“His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
In this season Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is somewhat interesting that we celebrate the birth, but that is not when Christ entered the world is it? Moving beyond the John 1:1 metaphysical (Jesus was here at the Creation), let us speak of the human being Jesus. The human being Jesus was, quite clearly from this passage, was given to Mary prior to his birth.
Too often I find people on the pro-death (choice they prefer) making arguments supporting the extermination of unborn babies. The basis of such arguments vary somewhat, but not greatly. A common argument that I see today is that I, as a man, cannot possibly fathom what it is like to carry a child and, given certain grave circumstances (again, which I cannot understand), should support the “right” of a woman to kill the thing inside of her to save her from a suffering (that I cannot understand).
In the end, I do confess that I do not know what it is like to carry a child. I must also confess that I do not what it is like to become pregnant in the case of rape, or as a very poor young woman, or as a minority with a boyfriend who ditched me, or as a drug addict, etc. Finally, I confess that I do not know any amount of suffering that could drive me to extinguishing the life of someone who is completely innocent in a desperate attempt to somehow lessen my suffering. Make no mistake, this is exactly what the argument of abortion is: the innocent shall die to potentially relieve the suffering of the living.
This ties, unintentionally, into the story of Christ in two ways – the first that I will reveal now. It could be said that Christ died as an innocent to relieve the suffering of the living. In fact, I’ve heard this position taken to justify the act of abortion. Of course, there are stark contrasts in the abortion of the unborn and the death of Christ. I think the most obvious is that the action of killing Christ was not righteous, but sinful precisely because He was innocent.
The second way that this ties in is perhaps deeper. When Joseph found Mary pregnant we find no evidence of abortion ever being an option (and yes, abortion and filicide were common in that time). Joseph obviously assumes infidelity, but he does not chose to punish the child for this presumed misdeed. It’s a good thing too – because if Joseph kills Jesus in the womb, what then? In fact, if possible, would it be a greater sin to have killed Jesus in the womb or on the cross as an adult?
There is an important distinction and one of them is hidden in the first chapters of the Bible. In Gen 4:40 we find that Cain had struck able and killed him. God responds by saying “What have you done? Listen! The voice of your brother’s blood(s) cries out to me from the ground”. The Hebrew speaks of the blood(s) as a plurality – pointing to the murder or not only Abel, but all of his potential descendants. Abel had not yet had any children; just like every unborn baby ever killed…and that potential is the distinguishing factor.
We do not know whom we have killed, what they might have done, how they might have changed the world. When we end the life of a person in the womb, we end any chance for them to love, to be loved, to hold someone’s hand, to have their own children, to create, invent, and live life. Really, what greater abuse could there be on another?
As some of my readers and friends know, my mother was raped at 14. Not a month past 15 she had me. She has suffered greatly, she has taken many thorns and many arrows for my sake. Her circumstances and suffering are unfair and unholy…but I am forever grateful for them. I would never wish for my mother to suffer, though she continues to, and I would never wish for anyone to go through what she has gone through. Still, I cannot help but acknowledge that many of her sufferings were done on my behalf in an age where the world advocated a seemingly simpler solution; kill the baby.
The lie lies in the promise of a solution. An abortion for any of these so called “justified” reasons neither heals the individual nor rectifies the problem. My mother would argue that I brought her healing, that having me was the best thing to ever happen to her, and sadly, one of the few good things that ever happened to her. She’s not happy to have been raped, she’s not happy to have suffered, but she’s happy to have me and that is something that I hope all of you can understand. You don’t have to be a raped woman to understand the humanity in loving your child nor the inhumanity in killing it.
I hope and believe that we will one day look back at this black spot in our nation’s history, where 30,000,000 babies and all of their potential were destroyed and repent the same way we do regarding slavery. That we will one day look back and wonder how we ever could, in the nation that is a beacon for human rights, so carelessly destroy the lives of so many humans.
As we celebrate Christmas let us all recognize that we are celebrating the act of Him being born; something far too many will not be able to celebrate with us on this day.
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