"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, all your might, and these words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart, and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and daughters, and you shall teach them when you sit down in your house, and when you walk by the way and when you lay down and when you rise up" Deut. 6:5-7
See this young man above? That’s my son Daniel, who will be 13 in September and trust me when I tell you, he’s a terrific guy! Dan is son number four of my five sons and Saturday, August 14th is a special day for him. That night he will be going through an awesome experience involving swords, fire and friends. Like his brothers Josh, Matt and Mike and his sister Sarah, he will have his Passage ceremony.
Passage is a “rite of passage” ceremony marking a step from childhood towards adulthood for my children when they reach their teenage years. (You can read more about it here if you want) I look forward to these ceremonies as much as my kids do; it marks something for me as well.
Ceremonies are like stepping-stones, not only setting a direction in which to go but leaving a path to follow as well. When God is in the ceremony, it creates a stream of change that carries beyond the event itself. It places within us a marker of remembrance, one that pulsates with memory waves. These waves ripple through our lives and lap at the shore of discouragement and remind us that the Father will always encourage and affirm us.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah. 29:11
These waves roll over us with a saturation of significance, carrying us forward in its current and our history is fashioned along the way. Ceremony of this kind declares God's faithfulness and helps our faith to grow. We can use it to help establish both a "stake in the ground" and a forward reference point for us to follow. It helps us pass on heritage and vision to our children.
"And when your children ask you, what does this ceremony mean to you?"
A ceremony can nourish dreams, fuel our call and help define the road ahead. It can inspire action and motivate us to further submit to all the Father has for us. Ultimately, it should be a vivid reminder of all He is and our great need of Him. That is what Passage is all about, releasing dreams and purpose in my children.
So, if you think of Dan this weekend, please pray that he will hear God speak, we both would appreciate that!