Joy and Celebration of a new life


 I am in love, again! 

With a beautiful little girl, born about 3 weeks ago, my first grandbaby! And what a joy it is to hold her, rock her, comfort her, and sometimes just gaze for long minutes at this wonder of God’s creation. My wife and I are spending some time getting to know our granddaughter, Elyse. I had forgotten how much joy there is in the birth of a baby. As I look at Elyse, I cannot help but offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God for this new life. I am proud of our daughter and son-in-law for the deep love and commitment I sense in the way they are moving into parenthood, creating a family together. Hope overwhelms me for Elyse’s life, that it might be filled with happiness and spared of sorrow or pain.

Elyse has been given a wonderfully descriptive middle name, An-Mei, which means “exquisite peace.” I pray that in her lifetime, she will know that exquisite peace in her family, in the world she experiences, and in the global community as well. And I hope she will grow in grace to know the love of God in Jesus Christ. May she never know hate or prejudice, and may she grow to know how to love and to accept all persons as persons beloved by God. I had forgotten how much joy there is in the birth of a baby; I had also forgotten how much responsibility is involved. But as I hold this precious new person in my arms it comes back to me in a prayer I whisper: God, bless this child and help me be the best grandpa I can be!

Bob Hoshibata
Robert Hoshibata is Bishop of the Phoenix Area of The United Methodist Church and presides over the Desert Southwest Annual Conference. Hoshibata presided over the Oregon-Idaho Conference from 2004-2012 and his blog postings are here for reference.