Joy to the World
My wife and I were talking about what I would choose as a topic for this column and we decided it needed to have something in it about last Easter Sunday. It was a beautiful spring day. We were celebrating the risen Christ and we had five wonderful people to baptize and one other beautiful person who wanted to reaffirm his baptism. I had never baptized anyone before in my new role as clergy and now I had all of these people to baptize in one day. When the proper time came in the service we gathered around the baptismal font. Here were six people, ages ranging from forty nine to four, ready for this important step in their Christian life. I think a couple of them had put a little too much hair product on because when I poured water on their heads it just kind of slid off without penetrating. There were a lot of laughs and giggles and I could just feel the holy spirit in our midst.
This event reminds me of something I read by the author John Ortberg. In his book titled, The Life You've Always Wanted to Live, he writes about the word holiday coming from the practice of “holy days.” He encourages his readers to celebrate more by gathering with people we love and eating and drinking, singing and dancing. Spiritual celebration means doing these things while reflecting on the wonderful God who has given us such wonderful gifts.
Too many of us think of religion as focusing on sin and the fiery pits of hell. We must remember that rejoice is mentioned many, many times in the Holy Bible. Isaiah 61:10 says, “I will rejoice in the Lord. My whole being shall exult in my God.” I hope your Spring will be full of joy. May God's blessings be with you.
Fred Steinbach, deacon
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church