Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Holy Goat and Selfish Doxologies

I love to hear my daughter pray. At 2 1/2, she has a few basic prayers that she regularly prays: “Tank you Jesus for all da bressings, and mommy and daddy and mammy and papa and all da friends. Amen,” is one of my favorites. But tonight at dinner she sort of got off track, and missed the point of the whole thing. She wanted to sing the doxology, which we sometimes do at dinner time. She calls it “Praise Fadder,” because of the last part, “praise Father, So-on and Holy Ghost.” We all started to sing, and she immediately interrupted us and told us to stop. “Charis do it,” she said. Apparently, she wanted this doxology to be HER doxology, and hers alone. So, after silencing me and Paula, she came to the finish. “Praise Fadder, Son, and Hody Goat.”

After we stopped laughing at the thought of a holy goat (I know, how could we!), I couldn’t help but think how ironic her prayer was—and probably how typical of the way we followers of Jesus behave. We want to sing about God’s glory, all the while seeking our own. We want to shush those voices that would join ours, for fear that they might drown us out. We want to be heard above the crowd, not blend in with it. We want to offer a doxology in which we are the star, not Christ. We want to be glorified in glorifying. Ok, maybe you don’t. But if I’m honest, I have to admit that at times, I do. I suppose if this weren’t so, Jesus would have never had to say, “take up your cross DAILY, and follow me.” But he did, because we do. And we must, take up our cross that is, and stop making it all about us. The song just sounds a lot better that way. Really, it does.