I included this letter that I wrote to my son as my “pastor pondering” in this month’s church newsletter. I wanted to share it with you as well, my dear readers!
I can’t believe that you are already over 2 months old! Time has really flown by. I feel like Daddy and I are finally getting the hang of this parenting thing, but we know that things change so quickly, and there will always be more that you will teach us. I want to take a moment to welcome you officially into the world and introduce you to a wonderful place called the church. More importantly, I want to introduce you to God, who loves you unconditionally and without reservation. God loves you so much even though you are too young to be aware of God yet. That’s such an amazing thing about God, isn’t it? And then there’s the church. Church is a place where people who love God get together, sing songs, hear stories about God, and love one another. They also learn lessons about how to love other people, even when it might be hard to love them. We live in such a complicated world where sometimes people are hard to love. But God doesn’t want us to give up on loving them, just as God does not give up on loving each of us.
God shows his love to us through a person named Jesus. The church teaches that God, through Jesus, came to earth as a human being to show us and teach us how to love God and to love each other. Jesus teaches us that the world can be a hard place to live. People can be mean. People can try to tell you that they are better than you. People can hurt you or betray you. But Jesus shows us that we are to be strong in this world even though it can be scary. Jesus shows us that we are to be nice to the people who have a hard time in this world or who are different. Jesus teaches us that all are loved, no matter who they are. Jesus shows us what it means to forgive and to be forgiven when we make mistakes.
When Daddy and I found out that you were going to be coming into the world, we learned a new kind of love. I remember riding in the car with Daddy one day when you were in my tummy, and I told him how strange it was how much I loved you already. This reminded me of how vast and how strange love can be, and it reminded me that God is love and shows us how to love. So I want you to know how much Daddy and I love you, and I want you to know how much God loves you. The church is a place where you can come to learn more about God and to grow in your faith. Daddy and I hope that even though I am a pastor and you will come to church often when you are little, that one day you will make the choice to follow Jesus for yourself and you will choose to make the church community a safe place to call home. I also pray that you will find the church to be a loving and inviting place where you are welcomed with open arms, no matter who you grow up to become. We hope that the promises and celebrations of God’s love that will be made at your baptism in a few months will follow you throughout your life, and that you will know the kind of love that God shows to us.
Welcome to our world, little Xavier. While it can be big, scary, and unkind, it is also a beautiful, wondrous, and loving place. We will do our best to show you the beauty and sacredness of life and love, and to share the story of God with you. You are now part of the story. How awesome that is!