Once upon a time in a small town of orchard farmers there was a great plague. The plague did not affect the fruit. In fact, there had never been such an abundant harvest in living memory. Fruit just kept coming, and grew so much that people started to wonder what was in the water.
The fruit kept coming, but because of the bounty, some methods of picking it and carrying it and storing it became more pronounced. Whether because the people were so much more busy that they lost time for patience, or because they were that much more proud of their produce, conflicts started to grow like invisible weeds. Rather than a cause for rejoicing, the plenty turned into a crop of resentment and suspicion and hurt feelings.
Laws were considered, along with possible enforcements, but none of those would deal with the heart plague. When the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are many, it is a time to give thanks, not to complain about laborers laboring a different way.
This short anecdote has many applications, but in this particular season of our church, I’m squeezing the juice to talk about the fruit of babies, and especially baby showers.
Over the last few months I have heard some surprising, and terrible reports about the preferences of some, and pettiness of others, when it comes to the “proper” procedures for new-little-life parties. So I’m going to take a few exhortations to talk about it, with an eye both to the particular and broad applications of how we love one another in a community full of blessings.
Husbands, this is just as much an area for you to be involved in, even if you are not asked to knit a onesie or to pull shots for the latte punch.
Loving life, and loving the fruit of the womb, is terrifically counter-cultural. Envy and pettiness in how we celebrate is not counter-cultural, and when we find sin, we need to pluck it up from the roots.