Instead of a bar mitzvah, I chose the route of what is being called the bar barakah, or ‘son of the blessing’ rite for my 13 year old. Below is the outline of this time together with some explanatory notes in [brackets].
WELCOME TO JOSH’S BAR BARAKAH [Son of the Blessing]:
OPENING PRAYER & THE LORD’S PRAYER
SONG (1): Jesus Loves the Little Children [Joshua was to pick out three songs himself]
THE MEAL/GREAT STEAKS! [we had porterhouse on the grill! baked potatoes, green beans, rolls, and pumpkin pie for dessert]
CALLED TOGETHER: “Joshua” Means… [a reminder of what Joshua’s name means with short stories from the Bible]
INSTRUCTION/CEREMONY/CELEBRATION [my intro]
JOSH’S “These Three Verses I Cherish” [Joshua chose| Romans 5:8 | John 3:16 | John 11:35 | and he shared why]
SONG (2): Jesus Loves Me
TESTIMONY #1: “WHAT I SEE GOD DOING IN YOUR LIFE, JOSH…” Frank on Your Identity & God’s design for your life
TESTIMONY #2: “WHAT I SEE GOD DOING IN YOUR LIFE, JOSH…” John on Loving God forever, wherever & whenever
TESTIMONY #3: “WHAT I SEE GOD DOING IN YOUR LIFE, JOSH…” Scott on Keeping a Clear Conscience (Responsibility, Injustice, Authority)
TESTIMONY #4: “WHAT I SEE GOD DOING IN YOUR LIFE, JOSH…” Dave on My Testimony and Why Having A Quiet Time with God is So Important.
TESTIMONY #5: “WHAT I SEE GOD DOING IN YOUR LIFE, JOSH…” Pastor Tim on Friendships, Sexual Purity, and Relating Properly to the Opposite Sex
JOSHUA’S TESTIMONY: “What I took away from our time together (personal journal)”
TESTIMONY #6: Dad
RAISING UP AND A PRAYER OF BLESSING & RELEASING of “MY BELOVED SON!” [we lifted Joshua up on a chair and I shouted out loud “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased!]
SONG(3): Amazing Grace
PHOTO MOMENTS, Autographs–For memory’s sake & DESSERT!
After the men left and we cleaned up, Joshua was very joy-filled as he walked about the house. A couple of days later I asked him if anything was different and he told me that our time was significant and he has began to read his Bible every day since. As the days go on,time will only tell what germinated in that inner seed we invested in.