To Josiah Patrick Moothart

The other day I saw you getting ready to go outside and play. With a huge smile on your face you strapped on your crocs, asked me to help you cross the street, and tore off out the door way ahead of me.

It's your exuberance that most comes to mind when I think about who you are. Your wide smiles, your dancing, wild playfulness, your mischief. Your mother recently said of you "That kid sure knows how to enjoy life", and it's true. I pray that you will carry that exuberance with you throughout your life, in everything you do.

Your mother and I named you after two very holy men, perhaps a tough act to follow. But our hope is that you will hear and follow God's call to you in the way that Patrick did, returning to Ireland to preach to his enemies, and as Josiah did, re-centering Judah around the words of the Lord.

I don't know what God's call to you will be, but I think it will be a high one. The cost of God's call is always high: For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Christ bids us to take up our cross and follow him. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Your baptism is a signpost of all this:
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
The old must pass away for the new to come. But when it comes it shows itself infinitely better than the old. As C.S. Lewis put it,
We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
May your find you greatest joy and exuberance in following after Jesus.

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