June 24, 2010

On the church year calendar, today is set aside to remember John the Baptist. Dr. Lamb, in his June Sponsor Letter, had some great comments related to this day: 

June 24 is the Nativity of John the Baptist. John’s nativity followed the course of most Jewish births at the time I suppose. The age of his parents, however, indicated that his conception was miraculous. Not miraculous like Jesus who had no earthly father, but miraculous because both Elizabeth and Zechariah were “advanced in years” and Elizabeth was barren (Luke 1:7). Thus, friends and relatives, recognizing God’s hand in all of this, buzzed about John’s future. “What then will this child be?” (1:66)

Zechariah knew. Through the power of the Holy Spirit he prophesied, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways” (1:76). John knew. The Holy Spirit filled him too, “even from his mother’s womb” (1:15). At the very least, he knew when Jesus was present. At six months old, he “leaped for joy” (1:44) in his mother’s womb when the dot-sized embryo that was Jesus showed up in Mary’s womb. Babies as old as John leap frequently in wombs. But John does so with the very human emotion of joy.

We can learn from this embryo to fetus encounter. The Nativity of John the Baptist teaches us of the humanity and personhood of the unborn. I find it difficult to apply words like “glob of cells” or “non-sentient being” to the Spirit-filled, joyful, and leaping-in-the-presence-of-his-Savior John. Such things happen only to a fully human person.

The Nativity of John the Baptist gives affirmation to the science of human embryology and fetal development. Unborn babies feel pain and respond to touch and light and sound. They leap and kick and swim and walk. They suck their thumbs, take naps, and “go potty.” They recognize their mother’s voice and daddy’s too if he talks to them. They love classical music, but good luck getting a teen to admit to this!

Philosophers, politicians, movie stars, judges, and sometimes theologians come up with all kinds of illogic, verbiage, sob stories, rulings, and heresy trying to minimize or deny the humanity and personhood of the unborn. But the basics of biology and the Bible bests them every time. When you celebrate the Nativity of John the Baptist, you not only celebrate the birth of the way-preparer, you affirm life and humanness and personhood.

And that’s not such a bad way to describe LFL and what you support with your monthly gifts. We affirm life and humanness and personhood regardless of size or location or stage of development or condition of health. We strive to energize and equip individuals, educators, pastors, and congregations to do the same. We do so based on the Word of God, centered in the cross of Christ, and flowing from our love for Him and the humanity He has redeemed.

Thank you for being part of this unique life-affirming ministry. No other For Life organization equips Lutherans to connect the life-affirming and life-changing message of the Gospel to the life issues as does LFL. You help change hearts and minds. You help change lives. You help save lives. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

To support Lutherans For Life with your gift click here–and find other great ways to help too!