March and April are bringing a bevy of new babies into our congregation. So far this month two little boys were born to couples in the church. Today a little girl was born to another family in the congregation.
About the same time the church office got that call, an email came in with pictures from yet another couple sending pictures of the baby boy they picked up yesterday at an orphanage in Russia. They will be there a while longer until the legal process in that country is complete and they can bring their new son home to Texas.
Those pictures were eagerly examined by a young mother who happened to stop by my office this morning. She and her husband have just begun the process of adopting from Russia, so she was delighted to see the healthy beautiful baby in the pictures her friends sent.
Interestingly, all these couples already had children. These new births and adoptions bring the second, third or fourth child into these families. Is there a new trend of larger families out there?
So many churches in our denomination have such an elderly membership that they have no Sunday School or youth groups. They'll be closing their doors within the next decade or two if younger families don't come into the congregation. It's not only the church as a whole that is only a generation away from extinction--its also individual churches.
My church is so blessed with all these babies coming into the life of the congregation around Easter. It is particularly meaningful to me because three of the couples are part of a study group I have led for the past two years. We have all prayed for the safe delivery of the babies and when one of them suddenly needed heart surgery to correct a congenital defect, we prayed and worked to support that family. (That baby is fine now and the doctors say should never have any problem in the future).
These babies bring new life and the prospect of the continuation of the faith into the next generation: a blessing and a challenge to faithfulness and witness for our congregation.