As I write this meditation I am aware that Passover began last night for the Jewish people and today is what Christians call “Holy Thursday” or “Maundy Thursday,” meaning the remembrance and mandate to wash the feet of the poor. (Jn 13:34) The night that Jesus ate his Last Supper with his disciples before being captured and put to death. That commemoration being Friday when you read this meditation, the day of Jesus’ death.
Clearly there are profound links between all these rich feast days of remembrance. Rabbi Greene reminds us* that a true celebration of Passover forces us to confront the question: “What is it that enslaves us, and why do we fear to break the chains?” Are we ready to leave our particular forms of ‘Egypt,’ our own conditions of slavery?
Telling the story of exodus and freedom to the children is an essential element to the holiday. “You shall tell it to your child” (Ex. 13:8). So children have a special place at Passover. The story of freedom and deliverance and promise is for them.
On Wednesday this week, children around America skipped school and filled state legislatures to protest the killings of their own in schools around the nation. In Nashville, capitol of Tennessee and the most recent school killing ground, they got the attention of the head of the legislature who gave them a talk in which—surprise?—he lied to them all. He said banning assault weapons for everyday citizens would make no difference in school killings.
He was wrong. And he was lying. When for ten years America banned assault weapons the number of killings went down. And since that law was not reinstated, killings have gone up and up. Why would an adult lawmaker tell children a public lie? Because he is enslaved to guns. Guns are his Egypt and he likes it.
This is adultism: Hatred of children. Adults are pharaohs enslaving children and lying to them about it. The same is true of refusal to face climate change and do something meaningful about it—that too is adultism. A refusal to act on behalf of the future children of the world.
This is why feast days of Passover, Holy Thursday and Good Friday matter: Because we are all capable of participating in evil and need reminding or redemption, often from ourselves.
Thank God children are calling adults to account.
P.S. Since I wrote this 12 hours ago, two young black state legislators have been expelled by the very white majority of Tennesse’s legislature. Their crime? Supporting the children. And, of course, being black. It seems the dominant empire of white supremacy and gun supremacists are doing to leaders today what the Roman empire did to Jesus 2000 yeas ago. They will not have the last word.
*Arthur Green, Judaism for the World: Reflections on God, Life, and Love, pp. 164f.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, “Adultism—A Society that Devours its Youth,” in Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 180-198.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: One year later, situation unchanged: “Uvalde, Texas – Strange Days of Sorrow in America.” Image by Daniel Arrhakis (2022) on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
What other examples of adultism and freedom from it do you see around the world today?
The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine
To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature, to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God
The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance
In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.