Today marks the 37th anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States. Since that time, on Jan. 22, 1973, more than 50 million innocent children have lost their lives, a horrific figure that swamps all of the world’s natural disasters combined during those 37 years.
I would consider myself pro-life, in every sense of the word. I have marched in the streets for the cause of life, I have voted for pro-life candidates, and have given my time and money to ministries that are on the front lines every day, fighting for the unborn–and their mothers. So, you might expect me to use this space today to rail against the evils of abortion and to say that it is time that we as the comfortable American church get on our faces before God for our nation.
However, I hope you don’t mind if I use the occasion of today’s anniversary to go in a slightly different direction. We are often naive when we deal with the subject of abortion, as if it is an “us and them” discussion. That is, the typical evangelical Christian who takes a stand in the public arena forlife, and againstabortion, often acts as if it’s the church against the world, the conservatives against the liberals, Republicans against the Democrats, or whatever other category of opponents you prefer.
But the giant reality is that often, we are….them. The person working in the cubicle next to you may be living with a hidden secret. Your neighbor across the fence may have made their own “choice.” The friend sitting next to you in worship or in Bible study on Sunday morning may themselves have been one of those statistics.
The truth is, most every one of us–in the church and out–have been affected, either directly or indirectly, by the tragedy of abortion. You may know a friend or family member who was faced with an unplanned pregnancy, and did not choose wisely. Or, perhaps it was you, or your partner, who made that decision at an earlier time in life and have lived with the unspoken regret and grief and pain from which you feel you can never recover.
To each of you, the message of God’s word is clear: His grace is sufficient for you, too. Regrets are normal, and grief is to be expected, but forgiveness is real, and God is still the God of second chances, no matter the sin. The apostle Paul said in Romans that “even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ He even died to pay the penalty for the sin of abortion.
I do hope you can get involved in taking your stand for the unborn–whether it be in the political arena, adoption, caring for unwed mothers, or praying for God’s deliverance for our nation from the scourge of abortion. I hope you want back down from speaking up for what is right, to be the salt and light in our culture He has called us to be, even on “uncomfortable” issues like abortion.
But I also hope you’ll be one to reach out with compassion to all the victims of abortion, even if they are victims of their own choices. No sin is outside the scope of God’s grace and love.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday as we gather together to celebrate the sacred gift of life (and life eternal) that God has given us. Have a blessed weekend.