Saturday, November 10, 2012

30 Days of Blogging. Day 10, Rites of Passage.

Today I went to a Bat Mitzvah, the 13th birthday of a friend's daughter.  They are Messianic Christians, her Dad, the Rabbi, is also President of Ruka Dopomogy.  The daughter (and son) were some of the first teenagers I met this year because I spoke in their church the first or second weekend after I arrived back in January.

Those Messianic Christians, they are a joyful bunch.  If you do anything with them you can expect to sing and dance.

We used to talk about "Rites of Passage" a lot when I was a World Racer.  In America, there are no rites of passage.  Getting a driver's license, graduating from high school or going to college are probably as close as we get but doing any of those things sure doesn't make us an "adult".  Maybe churches that have "Confirmation" comes close or Mormons sending their kids out on mission.

Bat Mitzvah (for girls, and Bar Mitvah for guys) is about transitioning from childhood to adulthood.  Not only does the young person enter fully into the faith community in terms of having a voice but it's a conscious decision on their part to accept the responsibilities of adulthood.

Today, Sasha was asked to share a passage of scripture- to teach and comment from her own study to the congregation.  It was deeper than ordination services I've been a part of.

She was blessed and prophesied over by friends and of course by her own parents.  That's missing too in American culture- a formal blessing of children by parents.

To be sure, Sasha still appears to be a child.  But in truth, she's an equal member now of her faith community.  Her Father and Mother are now more than Father and Mother, now they are Brother and Sister and friend, too.

I remember in my Adolescent Psychology class in Seminary defining "adolescence" as that period between childhood and the acceptance of adult responsibilities.  Well, heck, the upper limit of that age is extending further and further in America, in part because we keep treating adolescents like, well, adolescents.  Or worse, like children.  Sasha, I'm convinced, is well ahead of that curve because she will not only be treated like an adult...she'll be expected to behave like one, and she said today in front of God and every body that that's the route she wants to take.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Profound observations and a beautiful girl!

Julie D.