The Fruit of What?

Psalm 127:3

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

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In my second-to-last Sunday here at CIC, the Hawkins family asked if I could dedicate them to raise their son, Seth, in the fear and instruction of the Lord. Such a dedication ceremony is something that we have done several times at CIC, and it seemed like a great idea to do one more before my family and I left Korea.

In working through the short dedication ceremony, I always read two texts of scripture. I read Psalm 127:3-5 as well as Ephesians 6:4. In these scripture readings, we emphasize that any child is a gift from God and that parents have a responsibility to raise that child in the fear and instruction of the Lord. We then have the parents affirm their understanding and commitment before God and the congregation. We likewise have the congregation affirm their responsibility to aid the family in their task.

All of this generally comes off without a hitch, that is until this last week. I made a slight slip of the tongue that completely interrupted any thoughts of formality for about a minute and a half. In reading the second line of Psalm 127:3, I was supposed to say, “the fruit of the womb is a reward.” However, I failed to get that out. Instead, I said, “the fruit of the loom is a reward.” This, of course, caused a two second pause followed by about 30 seconds of laughter on my part and that of the congregation, and then another break for us to regain our composure before we went forward.

The laughs continued all throughout the day, as many people in our congregation finally understood what was so funny. Since only a portion of our congregation, about 1/3 or so, is from the United States and Canada, many of the people heard a mistake, but did not understand the full silliness of it. Only later did many of our Korean, South African, and Kiwi (people from New Zeeland) friends find out that “Fruit of the Loom” is an American brand of underwear. So, as you might imagine, I have fielded questions about this for quite a while.

OK, I recognize that this entry has not done much to help anyone’s spiritual growth, but it is a story that I thought might be worth telling. I hope that you are encouraged to know that silly mistakes happen to all of us in all kinds of situations, and the best thing to do in such a setting is laugh and enjoy them. So, if you learn nothing else, learn what my seminary preaching professor said to our class, “If you lay an egg, stand back and admire it!”