Praise Him – Holy … Holy … Mackerel?

Oct 7, 2009 by

We were having one of our ritual Bible “quizzes” at the dinner table with the Sons of Thunder.

A rather serene occurrence at most family meals I’m sure. But this “quiz” is with the Sons. And they are competitive. Very competitive.

Rules are simple. First one to get five answers right wins – and questions are age-appropriate as determined by yours truly. And yours truly is often “questioned” by the Sons over the questions – “too easy,” “too hard,” depending on who is getting asked.

And let’s admit it. Sometimes they cheat. Maybe I should say “exaggerate” how many correct answers they actually have. Which in turn leads to rather heated debates, calls for official video replays by the Little Black Dress and so on. Sorta misses the whole point of a Bible quiz.

Yet every now and then one of the Sons will just say something profound, way beyond their years. And you just look  at them in amazement. And you think, “Out of the mouths of babes.”

Such a pronouncement occurred at our last quiz gathering. We got on the subject of Heaven and the youngest Son interrupted – quite determined I might add – to inform us of his plans in Heaven.

“I’m going to get some wings and fly around with the angels and sing ‘holy, holy mackerel’ to Jesus and God.”

And then he proceeded to demonstrate just how he would sing. One arm folded against his chest, the other outstretched as far as he can with palm up. Imagine an opera singer doing the big aria.

Because he also does it in an “opera-like” voice. And he’s six.

A couple of things happen at moments like this. One, you basically lose it with laughter, snot shooting out, tears streaming, the whole enchilada. After you recover, you realize kids “get it” a lot more than adults give them credit for.

Sometimes it takes a six-year-old to bring you back to reality; to what’s really important.

It’s not about whether women can preach in church, or was the world actually created in six 24-hour days, or whether everyone speaks in tongues, or exactly when Jesus returns, or the proper position for prayer, or baptism or, well any of that “stuff.”

It’s more simple.

1. God is God, or He’s not.

2. Jesus is the Son of God, or He’s not.

3. The Bible is the living word of God, or it’s not.

4. The greatest commandment is to love God with everything you’ve got; or it’s not.

5. The second-greatest commandment is to love others; or it’s not.

Personally, I go with “yes” on all of the above. I still have trouble wrapping my brain around some of No. 3. And I’m sure not where I need to be with No. 4 and No. 5. But it’s an ongoing process.

And I believe that if those who called themselves “Christians” focused on prioritizing those five points, we’d make a lot better impression on others.

As my pastor said recently (tongue-in-cheek), “there’s a religion out there for you. And if not, we’ll make one up for you.”

But the six-year-old’s “got it.”

And that made the Little Black Dress and me smile, after calming down from the above-mentioned outbursts.

And yes, he got an extra three points, so he won that night. And no one complained.

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  1. hilarious… kids do say the wildest things – I’m still trying to figure out how your littlest Son of Thunder came up with the “mackerel” part, though.

    I was humbled by my 4-yr (soon to be 5-yr) old boy a few weeks ago: he said he’d like to die soon – because the quicker he dies, the quicker he gets to be in heaven with Jesus. not at all in a morbid sense – he was just REALLY excited to get to heaven.

    I also have 3 boys – 8.5 yr old, the almost 5-yr old and 1.5-yr old. they can be a lot of fun, but a challenge. I don’t think I’m ready for my youngest to be six yet, though. I need to work myself up to that.

  2. I am constantly amazed by the faith of kids. Too bad we grow up and lose that. Faith becomes doctrine, which becomes alienation.

    Mine are 11, 8 and 6. Sometimes more like 50, 45, 40. And then sometimes like 1, six months and newborn. Must depend on the phase of the moon or something.