Every January, around the time of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Christians focus on standing for life on Sanctity of Life Sunday.
The focus is on ending abortion as we know it in America today, and I believe that this is a very Biblical and worthy cause. Millions of lives have been lost because of the United States government allowing, endorsing, and financing the evils of the abortion industry through organizations such as Planned Parenthood. There are many proponents of abortion that assert the government doesn't fund any abortions through the Hyde Amendment, but you can read this article for yourself. They make a pretty compelling case that our tax dollars do inevitably go to fund abortions.
Regardless of the policy disputes, I think it is important that Christians look at this issue through a Biblical lens. The overall story of redemption in the Bible has a beginning with the creation of the World and the creation of Mankind. The Genesis narrative gives light to how everything came into existence, including us. I am reminded of this every time I officiate a funeral. When we go to the interment at the graveside I usually begin our time by saying, "The Bible tells us from the dust of the earth we were made and to the dust of the earth we are to return." Of course, for believers in Jesus we know that their soul is at home in Heaven with God.
But there is also something more to the creation story of man than just dust. God breathed life into the nostrils of man. Imagine that for a moment. The sovereign Creator of the Universe created life with the very breath that flowed from His mouth.
That's why the issue of life is so important for Christians. God is the giver and taker of life as Job has told us. And for that, blessed be the name of the Lord. What a wonderful gift God has given us. If we view life as a gift, there are a few implications to this worldview:
1. If life is a gift then there is a giver
Again, this is clear in the Genesis account. Life does not come from us. The dust from which we came was formed by God. The oceans, mountains, birds and everything in between were also formed by God. However, the soul that is housed in our bodies was given to us so that we may be image bearers of Him. This gift did not come from ourselves. That's important because that means we cannot determine what should happen to this gift.
2. If life is a gift then it should be cherished and protected
We believe that all of life is a gift. The Bible speaks of the sanctity of life at every stage. God used people who are not yet born (John leaped for joy in the womb of Elizabeth), and He used those that are very old in age. At every turn, Jesus solidified this belief when he showed mercy and compassion to "least among us." So a stand for life means standing against abortion, but it also means being a consistent advocate for every stage of life, no matter the issue at hand.
3. If life is a gift then we should be thankful for it
No doubt, there is tragedy that finds its way into every life. Life is hard at times, and there are many struggles that go along with that. Even the beginning of life is a struggle. We come into this world crying and gasping for air. However, there is so much to life that is beautiful. Love, our family, seeing our children grow up, watching the beauty of creation. All of these things are visible reminders of just how much we have to be thankful for in this life.
I remember the moment my children were born. There was a sense of nervous energy that perpetuated every step of that day. However, when they finally made their entrance into this world, and I held them for the first time, I remember exhaling what felt like the largest breath of air I have ever held in my lungs. It was in that moment that I just stood amazed, thanking God for all He had done in giving the gift of life once again.
On average 251 babies are born into this world every minute. There's a lot of reasons to be thankful to God as the giver of the gift of life.