Recently, I spoke to a group of homeschoolers at a conference. Unbeknownst to me, I was to give my speech in a sanctuary. A holy place of worship.
And interestingly, the first thing I was going to talk about was the meaning of the names we are given. And how all the little girls in my Catholic school were named after a saint. But when our priest got to me and asked about my name, I reported to him and to the entire second grade class what I’d always heard my mother say.
“I was named after a stripper.”
Thankfully, it had very little affect on how I turned out.
A number of years ago, I was a Sunday school teacher for my daughter’s class. I had taught the same group of kids for about 4 years, starting with them from about the age of 2. They were a delight to me.
Especially after they were all potty trained.
The teachers all sat with the kids in “children’s service.” This was a time of children’s music worship, with a message geared to the children’s young impressionable ears.
One particular message fell on my impressionable ears. And has remained.
The speaker was talking to the kids about the commandments. In their terms. I was riveted. And especially interested to see how she was going to cover “Do not commit adultery.” Which she handled with grace and diplomacy. And in such a way that I didn’t have to go home and down 3 or 5 Extra Strength Excedrin prior to explaining the intricacies of how the birds and the bees are really friends.
Instead, what caught my attention was her explanation of not taking the Lord’s name in vain. Which I thought I had all figured out. As long as I don’t say the “d” word after the “G” word I was golden.
Or so I thought.
I’m paraphrasing, because I heard this years ago, and many many valuable brain cells have suffered a tragic death since then, but I’ll do my best.
“When you are using God’s name, unless you are praying TO Him, or talking ABOUT Him, you are using His name in vain.”
That’s what I’m talking about. How often have I used that phrase out loud. I was immediately convicted.
Yesterday I was reminded of that long ago children’s sermon when I heard a speaker on the radio talk about how we trivialize the name of God when we flippantly use it.
This has been something that I’ve tried to instill in my children. I don’t even like, “Oh my gosh” because it comes too close.
“Oh my goodness” is fine in our house. When Emme was small, she would often exclaim, “OH. My. Gerdness.”
I can’t and don’t dictate what other people do. I’m no one to judge anyone. So when my children hear other people say “OMG” they look to me to see my reaction. Later I tell them that they are to follow my rules. And don’t judge anyone else for their rules.
I wanted to open this up for discussion on this beautiful Sunday morning. What do you think?