Summary: Though the Master was worshipped by angels, the unborn John was the first person to worship the Saviour, and his mother, Elizabeth, was the first to lend her voice to praise the Saviour.
“[Mary] was greatly troubled at the [angel’s] saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’
“And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’
“And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.
“In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.’”
Today, we are witnessing a revival of pagan attitudes toward newborn and unborn children. To the Roman mind, life did not really begin until the father of a child accepted the child as his own. In judicial language, the child was not a “person” until accepted by the father. A nurse would bring the newborn child to the father and attempt to lay the infant on the father’s lap. If the father received the child, the little one would be allowed to live. If the father spread his legs, allowing the child to fall to the floor, the child was not accepted. Children were disposable.
Today, whether an unborn infant lives or dies is exclusively a mother’s choice. The woman who chooses life for her unborn child will fight to carry the child to term. However, if she believes the child to be an unbearable inconvenience, she will argue for her “right” to have an abortionist slaughter the child in utero. As terrible as it is to witness mothers doing all within their power to murder their unborn child, it is perhaps more terrible still to witness the power of government arrayed against the unborn, as politicians and governmental bureaucrats endeavour to facilitate the slaughter of the innocent. And that is precisely what is happening throughout much of the western world—politicians and bureaucrats united in an unholy war on the unborn.
Even now, physicians in Great Britain are calling for a debate on euthanasia for disabled infants. Even the Prime Minister has taken up the cause of killing infants who are disabled, claiming that such action demonstrates compassion for parents and for society at large! The same discussion has now been opened in Canada. The situation is reminiscent of the “compassion” of the Nazi regime that employed the notorious “T4 Medical Killing” program to rid the nation of the burden of providing care for “useless eaters.”
Were it not shocking enough that physicians—healers who subscribe to the Hippocratic Oath—should call for the murder of disabled infants, the Church of England joins in advocating that sick newborn babies be neglected and allowed to die! In a concession to modern social views, the bishops’ argument, cloaked as compassion, is based solely upon economic considerations for society and for the families of the sick infants. It is appalling that supposed men of God blatantly deny scriptural teaching; but in a communion that is rapidly drifting from adhering to the Word of God as authoritative for faith and practise, perhaps we should not be surprised.
The trend toward murdering our own children is evident also in our own nation. As an example, consider a report from the Alberta Provincial Health Ethics Network. That report, published in 2001, says, in part: “Although the Canadian homicide rate in general has declined to its lowest level in 30 years, there has been significant increase in filicides … that coincide with the positive publicity for justifying filicides… Between 1994 and 1998, the number of children under the age of 12 murdered by their parents increased by 45% to 7.1% of all homicides in Canada (compared to 4.9% for 1974-1983). This sharp increase followed a decreasing trend from 1974 through 1993.