The following is a lightly edited version of the comments I shared during our Sunday service last weekend. Please take special note of the baby bottle fundraising campaign I introduced on behalf of the Pregnancy Resource Center and stop by their table in the foyer next Sunday for more information.
In 1984, on the 11th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, President Ronald Reagan declared Sunday, Jan 22 a national day for observing the sanctity of human life, a life that begins with conception. Psalm 139 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are you works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance…”
Since the landmark 1973 court decision, more than 58 million children have died through abortion in our country. And while I firmly believe it is not my position as a pastor to publicly endorse a particularly political party, I do not apologize and will not apologize for taking a firm stand on what is first and foremost a biblical, spiritual, and moral issue. The clear teaching in Scripture on the sanctity of human life grants no freedom to do otherwise. Abortion is an unqualified wrong. It’s an act of violence against the most helpless members of our society and an affront to the dignity God has granted to every human being as those who bear his image.
However, I’m also here to tell you that like every other sin, the sin of abortion is no match for the cleansing power of the blood of Christ. It’s not too big for Jesus. And if we confess our sins, church, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Besides holding out the promise of forgiveness, the Lord is also faithful to empower us to love men and women who are facing an unplanned or crisis pregnancy and help them make choices that honor the sanctity of human life. To that end, I thank God for the work the Pregnancy Resource Center is doing in the West End.
One of our members, Julie Hagen, works in their office, and another one of our members, Robin Siefring, serves as a liaison between KingsWay and the PRC. Robin will be at a table in the foyer this morning giving out baby bottles as part of our annual fundraising campaign for the PRC. Please stop by and pick up a bottle, fill it with change over the next few weeks, and we’ll collect them in late February to support the PRC. Right now, let’s watch a short video providing a glimpse of the good work the PRC is doing and then I’ll lead us in prayer.
Father in Heaven, we come before you this morning to confess our sin and the sin of our nation. Where we have not made choices that honor the sanctity of the life you create, we ask for your forgiveness. Where our hearts have grown cold to the plight of the unborn, we pray your spirit would awaken us. We stand before you aware of our guilt, aware of our sin, crying out for hope and help through the cleansing power of the gospel.
Lord, help us to not see abortion as a political issue. Help us to see it as a biblical issue. A moral issue. A spiritual issue. We ask you to raise up elected officials and judges who will protect the unborn. We pray you would give us more opportunities to love, encourage, and serve men and women who are facing a difficult pregnancy.
We thank you for Julie’s labor with the PRC. We ask you to prosper the work of her hands. Give her many opportunities to share the gospel. Fill her with new courage to help our community love the least of these. Thank you as well for Robin’s initiative in helping us support their organization. Provide above and beyond for all their financial needs.
Lord, I ask you to make us a church that is courageous in pursuing what you have said is good and fleeing from what you said is evil, no matter the cost. And I pray you would give us a new passion to show the world what you’re like by loving children in need through adoption and foster care. I thank you for the men and women among us who have done exactly that. And I pray that where fear has held us back from making our homes a refuge for the unwanted and unlovely, for those you created but the world has rejected, please change our hearts. Renew our minds. Help us love unselfishly – the way you have loved us in Christ.