I’ve been working my way through Doctor Who for over a year and I’m almost caught up. I should be able to watch live when Matt Smith dons his bow tie for the last time.
I most recently watched the episode “The Rings of Akhaten”. In this episode the Doctor takes his new companion, Clara, to the Rings of Akhaten, a sacred spot for seven different cultures. At the Rings these cultures bring offerings and sacrifice a young girl to their god.
Spoilers, but things don’t go as planned and the Doctor and Clara take it upon themselves to save the little girl from the god. The Doctor comes face-to-face with the god and discovers that it’s nothing more than a giant parasite, feeding off the memories, hopes and dreams of all the people. In order to keep the parasite from destroying everyone, the Doctor offers his own memories and experiences as a sacrifice in an attempt to appease the jealous and hungry “god”. The Doctor’s memories aren’t enough to satisfy the god, though, so Clara has to offer a cherished memory of her own.
In this episode the Doctor is an imperfect messiah sacrificing himself to appease the wrath of an imperfect god.
While watching the Doctor hurl insults at the parasite god, accusing him of devouring the worship of the people and never being satisfied, I couldn’t help but read into the episode.
Unfortunately some people view God like the Doctor viewed the parasite. All God does is take and take; he asks so much of us and it is never enough. Unlike the parasite, though, God doesn’t need anything. God is completely self-sufficient and doesn’t need our praise, worship or adoration to continue to exist. He is completely satisfied in the relationship among the Trinity and created humanity as an object for his affection.
God gets pleasure when we worship him. Jesus said, though, even if humanity never said another word of praise to God the very rocks would cry out. Our praises to God aren’t getting tossed into a bottomless pit; they are added to a cup filled to the brim and we bathe in the glorious overflow.
Praising God does so much more for us than it does for God. He’s not a parasite feeding off of our praise. He is a benevolent lover, giving us life every day.
What does God give you when you give him praise?