Sanctity of Life

I didn’t realize that last Sunday was Sanctity of Life day until the day had almost passed. As soon as I saw the post on social media, I knew from past experience that most churches wouldn’t openly support it. And I was right.  Later that afternoon while once again scrolling social media, I saw a survey asking people if their church publicly supported the right to life for the unborn. After I voted, I saw the results. More than half of the responders said their church didn’t openly show support for this event. The majority of churches, those who call themselves Christian, were silent on making sure the unborn have a right to live their lives.

If our churches that say they support the unborn are silent on the day to honor the unborn, what are they really saying? What aren’t they saying? Why wouldn’t they stand up and speak up for those who can’t yet stand or speak for themselves? What are they ashamed of? Who do they think they’re offending by being silent? Who are they supporting with their silence?

If churches that say they’re pro-life don’t speak up for the unborn, will they speak against the push for assisted suicide? Will they speak against the evils of euthanasia? 

Is life really sacred to those who believe life begins at conception? Or not?

Why? Why wouldn’t churches be willing to say publicly what they’re willing to say behind closed doors? If they don’t openly support it now, when will they? If they don’t publicly support this biblical truth, which other truths will they ignore or just not defend? Do they think silence is approval for the event, or is their silence one of dissent? It can’t go both ways.

Our unwillingness to offend the pro-choice crowd offends the pro-life crowd. Why don’t we take a stand when we have the opportunity?

Oh. I know individuals who are staunch Catholics. Yet when they hear the news of someone’s unplanned pregnancy, they’re the first to recommend ending the pregnancy. After all, the time isn’t right. Or perhaps the child will be stuck with a deadbeat dad. And no one wants that. Or perhaps a violent act against the mother resulted in pregnancy. So we end the child’s life? Is that the only option in these situations? We kill the most innocent of lives in order to “protect” them from an unknown and increasingly evil world? It’s for the child’s own good? And they don’t even get a say in the matter. Their voice can’t even be heard. Until there’s a silent scream on the end of a medical instrument suctioning the newly formed body out of the mother.

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. Isaiah 64:8

We as Christians and pro-life supporters have much to be ashamed of. We don’t stand for the rights of the unborn when we have the opportunity. We don’t form a line and say enough is enough. Enough of us don’t band together in a effort to speak for those who can’t speak or even breathe on their own.

Even the leader of the free world voiced his thoughts on the day set aside to honor the sanctity of life. He was lamenting the fact that we couldn’t “celebrate” the fiftieth anniversary of the legalization of killing the unborn. He claimed the opposing political party was waging war on women’s rights to make their own healthcare decisions. And he said the fight wasn’t over. Sorry Joe. It isn’t a healthcare issue. Someone always ends up dead with this procedure. The goal of this so-called healthcare issue is death for one of the lives.

If Christians are silent on this issue, then the fight has been won. Those who applaud the killing of the babies being formed in their mother’s wombs are the winners. Their fight is over. But the babies. The unborn. They’re the losers. They lose their lives every time in this fight for women’s rights. It’s definitely an unfair fight. One of the parties doesn’t even know about the fight until they’ve lost their life. How fair is that?

They say that life isn’t fair. Well. It definitely isn’t fair to the life who isn’t even given a chance to live it.

The person who is one heartbeat away from being the leader of the free world spoke her belief clearly. And it was all done with the omission of one word. Life. She chose not to include the right to life as she quoted the Declaration of Independence on that day. It was an intentional rebuff of the unborn. She spoke what she believed. We heard what she said. And we heard what she didn’t say. And now. How many who support the right to life will hold her accountable? Shall we get in line?

Sure. There were both sides represented at the event last Sunday. Those fighting for the right to life for every unborn person. And those fighting to end the life of the unborn during any stage of the pregnancy, and even after birth. Now that the event is history, it’s good to do a lessons learned to note the words being spoken and the words left unsaid. Which side of the argument really won the war that day? Oh. You say. It was a peaceful protest. Of course. As it should be.

There should never be a question of whether the unborn have a right to life. Each life is a sacred gift from God. Regardless of the moment of conception, each life is precious. As Christians, let’s stand for those lives. Let’s commit to fighting for the life of everyone from womb to tomb. Life is God-given, and let’s honor him with our lives.

Signs of Spring

I was driving home from running a few errands. After being isolated in the house all week, it felt good to get out and see a little bit of the world. I saw a neighbor and his toddler son working on their lawn mower. I noticed a family of four sitting outside a sandwich shop eating lunch. Most likely, it was their first excursion of the week, too. As I drove, I saw new signs of spring. I realized some trees had already started budding and blooming. I saw some green on trees. Then I noticed white flowers. I knew that soon I would see pinks and purples. The new colors almost take my breath away, as I paused to think of the times we are in.

I remembered the forsythia bush in my back yard. Yellow has never been my go to color, but this spring it jumps out at me as a sign of new life. Rumor has it that snow will fall three times after the forsythia blooms. But this year, there’s no more prediction of snow. Instead, there’s the prediction of illness and possible death. Quarantine. Social distancing. Shelter in place. Face coverings.

But when I see the first signs of spring, I know that new life is forming. The dull color of winter is fading. The gray trees will soon be alive with flowers and leaves. Grass will grow again. Tulips and peonies. Roses and hydrangeas. Zinnias and irises. Fruits and vegetables. All the signs that life goes on are springing into sight. I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that when death can happen so suddenly these days, that life also comes in unexpected moments.

If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

I think of the other season we’re in. It’s the week after Easter. I think of the plan that was fulfilled as an innocent man was put on trial and sentenced to death. Nailed to a cross he never should have been on. Placed in a tomb that wasn’t his. He died a death that didn’t need to happen. But oh. It did. Because out of that death and those days in the tomb, arose a new life that cannot be denied. Oh. It is denied by some. But regardless, the new life that came from that tomb has put the world on notice. That new life is available to all who call on the name of Jesus.

He paid the ultimate sacrifice for us. And in that sacrifice that ended in his death, new life arose from the tomb. That new life brought hope and healing. Forgiveness and fellowship. Sacrifice and sacred selflessness.

For centuries, the stories of this one man’s life and death have been told and told again. Truth has been shared. Lives have been changed. New life blooms each time a soul repents and a heart is changed.

Sure. The truth of his life and death has been denied. There are those who doubt and choose to ignore his miraculous new life. But the truth still stands. And on a day unexpected, everyone will bow and acknowledge this new life. Whether they believed or not, they will bow at the appointed time.

When the veil in the temple was torn in two, new life was claimed.  Direct access to God was now available when that fabric ripped from top to bottom. Day or night. 24/7. God is available at a moment’s notice. The veil was no longer needed. New life. New approach to the throne of God. Immediate access to God Almighty was now available.

When the scales fell from Saul’s eyes, new life began. The one who once hunted believers became a believer. His sins were washed away by the Savior of the ones he hunted. His new life frightened those who didn’t trust him. Others saw the change and accepted the new life for themselves.

 There was a massive earthquake that night when Paul and Silas were in jail. When the jailer thought his prisoners had escaped, he thought wrong. If they had, he thought to kill himself rather than be killed by others. But no one had escaped. He asked what he must do to be saved. Instead of ending his own life that night, he found a new life in Christ.

For the sake of everyone’s souls, the time is ripe for new life. New life with sins forgiven. Guilt and shame are a thing of the past. Bondage removed. Regret dissolved. The old life is gone. A new life has begun. May His name be praised!