The Power of Ceremony – Dan’s Turn


"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?"
Exodus 12:26

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!



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jasonS said…
That is so cool, Jay. I've heard of similar things and I love the idea. Good to think of now as my son is 9. I'll be praying for Dan--many multiplied blessings.
Jay Cookingham said…
Jason, appreciate the prayers dude. This such a cool thing in many ways. It has inspired several of my friends to do similar ceremonies for their sons. We (my band of brothers) have been part of each other's ceremonies. That is a blessing!
Michael said…
I'll be prayin bro! That is way cool.
Bill (cycleguy) said…
This is cool Jay. My girls are way past that age (35 & 31) so I don't think they would value a rite of passage. however, i did send the link to one of our fathers who has a son who will be 13. One of our men who read Wild at Heart took his teen son to TN for a weekend of fishing and talking. Cool idea too.
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks Bill! I do appreciate the support bro'
Jay Cookingham said…
Thanks for praying Michael!
Dusty Rayburn said…
Praying for Dan and thinking about stealing your ceremony idea in another 10 years or so!
Jay Cookingham said…
I appreciate those prayers bro' and those years will go fast my friend. I know they did for me!
S. Etole said…
How blessed your children are ... my grandson will be 13 in February and I see him changing so quickly right now.
Jay Cookingham said…
I feel like the blessed one...and time does go fast, that's why I feel this ceremony is so important. The time of impartation needs to be taken advantage of when it's presented.

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