I recently took some flack on Facebook for professing that I did not want to watch the Olympic opening ceremonies.  Apparently, they are kind of a big deal.  I get that.  The summer Olympics only happen once every four years, and the hosting country gets a chance to do weird things to stand out.  Good times.

Let me be clear:  I have absolutely nothing against the Olympics.  However, I do have a bone to pick with ceremonies.  Pageantry, in general, really frustrates me.  I can’t stand parades.  I don’t like awards shows.  And I definitely don’t watch any kind of pageant.  (Note:  Also…not a huge fan of weddings.  I'll talk more about that tomorrow.)

Why don’t I like pageantry?  Am I just a cynic that randomly opposes popular events?  Not so much.  It’s just that I am not a huge fan of self-glorification.  Yes, I struggle with needing recognition and praise.  But the creation of events, the spending of money, and time and effort expended for nothing more than a showcase just comes across as being over-the-top selfish.  Could these resources not be used for more productive activities?  Does anybody really deserve this kind of recognition?

Especially within the church, why do we spend so much time recognizing personal accomplishments?  Yes, we should thank and encourage folks that are working hard for the Lord.  And absolutely, a lost person coming to know Christ deserves a standing ovation.  But why do we design these drawn out recognition services?  Is it really necessary to highlight everyone that follows in obedience? 

We should be serving to glorify God, not to get noticed.  We should be accomplishing great things for His Kingdom, not for our own resumes.  There are reasons to rejoice, and God’s love deserves to be celebrated with every breath.  However, all of these ceremonies and events designed to recognize our own efforts and accomplishments really do nothing more than make us look selfish and arrogant.

The vast majority of ceremonial events are inherently self-serving, and I am not down with that.  There you have it.  That is why I didn’t watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  That is why I never smile at weddings.  And that is why I only go to parades for the candy and to convince my children that horses are friendly. 

Call me a party-pooper.  Call me the Scrooge of pageantry.  I’ll gladly rock that on a t-shirt.  Bah, humbug! 

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