Oh Boy! — Andrew Stoebig

“Oh boy!”

Jacob’s presence at Sunday Eucharist is difficult to go unnoticed. He doesn’t regulate his speaking volume, often calls out at inopportune times and has a sense of personal space that — one might say — differs from Minnesota norms. You see, Jacob’s lives on the spectrum diagnosed as autistic. However, occasional unexpected embraces aren’t the only surprises that Jacob’s enthusiasm produces.

Consider the impact he had on the congregation one Sunday. As we rose to hear the Holy Gospel, the pastor announced “A reading from the  Gospel, according to St. Matthew.” And perhaps somewhat mechanically, the congregation responded, “Glory to you, O Lord”. But consider how extraordinary that announcement became when, dovetailing on the assembly’s response, Jacob cried out in a loud voice, “Oh boy!”  He hadn’t missed  the significance of the proclamation of what was to come. And he taught us something else — to anticipate the joy of again meeting the Risen Christ in what was to follow.

Prayer: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe. You reveal the joy of Your presence where we least expect it. Blessed be God forever. Amen.

Deacon Andrew Stoebig, St. Paul, Minnesota