Summary: Coming of age brings respobsibility as well as joy!
Only in America can a pastor with a German name do a Hispanic "bat mitzvah." I even welcomed folks in Spanish. Only one sentence but they seemed impressed. This was "milder" version of the tradition but I think it would be good if the Anglos developed a ceremony for boys and girls coming of age. Something other than the birthday party with junk food though that can be a part of it but with more of a spiritual tenor and a charge for their life.
We are here to celebrate the coming of age of Colleen. This is a time of joy. It is a time of reminiscing for her parents as they look back on the time she was born and all the first things that a child does in their life. To Colleen, it is a time of consideration and looking forward as she is now no longer a child but a young lady, who has many opportunities before her. She has to start asking the Lord what career He may have in mine for her and then what school she needs to attend to reach towards that goal.
Her father and I have already talked and one thing we agreed on was that it was not a time for her to start considering a husband. That time is at least several years away. I told my daughter that she was allowed to get married at age sixty with my signed consent. Colleen may not have to wait that long but age 22 is a good round number to start looking for a husband as it gives her the time to get through college. We want her to graduate summa cum laude not marry some dumb clod.
Although marriage is some time away high school graduation and college is rapidly approaching. She will have to study hard these next three years and pray even harder seeking God’s guidance. Many challenging decisions will be coming her way and sometimes it may seem like her life is a runaway train or a wild roller coaster. Thankfully, the Lord will be there to slow her down and take control if she will let Him.
Ps 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. KJV
God gave Colleen to her parents as a precious gift. She is dearly beloved of God and He expects her to be loved by her parents because of her priceless value to God. He not only gave her life but also gave the life of His Son Jesus to save her soul. While she has earthly parents, her Father is God for she has been born-again and made a joint heir to all the Father has given to Jesus Christ.
Daughters are very special. Speaking as a father, a man’s son is always his son but his daughter is always his baby girl or princess so it is fitting that Colleen is wearing her tiara today and has maids in waiting like a princess. Colleen is not going to want her Dad talking to me anymore after today because I also gave him an idea of what to say to a future son-in-law many years from now. I told mine that my daughter would always be my baby girl and that if he ever hurt her I would make the Death Angel look like the Tooth Fairy. Therefore, if your Dad ever says that on your wedding day you can blame Brother Ron. We always protect our daughters until our last breath. It is what Daddies do. We cannot help it. If Dad ever embarrasses you, chalk it up to that protective spirit and know he loves you. Yet, even with that protective spirit and love, God the Father and Jesus Christ love you best and will be there even if your parents cannot. Rejoice in that love!
1 Cor 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. KJV
Today, this verse has much meaning for you. We are no longer looking at you as a child and therefore we will be looking for you to think and act as a young adult. I can say that I do not think that will be much of a problem for you as it might be for some. You are already a sweet girl and a tad bit shy since you will not give the three-hour speech I asked you to prepare. Someday you may find yourself giving lectures as a teacher or in whatever discipline the Lord directs you to serve Him. Often those who are shy when they are young become outspoken as they mature. There was a time when even I was shy and look at me now so only God knows how many people you may address one day.