Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Our children are returning to school and beginning to learn and experience new things. As parents and adults we will be grateful for some of their learning and not so grateful for others. You know...those lessons learned in the locker room, the football field, at dances, making fun of one another which tend to bring about that irrational behavior of our blessed and beloved little ones. I ran across an article recently by Missy Morain, Program Manager for Christian Formation at the National Cathedral and it speaks directly to this topic. The following are excerpts from it.
Being a young person in the world today is a mixture of opportunities and expectations. Each person encountered has a different series of expectations and desires, which range from useful to downright ludicrous. At the start of a new school year we as members of the Body of Christ have an opportunity to make new commitments to the young people in our worlds.
Manhood and Womanhood are free gifts from God. Adulthood is earned. The gift of manhood and womanhood like most free gifts comes with some strings attached; much like a "free gift with purchase" offer. That purchase is adulthood. Adulthood is only learned through relational community. One learns to be an adult through others and with the help of others. Our Judeo-Christian tradition provides some of the best models within which to become an adult.
This model of becoming an adult begins in one of the first biblical stories, the story of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were the first to get this free gift of manhood and womanhood from God but they too had to learn their adulthood. Their time of learning occurred in Eden and their rather harsh introduction to adulthood occurred just prior to leaving. The world of introduction to adulthood is perhaps only slightly less difficult now and yet our young people are still filled with the fire and energy of creation in the same way that Adam and Eve were. It is no wonder that God chose a young woman, Mary, to be the vessel by which God came into our world. Who else but a young person would have had the fire, determination, and sheer gumption to say "YES" to God? Who else but a young person would have been able to say "This is totally going to flip my parents out...sounds like a great idea!"?
As adults on the journey with our young people we have a special charge when it comes to our youth. We have to guide with intelligence the young people of our world. We have an obligation not to use this gumption to our advantage, to not manipulate the young people in our midst. We must assist in the learning process, model the behavior of adults and walk with our youth in their formation pilgrimage as we continue in our own formation. Maybe through this mentorship we can earn back a little bit of that fire and gumption, earn back that energy to continue to change the world and to continue the creation of God's world which began back in Eden.
As we begin this new formation year with our youth remember that we need them as much as they need us (much of the time I think we need them more) and that we are taking this journey together. We have many opportunities to journey with our young people. If you feel called to lead classes, work with the youth group, or mentor, let us know. Your reward will be rich.
Blessings & Peace,
All Saints Messenger >