Summary: Sanctity of Human Life Sunday
As you know, today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Preparation for today’s worship has been a struggle this week. I’ve struggled between two desires. One is to enjoy celebrative worship. I believe Sunday morning is a time for celebration. We should celebrate, forgiveness, eternal life, the resurrection of Jesus, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the grace of God. But the other desire I have is to be confronted with the truth. Unfortunately, the truth about Sanctity of Life in this country is nothing to celebrate. So today is still a day for celebration, but also grief and confession.
The sad truth about the sanctity of life in America is saddest when it comes to what we do with our children. Take all of the soldiers who ever fought for our country, beginning with the Revolutionary war through the gulf war and add up all those who died. Then multiply that number by 22 and you will have the number of abortions performed in this country since Roe verses Wade. That breaks down to 4,400 every day, 180 per hour, 1 every 20 seconds.
Very, very few of these abortions are a result of rape, incest, or endangerment to the life of the mother. The primary reason parents opt for abortions are interference with work and career, affordability, and fear of raising a child alone. When I hear these statistics combined with these reasons, I can’t help but conclude that we don’t see human life as sacred. I can’t help but fear for the future of our nation.
I can’t help but grieve when I see the pictures of tiny babies with hearts that beat and fingers with fingerprints, unwanted and disposed of when there are thousands of couples like Joel and Sandy waiting and praying for a child. I can’t help but grieve when I see people imprisoned and fined for littering, yet doctors go unpunished for bringing a merciless ending to defenseless human life. I can’t help but grieve when I walk through assisted living homes and see the despair and loneliness of the aging, with no one to talk to, and few to comfort them. Human life is holy. It’s a gift from God. Human life is the greatest work of art every created. It’s a priceless treasure. It shouldn’t be vandalized or discarded.
We know this from the creation account in the book of Genesis. Everything that God created was good. So it’s is a crime when any part of God’s creation is neglected, spoiled, or abused. The pictures of the Exxon Valdez oil spill are horrifying. Those responsible should be prosecuted. The conditions in some of our livestock farms are abhorrent and oppressive. Those who mistreat animals should be prosecuted. When I was growing up in Michigan, Lake Erie had more dead fish on its beaches, than live ones in the water. Factories were pouring poison into the water and air. They should have been prosecuted. What God made was good, and he put us in charge of maintaining it.
And by the grace of God things are getting better. Lake Erie is in much better shape. Air standards have improved in Southern California. There is hope. We can change. But why don’t we preserve and protect that most valuable for of life, human life? People continue to go unpunished for committing the greatest crimes against creation: the crimes against humanity.
It was man and woman that God created in His image. People were created in His likeness. It was man and woman who were given rule over all livestock and creatures on the earth. It was man and woman who were created last. When God got done creating at the end of each day, he took a look around and said, “That’s good.” When God got done creating humanity, he looked around, and said, “That’s very good.”
Whenever human life is neglected, abused, or destroyed, it’s like we are harming God himself. Jesus said, “Whatever you do unto the least of my brethren, you do unto me.” A tiny fetus qualifies as “the least of my brethren.” Whatever our doctors do to a tiny fetus, created in the image and likeness of God, they do to God Himself. For one hour today we have taken time to glorify, honor, and praise God. In one typical hour in American hospitals and clinics, God is “slapped in the face” 180 times. Creator God is being punished for our mistakes.
With advances in medical science we have learned a great deal more about human life in the last 20 years. The pictures speak for themselves. It takes just 3 weeks after conception for a heartbeat to be heard. It takes just a few moments after conception for that tiny embryo to begin forming complete with its genetic code. Tiny babies that science calls fetuses can feel pain 24 weeks.