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No Longer Silent

Luke 4:14-21

Pastor James F. Wright

Third Sunday After Epiphany - Life Sunday
St John Lutheran Church  
Champaign, IL

Sun, Jan 21, 2001 

Jesus went back to his hometown of Nazareth. Went to synagogue, read, preached. Up to that point it was rumored. When he preached it changed into fact. He went on record as the promised messiah. "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. I'm the one." There was no going back from there. He had to continue preaching until he accomplished what he came for.

If only we Christians would follow the Lord's example. God has given us a wonderful message to proclaim, one that means the difference between life and death for millions. So often we are silent.

Recently I received a letter from Rev. James Lamb, the national director of Lutherans for Life. Lamb reminded me that the Bible says we should submit to the governing authorities, but there are crucial times when God's people dare not remain silent concerning what the government is doing.

Esther and Mordecai faced such a time in Persia when all Jews were to be killed. Early Christians faced such a time in Rome when they were being executed for the faith. Lutheran Pastors faced such a time in Nazi Germany.

We are in a time when the devaluing of human life has reached extremes.

According to Dr. Lamb, the last 28 years we have destroyed over 40 million preborn children who were created by God and for whom Jesus Christ died.

The FDA recently added RU-486 to the pharmacist's shelves. Promoted as being more private and less invasive for women, it is a drug that will kill a child and can traumatize women as the abortion will most likely take place at home.

Abortion not only destroys babies. Women who have abortions are four times more likely to engage in drug and alcohol abuse. They have a harder time in good relationships with men, have higher divorce rates, are more likely to need psychological counseling. Roughly half of these women report having suicidal thoughts, with over 1 in 5 reporting having attempted suicide.

The Supreme Court recently struck down a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortion. I can't describe what a partial birth abortion is here in front of the children, but if we can't tell the children about it is clearly wrong.

It is reported that one hospital in our state has performed live birth abortions. Thank goodness the US House of Representatives passed a bill stating that babies born live deserve full protection under the law. But why would such a law even be necessary?

The church of Jesus Christ should be speaking out against such evil. For the most part, we are complacent. I ask myself, have I as a minister of God's word always spoken what I should? How many abortion cases am I partly responsible for because I did not properly teach my people? Jesus has come into the world to free the captives, but we are afraid to be freed. It's safer to live in darkness while the Lord is away. It's safer to hide than to come out in the light.

We are so thankful to the Lord for our healing and forgiveness. . . but we deny others the chance to receive forgiveness when we remain silent about sin.

For example, the woman who has taken he child's life in an abortion clinic should not be told what she has done that it was nothing. She should know what she did was wrong, sinful. She should be led to the Cross of Jesus Christ to be pardoned of her offense. There Jesus Sinners Doth Receive. In the cross she is forgiven, healed, and restored.

But if we remain silent, not wishing to cause any disturbance, she will carry her sins to the grave and perish eternally for them. That is a shame when the forgiveness of Jesus is just a conversation away.

Jesus preached to his hometown neighbors and relatives that he was the messiah sent to free the captives and give sight to the blind. We are his people called to speak the same message. We Christians have not spoken out. We repent. God forgives us. But we can be silent no more.

What can we do?

Pray that God will use you to apply the gospel of Jesus to the life issue in your interaction with others.

Teach your children and grandchildren how precious they are, and that all people are precious to God even before they are born. Teach them what chastity is and how this glorifies God.

Learn about creation and recognize God as the creator of human life and the one to whom it belongs.

Reach out to women who have been hurt by abortion and lead them to know the forgiveness God offers in Jesus.

Get involved in Lutherans for Life, local Caring Pregnancy centers, or other groups that offer God's love and hope.

At the entrance to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum there is a quotation carved in granite that reads: We who did not go their way owe them this: We must make sure that their deaths have posthumous meaning. We must make sure that from now until the end of days all human kind stares this evil in the face. . . Only then can we be sure that it will never arise again. Ronald Reagan.

The church failed to deal with the evil of the Nazi Holocaust in the way that it could. However, today the Church still has the chance to deal with the evil of abortion's holocaust. We can no long be silent. With the gospel of Jesus, we have what it takes to speak out in the name of God. God grant you the words and ability to preach good news to the poor when the time comes.

Copyright 1998-2011 James F. Wright. All rights reserved.

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