Big Idea: As we mature through life, there are important passages that take us from season to season and deserve special attention or celebration.
Scripture: And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’
And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
And when it was evening, …. he came with the twelve. And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Mark 14:12-26 ESV
There are several typical passages of life, but the event and their timing will vary with different people. We’ll use the Jewish rites of Passage as an example.
Birth. Every child is packed with potential. This is a steep learning curve for parents as well as the infant. , “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the Lord and dwell there forever.” … For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord. “And he worshiped the Lord there. 1 Samuel 1:22, 27-28 ESV
Weaning (preschool). When the child moves from being totally dependent to begin the journey toward independence. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Bar Mitzvah (Puberty Teenage years). Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, … And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man. Luke 2:41-52 ESV
Adulthood at 30 (moving from home) taking financial and care responsibility for ourselves.
I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because (you are strong and) you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:12c-13a ESV
Marriage. It’s more than the wedding. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:24-25 ESV
Firstborn (Birth of Children) Birthright of eldest. “A baby changes everything”. The increase of responsibility. Spiritual maturity. What is the legacy we are leaving our children? Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. Ruth 4:16-17 ESV
Eldership. (Empty nest) Therefore an elder (overseer) must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable … Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. 1 Timothy 3:2-7 ESV
Passing the Baton (retirement). Patriarchy is assigned to the next generation. Health issues begin to manifest. Jesus passed the baton to the Twelve. “All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him. Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite …” Genesis 49:28-29 ESV
Death. There is a vulnerability of children when a parent dies. “If family were a home, the mom is the walls and dad is the roof”. When a parent dies, there is a vulnerability that the children feel. Because parents are often our biggest cheerleaders, we lose our audience. Honour the dead. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV
To read: Dying Well. Good Mourning.