Yesterday was our fifth anniversary at Virginia-Highland Church. It is almost impossible to believe we have been back in Atlanta that long. We moved back into the neighborhood where we lived after Bill and I graduated from college. Although we didn’t know one another at the time, we both finished graduate school and moved to Monroe Drive in 1980, less than a mile apart. The church is in the heart of what was our neighborhood, and, after being gone for 30 years, we literally came home.
I wonder if that is why the time has passed so quickly. Perhaps it simply is that we have reached the age when time compresses and flies by with frightening speed. The time we’ve spent at Virginia-Highland Church has been rich and enriching. I baptized a little boy named Sawyer yesterday. He turned one on Friday, and he is a happy little boy. His two dads were so proud, and both sets of grandparents were there. The water we put on his head was gathered by our congregation last summer as they traveled around the world. He was the second baby we baptized with this water, and we also used it on Baptism Sunday.
After I baptized him, I asked the congregation to take a vow to care for him and be there for him. After they promised with all their heart, I asked them to welcome Sawyer into our family, which they did, of course, with their applause. Sawyer looked up and, with a wonderful smile, began to applaud them. If he had not filled my arms, I would have applauded them and him. It was a perfect moment that made me so glad to be in that place five years later.
Some things, like love and family, take time. Jesus seemed to know that. He talked about seeds that take time to grow and dough that takes time to rise. Children, relationships, churches, love, people, and Christians all take time. Five years pass quickly, but I wouldn’t have spent the time any other way. I plan to do everything I can to be able to say the same about the next five years. Will you?
Rev. Michael Piazza