Dear Matt and Josh,
Thank you for inviting me to dinner. I had a wonderful time and enjoyed sharing spaghetti and garlic bread with you. Your mom is a really good cook.
I also enjoyed talking and learning more about the Star Wars characters than I had ever known. I’m not sure who was having more fun, you or your dad. I think it was your dad, but maybe we should let that be his secret. (Now that your dad is going to be a minister, some people might think that he shouldn’t still be playing with toys, but we know better.)
It was also fun to hear you tell me some of the Bible stories you learned during family devotions. You knew more about some of the Old Testament characters than I did. I think it’s great that your folks are helping you learn those stories. I hope you remember them when you are as old as I am.
After I left your house, I got to thinking about our visit. I remember that when I was about your age a man came to my house for dinner. I still remember the visit. His name was Uncle Dick, but he wasn’t really my uncle. He was a man who wrote letters in The Banner, just as I do now. Only he didn’t write every month; he wrote every week, and he wrote to boys and girls like you.
What I remember most about his visit is that later he wrote me a letter, much like this one. He wrote it in The Banner for everyone to read. I thought it was really neat that someone would write me a letter for everybody to see. I told all my friends at church that my letter was in The Banner.
In his letter, Uncle Dick wrote about my baptism and how even though I could not remember it, it was a very important thing. He said God had placed his mark on me, and now I belonged to God. He also told me that my parents had promised to train me to love and serve Jesus. That is true for both of you as well. God has marked you as his own, and your parents have promised to do everything they can to help you know and follow Jesus. You can be very thankful that God has given you such wonderful parents.
One of the reasons I am writing this letter is to say thank you for inviting me to your house, but there is another reason. I want to encourage you. Today I am a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church, just as your dad soon will be. I think that part of the reason I am a minister today is because of people like Uncle Dick.
When I was growing up, people would often ask me what I was going to be. Over the years, I would give different answers. Sometimes I would say I wanted to be firefighter or a police officer. Other times I would say that I might be a teacher or a doctor. Often these people would tell me that I should be a pastor like my dad.
That is what I want to say to you. I hope both of you pray about becoming pastors. I can tell that you both love Jesus and you are not afraid to tell others about him, so it might just be that God is preparing you for something very special.
It is very important that adults encourage boys and girls to become pastors and leaders in the church. Just think, someday you, too, might get to write a letter in The Banner to some boy or girl who invites you to dinner. Then you can tell them about Pastor Jerry, just as I told you about Uncle Dick.
I need to go now. Say hi to your mom and dad, and be sure to tell them how much I enjoyed visiting. It was really nice.
About the Author
Jerry Dykstra served as the executive director of the Christian
Reformed Church in North America from 2006-2011.