SANCTITY OF LIFE SUNDAY SERMON

JANUARY 17, 2021

INTRODUCTION

A man was at the doctor's office for his annual checkup. As part of the exam, the doctor looked in his eyes. Noticing how serious his astigmatism was, he said half-jokingly to him: "You're about blind, man. You better get your prescription for your glasses checked on to make sure it's up-to-date." So he made an appointment with his ophthalmologist. The doctor had him sit in the chair, take off his glasses and read the chart at the end of the room. His eyesight really was bad, but if you've ever been to the eye doctor and read the chart a few times, you know that you can squint and kind of fake your way thru at least part of the test.

The doctor asked him, "Can you read the top letter?" "Yes, it's an 'A.” "Can you read the next row down?" "Yes, it says, 'CZY.'" "Can you read the next row?" "Yes, I think it reads, 'RNSCV.'" "What about the next row?" "I think it reads, 'JMBOS'." Finally the doctor said, "Ok, you can put your glasses on." "How'd I do, doc?" he asked the doctor. "Pretty good except for the fact that this chart contains numbers, not letters."

The way we see or don't see life shapes our life. How you see and define life determines your destiny. Your perspective on life will determine how you invest your time, spend your money, use your talents, and nurture your relationships.

I think one of the best ways to get to know other people and begin to understand what makes them tick, is to ask them, "How do you see your life?" You'll discover that there are as many answers to that question as there are people to answer it.

Today we celebrate the Sanctity of Life Sunday. God has a lot to say about life. 1 Timothy 6:13 says this about life: I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession…” “WHO GIVES LIFE.” It’s all built around these three words. Built around Zoe-like the girl’s name or zoology. You go to the zoo to see living things.

When we use this word to talk about humans, we mean a decision about leaving someone alive. But whenever it means to give life, God is the subject, the doer. “WHO GIVES LIFE.” Only God can give life. Only God has the power of life in Himself.

 PART ONE

That’s the problem. We have forgotten we are made. Made by God. We always connect this idea with creation as a whole. But don’t go past the idea of creation too fast. Psalm 100:3 says this: Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he, who made us, and we are his.

We have tossed aside God, who makes us alive, and we have given that power to us instead. We rebel against our heavenly Father when we sit down and try to calculate the cost of raising a child. It tells others that God may give life but not daily bread. We rebel against God when we see a human body as simply something to be used or discarded. We rebel against God when we worry about tomorrow, as if God doesn’t control our days.

When we don’t go to Him in prayer we are saying: “He has not made me, but I make myself.” Every bite of food, every day that ends without confession and thanksgiving, every thought of greed, gossip, revenge, or lust, every lie, we begin to believe that we make ourselves. We can be God.

PART TWO

The problem is not abortion. Abortion is the symptom of the problem you and I have. We have lost God as our maker. We have forgotten that we ARE made, we stand as a receiver of His life, under His gracious gifts. The culture of death is within us all.

Into this culture of death, into a world of death, steps Jesus. In Him was life. In John 1:4 he says: “In him was life.” In the original language it sounds like this: “That which has come to pass in Him was life.” What does that mean? It means that for God, life is not a static thing. It’s not a thing at all, something we can hold onto and own. For God it is an activity. Life is a verb, an action, like love.

PART THREE

The things that have come to pass in Jesus are His giving. Becoming a fetus in Mary’s womb; He becomes a crying infant, cold and hungry, He becomes a desert wanderer, starving and tormented by demons, He becomes the subject of slander and spitting, He is whipped and pierced, He is laid in the tomb. He loved us to the end. That’s where life is found: in the crucified Jesus.

Not everyone is a pastor, and a pastor is not a superior Christian to others. Who do you say Jesus is? That’s your confession. Are you one of His disciples? That’s your confession. Today we don’t confess that we are against abortion. We are but that’s not quite it. We don’t confess that we are pro-life. We are, but that’s not quite it. Today we confess that God gives life to all things. God makes, and we ARE made. He makes life, and we leave alive.

PART FOUR

We, like the Hebrew midwives of long ago, cannot stand by when death is upon us. We have an obligation to the victims of society. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said this: “It is not enough to bandage the wounds of those crushed by the wheel of injustice-we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

As we stand we do as confessors. We confess that we are sinners, great sinners, with the culture of death flowing in our veins and pulsing through our minds. And we confess that the life we need is found only in Jesus. Amen.



 

 

 

 

 

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