edson Arantes do Nascimento as well.
While none of these three are necessarily high on my list of who I desire to meet most in the new creation (of the three, Ratzinger would be my first choice), still to think that if they are with God then I too will at some point be with them, is one benefit of being a Christian I would not want anyone to overlook or underestimate. The communion of saints is one of our great hopes and future joys. We would do well to think about it in times of death. Plus, what anglophile or soccer hooligan wouldn’t want to hang with the queen of England or the King of Futbol?
Finally, with regard to Josef Ratzinger, Evangelicals of a certain, scholarly bent will lament his loss most, many considering him to be the greatest theologian of the 20th century. It is a warranted consideration, and is also why many of my friends are looking forward most to hangin’ with the Kard!
Finally, we must speak of what Herodotus called “The Father of Us All.” We must speak of war. This year, one war stood out around the world, overshadowing the many others that started or that continue to rage. That is, of course, the war in Ukraine. Without making any political adjudication over the validity of Russia’s war, one must nevertheless judge Russia’s aggression as morally invalid. And so, in 2022, we were forced to witness yet again another unjust war. Not only that, but the atrocities in the Ukraine have once again put the world on alert to the real possibility of nuclear armageddon.
Again, for the Evangelical, even armageddon is nothing to be feared. It is inevitable and, in one, very qualified sense, welcome. What is fear-inducing, however, are the individual acts of evil that occur in every war. It is the barbarity of man to man, and the tragedy of the (apparently) gratuitous loss of human life that induces terror. At the outbreak of the war, I wrote about both the purpose of “thoughts and prayers” for the Ukraine, as well as the capacity for each of us to be a “little Vladimir Putin.” I stand by these assessments of war.
I agree with C.S. Lewis, therefore, that war is not the worst thing. After all, some wars do more good than ill, or as Lewis puts it “That wars do no good is then so far from being a fact that it hardly ranks as a historical opinion.” Of course, the reason Lewis says this, is because he presupposes a certain Christian view on value, one that holds that pain and suffering are themselves not the greatest of evils:
The doctrine that war is always a greater evil seems to imply a materialist ethic, a belief that death and pain are the greatest evils. But I do not think they are. I think the suppression of a higher religion by a lower, or even a higher secular culture by a lower, a much greater evil.
Lewis, “Why I am not a Pacifist”
Thus, as with all things in the world, Evangelicals must both lament and weep for the war in Ukraine, as well as hold out hope that in the end, the right side will win and a greater justice emerge through the bloodshed. For clearly war from the perspective of the Ukrainians is righteous, and their defense of their culture justified.
Sports (Christian Witnesses at the Top of their Game):
Perhaps it would be better to end our survey of 2022 on a high note, a note that also brings us back to the Ukraine. As it stands in 2022, the two reigning and defending boxing heavyweight champions of the world are both outspoken Christians. The first, Oleksandr Usyk, reestablished his pugilistic bona fides by defeating Britain’s Anthony Joshua for the second time in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In front of a predominantly Muslim audience, after another under-dog victory, the orthodox Christian Usyk gave one of the most simple, yet profound, testimonies of faith. Such public testimony to the Lordship of Christ, in a context where it is usually not expected, should encourage Christians around the world to be bold in their own proclamation of the Gospel.
The other champion, more controversial in character, is Tyson Fury of England. Fury is yet another example of the man who reaches the epitome of his chosen life course, yet upon reaching the pinnacle realizes the emptiness of life if God is not present in it. This is a dynamic I myself know well, having met the living Christ at what would have seemed to many outside observers to be the best time of my secular life. Given that both Fury and Usyk are not only outspoken about their decidedly Christian faith, but are also truly two of the best heavyweights of their era, it seems that this fact from the world of sports cannot be ascribed to mere accident. God maneuvers His people into strategic positions to reveal His word to the world. Usyk and Fury, like all messengers of the Gospel, are by no means perfect people. However, regardless of their imperfections and their unusual vocations, they seem to be carrying out the will of Christ in and through their work.
But what should one make of historical events at all? If Christ is not risen, then truly history itself is to be pitied more than anything. For what is this series of human events carried out over time if it is not relative to a transcendent, providential plan? It could be all of human history, all human endeavor, every single human experience is a no more than a series of connected, yet ultimately pointless and arbitrary happenings. Or, perhaps history has an innate telos, progressing via mysterious impulse to some “omega point” that will contain all past things in itself while at the same time bringing all things to an end. I doubt both.
That said, if Christ is risen, then there is nothing pitiable about human history whatsoever, even if history’s particular events are pitiable. If Christ is risen, then Christ is God incarnate. And if God has come into history, then history matters to Him. Not just world history, but your history and my history. And so I end this family update 2022 with a reminder: that, in Christ, all things, to include all historical events, hold together. And apart from Christ, nothing exists: no agents of history, no moments in history, and no reflection about the meaning of history. In his letter to the Colossians, St. Paul gives us the key to understanding history and our place in it:
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in[h] him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in[i] him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
It is only in reference to this fixed point, to Jesus Christ, that history finds its meaning. It is in knowing this meaning that we can, with confidence, look forward to another Year of our Lord 2023, no matter what trials or triumphs may come to our family.
God bless, and Happy New Year!