|Blessing my niece on her 13th birthday|
We recently had the opportunity to bless my niece, the 2nd oldest of my parents' 13 grandchildren, in anticipation of her 13th birthday.
The whole family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great-grandma!) all got together for dinner at my sister's house. It included the usual birthday cake and song and gifts. But more importantly, it included being blessed by each family as we celebrated her moving from childhood into womanhood.
The idea is taken from the Jewish tradition of bar mitzvah (bat mitzvah for girls), which means "son of the law". Christians are creating a new tradition of bar/bat barakahs, which means "son of the blessing". In a culture where grown men stay single and live in their parents' basement playing video games, it's an important transition to adulthood. It's a signal to all that this person is no longer a child, they are someone who is growing into a new role and responsibility. By blessing them we acknowledge that and come around them to support them. (You can read more about Bar Barakah in Craig Hill's book by the same name)
So for my niece's party, each person prepared a blessing to speak over her - observations about her giftings and character, wishes and prayers for her future, and special verses from the Bible.
Grandpa and the uncles had an especially important part to play. Because almost two years ago we lost her dad in a tragic motorcycle accident. The men in her life once again affirmed that they were there for her. To try to fill in for her dad wherever they could.
|My niece receives a blessing prayer from the men in her life.|
We are so very proud of our dear "Juba" and bless her with every good gift from above.
What about you? What traditions do you have for special birthdays?