Summary: A pro-life sermon on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, 2004.
THE VALUE OF LIFE Genesis 1:26-31
Two of the persistent questions we repeatedly ask are: "Who am I?" and "Why am I here?" God addresses both of those early in the scriptures. In Genesis 1:26 we read, "Then God said, ’Let Us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule. . . .’" God’s view of His creation on the sixth day is very clear (v. 31): "God saw all that He had made, and it was very good."
The unique characteristic of each human being is the reflection of being created "in His image." Each of us reflects the very image of God. Our peace ("Shalom") is derived from recognizing that we reflect His image and when we allow God to achieve His purpose through our lives, through the Lord Jesus Christ. If we lose sight of the value placed on human life, we are susceptible to the temptation to destroy that life designed by God.
Life is sacred. When life is destroyed, we lose the impact of a life that could have enriched our lives and brought glory to God. The movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, allows a man to see what the world would have missed if he had not been born. A similar experience might help us value our lives and all human life.
A college professor presented this challenging situation for his ethics class to consider. "A man has syphilis and his wife has tuberculosis. They have four children. One has died; the other three have terminal illnesses. The mother is pregnant again. What do you recommend?" The class voted to terminate the pregnancy. The professor noted they had just killed Beethoven. (HIS magazine, February 1984)
Ethel Waters was a great gospel singer in the 50’s and 60’s. She was born to a 13-year-old child who had been raped. The world would have been robbed of the wonderful sacred music provided by each of these individuals if life had not been valued even under difficult circumstances. (from Eldon Fry, Ph.D., Focus on the Family, Pastoral Ministries)
We are created to live. God saved His breath for the creation of human beings. Genesis 2:7 says, "the Lord God…breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being." We are created in the image of God and endowed with His very breath to live. That is sacred.
The Psalmist (139:13-16) notes that God weaves life in the formation of humankind. [READ]
In Isaiah (44:24) God says to the prophet, “Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb.”
When we lose sight of a Creator who has formed us with a purposeful life in mind, we may devalue life and even be willing to destroy it. It has often been noted that abortion and euthanasia are only symptoms of a greater problem: our culture no longer truly recognizes the sacredness of human life.
This is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, the Sunday before January 22.
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton that unborn human beings are not legal “persons” according to the constitution. The unborn baby is the “property” of the mother (or owner) and can at her request have the baby aborted up to the time of birth, if her doctor agrees.
Some have compared this ruling to the Dred Scott decision of March 5, 1857 in which the Supreme Court ruled that African-Americans were not legal persons according to the Constitution. The slave could be bought and sold, used, or even killed at the owner’s discretion.
The Supreme Court has spoken! A Seven to two majority declared those aren’t human beings, just a little blob of tissue: Potentially human but the property of the mother to do with as she sees fit.
Do you understand the irony of what we’re talking about? If a young women, say 21 weeks along in her pregnancy, suddenly develops a problem with that pregnancy and is rushed into the emergency ward. If the doctors move quickly enough and they bring to bear on that situation all of the medical technology that we now have at our disposal, she’s rushed into a delivery room and they attend her in every way and they bring forth that little preemie baby at 21 weeks. That baby has a very high probability not only of surviving today but also of living a perfectly normal life.
But now another woman, exactly the same distance into her pregnancy, decides she doesn’t want to carry this baby. She goes to the same hospital; but she goes into another part of the hospital. She is not taken to the delivery room, she is taken to an abortion room and that baby is ripped apart and thrown into a garbage pail.