Baptism. Father’s Day. Juneteenth.
Those are three different experiences. And, I believe Jesus celebrates each of them.
What are they?
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you might already know a little bit about baptism. Baptism is an ongoing God-given celebration experienced in a human way. It’s a celebration of a faith relationship with Jesus. And, because of that faith relationship, we are totally forgiven, adopted into a greater family, and invited to participate in God’s work in the lives of other people and our world. Yes, baptism is a single event, too… but a baptismal lifestyle (or as we say, a life on mission) is something we live out in our thoughts, words, and actions which strive to look and sound more like Jesus, everyday.
If you’ve grown up in the United States, you might have celebrated Father’s Day at least once in your life. Father’s Day is an annual human celebration for the God-given gift of fathers. It began in Spokane, Washington. That’s right… Spokane. Sonora Smart Dodd felt strongly that fathers needed to be honored and recognized for their roles in their families and society. According to Wikipedia, “she approached the Spokane Ministerial Alliance and suggested her own father's birthday, of June 5, as the day of honor for fathers. The Alliance chose the third Sunday in June instead… So, the first Father's Day was celebrated June 19, 1910, in Spokane”.
You may have heard about Juneteenth… but you may have never celebrated it. Juneteenth is an annual human celebration for the God-given gift of freedom. It commemorates the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War. According to the New York Times, it has been celebrated by African Americans since the late 1800s. In 2020, it became a federal holiday. Also known as “Juneteenth Independence Day”, “Freedom Day” and “Emancipation Day”, every June 19th, we remember the day in 1865 that General Granger announced freedom through the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 which released enslaved African Americans. I’m reminded of 2 Corinthians 3:17 which says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”. Indeed, “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
Baptism - an ongoing God-given celebration experienced in a human way.
Father’s Day - an annual human celebration for the God-given gift of fathers.
Juneteenth - an annual human celebration for the God-given gift of freedom.
Three distinct celebrations. One weekend. And I believe Jesus is celebrating all three. So, this Sunday, we will celebrate them with Jesus.
Here’s what Sunday will look like both onsite and online…
When Jesus is our foundation and at the center of all we do, even three unlikely celebrations can come together to love God, love people, and live like Jesus.
Why? Because God created and gave us all things (Colossians 1:16) - baptism, fathers, and freedom.
And it’s always good to celebrate God’s good gifts for our enjoyment and to love and bless our neighbors
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Tim studied sociology, psychology, and theology prior to earning his M.Div at Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. He has also is a candidate for an Ed.D (ABD) in Transformational Leadership. He is married to Beth and they have three young children. Together, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture, and pizza and movie nights.