Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. As expected, my pastor did not speak on the subject. Although I know him to be a man that values the sanctity of life, he has never given a full sermon on it. If I had to guess, I'd say the reason has something to do with politics. My church is what is referred to as a "mega-church" and, from what I understand, being such a large church does not come without difficulty behind the scenes; it's the world we live in. I don't envy the waters they must traverse. But I love my church and my pastor, so I'm going to help him out today.
The series we're discussing in church is about wiping the slate clean - very apropos for the new year. The theme is all about forgiveness: The forgiveness we've been given through Christ, forgiving ourselves and forgiving others. My pastor focused on the fact that tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and what that day means in the context of forgiveness. He spoke of redemptive remembrance, that we must forgive but that not forgetting is important lest mistakes be repeated. It was a great sermon. Keeping in mind today's focus, however, I believe he could've (and I wish he would've) taken the idea further.
Despite the enormous work Martin Luther King Jr. did to free African-Americans, black babies are being murdered at an alarming rate under the guise of freedom. Abortion is the number one killer of African-Americans. I believe The Radiance Foundation puts it best when they say, "The inhumanity of slavery has been replaced by the inhumanity of abortion." 79% of Planned Parenthood facilities are located in minority neighborhoods. This is to say nothing of the babies that are murdered because they are girls or would be born with a disability. As Christians we should never let the opportunity pass to speak out against the current holocaust in our own backyard. If anyone understood the importance of speaking up it was King: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Equally important to the children being murdered daily in abortion are the women being subjected to it; and this is where the forgiveness part comes in. As my pastor looked out into the sea of thousands of faces, statistically speaking, one in three of the women he saw have had or will have an abortion. 1 in 3. It's a heartbreaking statistic of which so many are unaware. And while these women sit in pews each Sunday completely open to the idea that they must forgive others, more often than not they reject the idea that God could ever forgive them the sin of abortion and they certainly don't forgive themselves. Don't take my word for it, visit the online memorial where women post love letters to the children they've lost in abortion. Women who've survived abortion suffer in silence. Those that lied to them about how it was their right to murder their child(ren), because babies aren't convenient, are expensive, ect., don't have to carry the burden post-abortive mothers carry for the rest of their lives. And many on the other side of the issue understand abortion is wrong, but (intended or not) often add to the tremendous guilt these women are living with. They are desperate for forgiveness and we, as Christians, should be helping them receive it.
Tomorrow, on MLK Day, we'll be called to a day of service. Keeping in the spirit of what King stood for, opportunity abounds to help save the unborn and to show love to the women suffering in silence all around us. Find a pregnancy center in your area and volunteer or donate. Pray for the untold millions affected by abortion. Shine a light into the darkness. And keep hope that someday we'll all experience the redemptive remembrance that the end of abortion will bring.