Yesterday I wrote about the importance of ceremony and the need to celebrate the good things that God has done in our lives. After attending an ordination, a wedding and a baptism last weekend, I couldn’t help but think of some of my favorite nerdy ceremonies and how they might help us see God a little more clearly.
Massassi Throne Room
Every time I see the medal ceremony in the Massasi throne room from Episode IV I think about our wedding. The ceremony looks a lot like a wedding, complete with a woman in a white dress and some droid groomsmen. However, I really associate that scene with our wedding because we played the music from that scene at our wedding. That scene honors the contributions of Luke and Han Solo to the Rebellion: rescuing Princess Leia and destroying the Death Star. It’s really important to recognize people for their contributions and service. Working at a church we always talk about the need to celebrate our volunteers and what they do for our ministries. I love the leaders in our student ministry and I can’t celebrate them enough. A few times a year, though, we go out to dinner to honor their investment in students. A meal at a chain restaurant doesn’t nearly show enough gratitude, but the ceremony and celebration is still important.
I’ve been reading through Harry Potter for the first time and am currently in The Goblet of Fire. One of my favorite parts about the books is the sorting ceremony. I like how the Sorting Hat seems to know more about the person than he or she knows about himself or herself. The ceremony itself is great as each of the first year Hogwarts students stands before everyone and is celebrated as he or she gets picked for one of the four houses. As I’ve written about before, the Sorting Hat is a little like God. God knows us better than we know ourselves; he knows what we’re capable of even if we’re oblivious to it. Unfortunately it takes us a lot longer to learn how God is going to use us than a single sorting ceremony.
Bajoran Gratitude Festival
In a universe that desperately tries to rid itself of religion and ceremony, Deep Space Nine certainly has a lot of both. The Bajoran Gratitude Festival is mentioned in a number of episodes. It’s a time, as Sisko described, to let go of your worries “and make a new start.” The festival is replete with ceremonies and celebrations, all based around the Bajoran religion and worship of the Prophets. While Christianity doesn’t have a holiday dedicated to letting go of our worries, we really should make it a daily practice. God doesn’t want us to live anxious and worried lives. God wants to give us his peace, which surpasses all understanding. Fortunately getting that peace doesn’t require a ceremony or a wormhole; it simply requires sitting in the presence of our loving and gracious God.
Ceremony is great; it helps us celebrate and reflect on God’s goodness. Most nerdy ceremonies don’t have much to do with God but, if we do a little digging, we can always find some goodness of God worth celebrating.
What other nerdy ceremonies help you celebrate God’s goodness?