Summary: Human life is set apart from all other forms of life. L.I.F.E. forms the outline of this message. Sanctity of Human Life Message
Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Consider the paradox of setting aside a day to remember human life.
✎ According to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (a government agency) many different species of life are endangered or threatened right here in the United States. This is the “box scores” as of September 1, 2003 for endangered and threatened species:
> Mammals: 65 - 9 > Birds: 78 - 14
> Reptiles: 14 - 22 > Amphibians: 12 - 9
> Fishes: 71 - 44 > Clams: 62 - 8
> Snails: 21 - 11 > Insects: 35 - 9
> Arachnids: 12 - 0 > Crustaceans: 18 - 3
>>Total number of animals: listed 388 endangered and 129 threatened. You can check out a daily updated list at their web site: www.endangered.fws.gov; we all need to be careful not to kill any of these animals or disturb their habitats. Are we making a big deal about the wrong things?
✎ I remember in the early 1980’s the fight against extending Route 8 freeway from Akron to Peninsula because the construction would require a pond to be filled in. This pond was home to three ducks and mosquitoes.
Needless to say we Americans have gone out of our way to protect all kinds of life. However we have overlooked one species: we have failed to protect human life.
What does it mean to say “Sanctity of Human Life?” Sanctity means the quality of being holy or sacred. Put simply then the sanctity of human life means human life is set apart from all other life; human life is unique.
How is human life set apart from other life? God has shown us the answer to that question in His word, so we are going to the highest authority.
As we begin let me make one thing clear. When I talk about life today I am not referring to all kinds of life. I am talking specifically about human life. I’ll let the government and special interest groups take their stand to protect animal and plant life. My purpose is to show us how God has set your life and mine apart from all other life.
As we look to the scriptures today I have chosen to use the word LIFE as an acrostic to help us understand how human life is uniquely different, and why human life should be cherished and defended. LIFE is God’s Special Creation
+ Psalm 139:13-18 13For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you. (NIV)
LIFE - LIKENESS
David said, “You created me.” Life is not the product of evolution. You and I are not here by chance; we have been created by God.
+ Genesis 1:26-27 26Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (NIV)
The Message Bible puts it this way: “God spoke, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our image.’” HUMAN LIFE IS CREATED IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD. You and I reflect God’s nature.
Being created in the image of God is how human life is set apart and different from all other life. You and I reflect the likeness of God. Neither your dog or cat, nor your flower garden can do that. Only one kind of life reflects God’s likeness: human life.
How do we reflect God’s image? David touches on to one way when he said, “You created my inmost being.”
The Hebrew word translated “inmost being” literally means “kidney.” David is playing off a common saying in his day which said our emotions were held in our kidneys in much the same way we refer to our heart. If we say something touches our hearts, we don’t mean our chests have been cut open to expose the organ that pumps our blood, so it can be physically touched. When something touches our hearts we mean it has touched our emotions; it has made us happy or sad.