Life Thoughts in the Church Year

Life Thoughts in the Church Year are designed to help pastors and congregations see the church year through the lens of the sanctity of human life. Life Thoughts are based on the appointed readings from Lutheran Service Book using the Three-Year Lectionary.

Also available:

Life Thoughts in the Church Year – One-Year Lectionary (Word)

Life Thoughts in the Church Year – One-Year Lectionary (PDF)    

Audio: LifeMoments from Lutherans For Life and KFUO Radio

Life Thoughts in the Church Year – Three-Year Lectionary:

May 19 – Pentecost – The Holy Spirit means to make a dwelling place of every human body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The Scriptures explicitly apply this mission to old and young, male or female (Acts 2:17), and even the unborn (Psalm 139:13). We have the invitation and commission to proclaim this prophetic message to a culture that beholds some neighbors as lifeless bones (Ezekiel 37:2-3). Let His precious breath of life (Genesis 2:7) inspire us all!

May 26 – Holy Trinity – The truth of Father, Son, and Spirit proves that God loves relationship, family, and community. He gives these blessings no matter how young or old (John 3:4-5), even inhabiting the womb or entering the tomb. The One who creates, redeems, and calls every human being reigns as Lord over life and death (Acts 2:36). Abortion and assisted suicide are idolatrous, and Jesus has come to save from it (John 3:17).

June 2 – Pentecost II (Proper 4B) – Abortion and euthanasia aim to avoid disabilities by eliminating the persons who have them. The Christian community, on the other hand, regards persons with disabilities as reasons for rejoicing. Even the most fragile human bodies testify to the goodness of the God who created and sustains them (2 Corinthians 4:7-11). Let us declare and demonstrate how the life of Jesus manifests in every neighbor!

June 9 – Pentecost III (Proper 5B) – We believe Almighty God creates human beings in His own image, and so we also speak (2 Corinthians 4:13) against using death as a solution. We believe He redeems each one through His beloved Son, and so we also speak it despite political opposition or popular opinion. We believe He calls them all by His very Spirit, and so we also speak the sanctity of every human life!

June 16 – Pentecost IV (Proper 6B)/Father’s Day – Fathers embody how much difference the little things make. What seems just a personal choice at first quickly affects everyone around with its repercussions. The devil uses privacy and independence as deceptions. But salvation also only starts small (Mark 4:30-32). An embryo soon grows into the Savior of the universe, and one word spoken in courage and compassion changes untold hearts and saves countless lives.

June 23 – Pentecost V (Proper 7B) – “Widen your hearts,” the Apostle exhorts his Corinthian companions (2 Corinthians 6:13). He has just instructed them how God’s grace prevails to make life worthwhile without regard to anyone’s size, skills, or circumstances. Doesn’t His love expand our imaginations and affections to receive every human life as a gift and privilege? Won’t our voices offer the same opportunities to neighbors in surprise pregnancy and terminal diagnosis?

June 30 – Pentecost VI (Proper 8B) – “Silence.” “Dust.” “Strikes.” “Insults.” “Grief.” Lamentations knows right where it hurts. And this Word of the Lord gives us a God who comforts just how each needs: “steadfast love,” “mercies,” “faithfulness,” “salvation,” “compassion,” and “abundance.” Let us diagnose abortion by naming it sinfulness, so that we may directly dispense the healing that the hearts it has broken long for.

July 7 – Pentecost VII (Proper 9B) – Surprise pregnancy and terminal diagnosis confront us with our own weakness. It even leads some to exclude embryos or incapacitated persons from humankind and execute them because of their weakness. Almighty God promises, “My power is made perfect precisely in your weaknesses.” His grace radiates in human frailty, and the blessings He brings in every life more than make up for what we cannot.

July 14 – Pentecost VIII (Proper 10B) – Choice does matter when it comes to surprise pregnancies and terminal diagnoses. But it is the Heavenly Father’s choice that makes the difference (Ephesians 1:4-5). He summoned every life even before our circumstances, and He sustains each one even when we don’t find the circumstances ideal. Likewise, the Lord God’s delight for adoption invites us to advocate and engage in welcoming orphans.

July 21 – Pentecost IX (Proper 11B) – The world wants to discriminate between lives it finds worthy and ones it regards as undeserving. The coming of Christ Jesus has brought about something better – reconciliation that has dissolved all division and abolished hostility in God’s forgiveness and fellowship (Ephesians 2:14-17). His kingdom leaves neither need nor room for discounting anyone because of shade, shape, sex, age, income, education, or residence.

July 28 – Pentecost X (Proper 12B) – Fatherhood embodies the gift and the work of God Himself (Ephesians 3:15). In bringing forth life from their very bodies, our Heavenly Father makes men into His instruments and agents. He expects a strong love from them because He has endowed them with His own. Let us encourage them to protect their children even when inconvenient and provide for mothers even if difficult.

August 4 – Pentecost XI (Proper 13B) – Abortion and euthanasia require twisting words and redefining terms. With craftiness and deceit (Ephesians 4:14) they do not only protest laws and beliefs but ultimately grumble against God (Exodus 16:8). Jesus the Savior instead offers the truth and love that every life is His gift (John 6:33). And He enthusiastically invites Christian citizens to share His joy by speaking and showing it.

August 11 – Pentecost XII (Proper 14B) – Elijah the prophet once considered his life not worth the living. In love the Lord God did not affirm his autonomy but set about to convince him otherwise (1 Kings 19:4-5). Since Jesus imparts also unto us the relief of entrusting all things to our Almighty Maker (John 6:38), couldn’t our sanctity-of-life advocacy extend the same privileges to anxious and endangered neighbors?

August 18 – Pentecost XIII (Proper 15B) – The Word of the Lord quite clearly declares, “Do not become partners with the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6-7). It does not allow the luxury of concluding, “I wouldn’t abort, but I won’t tell anyone else what to do.” Our God and Father has commissioned us to expose the works of darkness and not to accommodate or compromise. Indeed, we get to displace these evils with the words of eternal life (John 6:68)!

August 25 – Pentecost XIV (Proper 16B) – The Gospel of Jesus Christ liberates us from living for ourselves alone. We reside in the hands of Almighty God like clay and potter (Isaiah 29:16). So we don’t have to settle for “my body, my choice.” Instead, we get to benefit from Him deciding life and death on our behalf. May our marriages and parenting replicate the magnificent way Christ and Church abandon themselves to one another (Ephesians 5:22-23).

September 1 – Pentecost XV (Proper 17B) – The Lord Jesus insists that visible qualities like age, appearance, and ability do not subtract value from life or impart worth to it (Mark 7:18-23). Rather, invisible sinfulness disqualifies us all from both bodily rights and spiritual privileges. But invisible forgiveness—and God’s grace in creating, redeeming, and calling—delivers sanctity to every member of our race. May this truth proceed forth from our hearts and out of our lips!

September 8 – Pentecost XVI (Proper 18B) – Almighty God makes the Prophet Isaiah solemnly proclaim, “Behold, your God will come … He will come and save” (Isaiah 35:4). Jesus demonstrates its fulfillment when He does not cast aside but cares for the burdened body of a neighbor with impairments (Mark 7:32-35). So why should we hold our tongues any longer when we could be dispensing the same hope to those facing surprise pregnancy or terminal diagnosis?

September 15 – Pentecost XVII (Proper 19B) – Promoting or even permitting abortion and physician-assisted suicide condemns precious human beings who are made in the likeness of God (James 3:9). Thanks be to God that in the good news of receiving every neighbor as gift and privilege, the Lord has given us a tongue to sustain with a word the one who is weary (Isaiah 50:4)!

September 22 – Pentecost XVIII (Proper 20B) – In Mark 9:36-37, Jesus explicitly instructs us to receive children as His own precious treasures. Sometimes this does indeed involve difficulty, but our God enlists both the Prophet Jeremiah (11:20) and the apostle James (4:7) to encourage us in resisting selfish ambition and committing this cause to the Lord. He will sustain the Gospel-motivated voice For Life until it succeeds!

September 29 – Pentecost XIX (Proper 21B) – The God of the Gospel leaves no one alone. So the Christian fellowship does not ignore or avoid its members in distress. We fetch cups of cold water for each other (Mark 9:41). We absolve and intercede for one another (James 5:14-16). We assist in preserving surprise pregnancies instead of abandoning them to abortion. And we serve in terminal diagnoses instead of dismissing them to assisted suicide.