Newsletter: January 13, 2016

Hello Church Family,

This Sunday is Sanctity of Life Sunday. If you are like me, although I have been in and around Southern Baptist churches my entire life, I had not heard of this day until a couple of years ago. So, to give you a little background about the history of the observation of this day, I will tell you what I have found…from the Internet no less.

On January 16, 1984, former president Ronald Reagan designated January 22, 1984 as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. He did this in connection with the 11th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling wherein women were granted access to abortion. He later signified that the third Sunday of every year should be observed in this way. Since Reagan, some presidents have issued the observance of this day while others have not.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s statement on the sanctity of life is as follows: “Procreation is a gift from God, a precious trust reserved for marriage. At the moment of conception, a new being enters the universe, a human being, a being created in God’s image. This human being deserves our protection, whatever the circumstances of conception.” Since the official designation of this day (to my knowledge), the SBC has encouraged churches to observe this day—regardless of whether it was nationally recognized that year by the current president.

Now, in one sense it is a little strange to have one Sunday designated as “Sanctity of Life Sunday” in the same way that celebrating Christ’s resurrection only one Sunday every year would be ludicrous. The very fact that we gather corporately on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, is meant to signify and remind us that Christ was raised on the first day of the week. Furthermore, as Christians, the only way that we are enabled to walk in grace and hope each day is in light of what Christ’s resurrection secured for us. So, in a similar way, as our study thus far through the book of Genesis has shown, we ought to honor life every day because we, as Christians, know who first gave and now continues to give life. Furthermore, we know that all humanity is created in the image of God for the ultimate purpose of knowing Him and representing and mirroring Him to the rest of creation.

To sum up, my purpose in giving this brief history is in no way to make a political statement. This can be a divisive issue, but it ought not be so. We honor, cherish, celebrate, and protect life not because it is easy or culturally acceptable or because of our political affiliations, but because God has ordained it, given it, and designed it. So let us join together as a church and fight for the end of abortion—as well as all other degradations of life, like racism and euthanasia—through prayer and living in such a way that our great God and Savior is clearly revealed through our intentions, thoughts, words, and actions. There is coming a Day when Christ will return, bringing with Him the realization of the defeat of death and the judgment of all wrong, evil, and injustice. We long for His return. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Gentry