Saturday, July 19, 2014
The Branch and The Vine
Time. Who has enough of it? Life has been a perpetual whirlwind of activity since the end of February for us. Thus, no blogging. However, I find it necessary to pen thoughts which hold me captive yet again. Expelling them purchases my cerebral freedom, and it is long overdue. The defining event that drives this entry, was a sacred gathering of celebration upon a wonderful friend's daughter becoming a Bat Mitzvah, or "Daughter of the Commandment". I am a Christian, my lengthy familial heritage is Christianity, and by nature of affiliation I had never attended a Jewish Temple or Synagogue. Having said this, I have a heritage that instilled love and support for Israel, and for the people of God's choosing. As you can imagine, I counted it a great honor for my family to have been invited to participate in this special day. The beginning of the service was an open call for thanksgiving, covering every area of our lives. Things we systematically disregard and take for granted,like breathing with lungs that continue to function. Do you realize how powerful a testimony to divinity we truly are? He causes our organs to work in synchronous harmony at the moment of our births, and by His hand, we are sustained until the day of His calling. With an exhortation to recognize the presence of God in the every day tasks, life can become gloriously fulfilled, but it's up to us. We must continually choose to acknowledge Him. As the Ark and bimah(pulpit) were explained, the rabbi wove a masterfully simplistic account that was made accessible by even the smallest among us. As the Ark was opened, the beautifully clothed Torah (1st 5 books of the OT) was removed with great care and joy. Their treatment of the written word of God pierced my heart in a way I had not experienced before. So precious and esteemed it was to them, that it owned the place of preeminence in the sanctuary, with an eternally burning light above it. How far many churches have fallen! Draw your own conclusions, I won't go down that road right now though. Moving on. Then there was the generational passing of the Torah. It was a spiritually symbolic act that all the elder members of the family took part in. Each one laying hands on it, and sending it down the line until it reached the father, who then placed the scrolls upon the daughter's shoulders. With no words, an entire message was preached in less than one minute. Where are the mothers and fathers in Zion who will place the word of God upon the shoulders of their children?! Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder..." The literal books of Mosaic law were placed upon her shoulders in this portion of the service, and it elevated her to a position of authority to govern situations and enhance realms of influence. She was affirmed as a fully functioning member inside her body of faith. When are we recognizing the ability of our children to do the same? If we had a celebratory and affirming community, would we stop losing our children? If we gave them wings, could they not soar? I'm just as guilty as anyone else, yet I make no indictments. I was personally challenged to do better for Catie-Beth, and to encourage everyone reading this to follow suit! The whole experience was amazing, and I'm so grateful to have experienced it with my family. Catie-Beth thought it was pretty cool, in fact, she wants a Bat Mitzvah now, LOL! Thank you Clan Eccleston, I walked away with a full heart, and a richer understanding from the foundational branch of faith the vine of my beliefs are entwined around.