Word from the Center Digest: Friday, July 19, 2019
The Father Almighty: Changing Hearts, Saving Lives
by Michael Salemink
It’s been a difficult time for Gospel-motivated voices for life. The governor of Illinois signed into a law a very permissive relaxing of regulations on abortions, including the repeal of the state’s previous prohibition on “late-term” abortion. In addition, the governor of Maine signed legislation redefining suicide to exclude doctors prescribing lethal doses of pharmaceuticals to desiring patients.
This further endangers the lives of the least of these among our neighbors. The culture is telling individuals with terminal illnesses, chronic conditions, depression, and despair that death solves their difficulties . . . and at the very moments when their deep suffering calls for our greatest compassion and assistance. The culture is teaching that human worth and purpose depends upon attaining certain ages, appearances, or abilities. The culture is tempting individuals experiencing surprise pregnancies that violence and trauma offer their only salvation from their anxiety, isolation, and obligation.
Jesus wept. Almighty God loves nothing more than the human lives He creates, redeems, and calls as His very own treasures forever. He graciously lends them to us from fertilization to final breath that we might receive them as precious privileges and share life with them in His image. The sinful world’s spineless acquiescence to the devil’s deceptions and selfish disregard for the Lord’s joy and His gifts moves the Heavenly Father even more than us. He cares enough to enter as the divine Son born of Mary into the mess we’ve made.
Yes, Jesus suffers, that He may withhold no mercy or love from humankind. Jesus dies with and for the victims and the advocates and the practitioners of abortion and assisted suicide. And Jesus rose. Christ is risen. His forgiveness prevails. His grace reigns. His Word and His ways work. His good and gracious will comes to pass. If wretches like me and you can be saved, if helplessly dependent creatures such as us are worth having, then any and every genetic member of our race has sacred significance.
We have now new opportunities to declare this truth with courage and demonstrate it with compassion to the nation as well as to the neighbors right in front of us. The Lord our God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone but desires that all should be saved and come to know His name, His love, and His kingdom. Even as we grieve, let us not respond with hostility but with steadfast gentleness and respect. Let us rejoice to resolve ourselves toward finding motivation, getting education, taking action, and sharing it in our every moment and every movement. And let us not doubt that the Father Almighty will change hearts and save lives; only let us watch and pray that He would invite us to witness and participate in this miraculous work.
The Rev. Michael Salemink is executive director of Lutherans For Life.
Diapers. Tiny socks. Gently used strollers. See how one congregation is caring for moms, babies and families in need—in both body and soul—through a program called Swaddling Clothes.
Erin Bode sings the truth of God’s perspective in Christ. He sees with eyes of life. Stories flow from each of us, brimming with life. Click here to watch Erin share these stories through words and music, creating intimacy with her audience and communicating a “hope that’s alive and a faith that will carry [us] all the way home.”
“When you know the names and faces of the families that these diapers will be given to, when you know their struggles and challenges, it reminds you of how God loves us individually, how Christ’s salvation is a gift that is given to us individually too.” – Katie Fiene, director, Swaddling Clothes
Want to read more about the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty? Click here for more resources.