We Christians are on the cusp of celebrating our god's birth from the Virgin Mary. Yes, the second person of the Trinity took on human flesh in the womb of his mother to become one of us. Christians confess that in Jesus all things are made new and all life is sacred to be protected and nurtured whether in the womb or outside.
In his incarnation, Jesus was united to our human flesh, and never was Jesus less than fully human than while in the womb. This understanding of the incarnation leads Christians to proclaim the intrinsic worth of life from conception on. As Jesus tells us: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (Jn 10:10) and; "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (Jn 15:13). The fulfillment of these words is found on Good Friday but first, Jesus had to be born.
Our nation grieves at the murder of 26 people in Newtown, Connecticut, 20 of whom were innocent and defenseless little ones. As Christians look forward to the birth of God's son as an infant, we grieve that the lives of these children were snuffed out. And, with all, we cry, "Why?"
Answers are sought by professionals who look to: mental illness, absent fathers, violent video games, a drug culture and more. Supreme Court rulings kill people, as well - 53 million and counting. Will anyone look to Jan. 22, 1973, when the court legalized the killing of the innocent and defenseless in the womb? Will the professionals be able to detect a pattern?
When abortion was legalized many warned that such a ruling would desensitize us to the value of human life. If life is not sacred in the womb, what does that say about life outside the womb? In February 1997 at a National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Mother Teresa stated:
"... if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?"
"Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants."
Jesus sees the pattern. That is why he came into our world to save us from ourselves, which is to save us from our sins. That is why we hallow his birth on Christmas Day. Thirty-three years later Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross and subsequently gave up his spirit. Then he rose bodily from the grave on the third day. In repentance we have the forgiveness Jesus offers, which covers all sinners as well as you and me.
May Jesus comfort those who grieve in anguish with his mercy and the healing presence found in his word and holy sacraments. Through faith in Jesus we are comforted with the knowledge that there will be a resurrection and a new heaven and a new earth.
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (Rev 21:4).
Rev. Karl Weber
St. John LCMS, Ottertail, and St. Paul LCMS, Richville