God’s Gift of Life

by Rev. Matthew C. Harrison

The lie is the death of man, his temporal and his eternal death. The lie kills nations. The most powerful nations of the world have been laid waste because of their lies. History knows of no more unsettling sight than the judgment rendered upon the people of an advanced culture who have rejected the truth and are swallowed upon in a sea of lies. Where this happens, as in the case of declining pagan antiquity, religion and law, poetry and philosophy, life in marriage and family, in the state and societyin short, one sphere of life after another falls sacrifice to the power and curse of the lie. Where man can no longer bear the truth, he cannot live without the lie. Where man denies that he and others are dying, the terrible dissolution [of his culture] is held up as a glorious ascent, and decline is viewed as an advance, the likes of which has never been experienced.”

Hermann Sasse, “Union and Confession” in The Lonely Way, Volume 1 (Concordia Publishing House: 2001), 266.

Like few other conservative Lutherans in Germany in 1933, Hermann Sasse recognized in Nazism the mystery of evil mentioned by St. Paul. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

The world largely ignored the murder of six million human beings by the Nazis, whom the latter regarded as a “decadent” race, ignored at least until the prison camps were opened, and photos and films were released to a world aghast.

Sadly, the aged Luther’s vitriolic attacks on the Jews for not accepting the Gospel (not on racial grounds, as in the case of the Nazis) only added anti-Semitic fuel to the horrid fire.

Forty years after Roe v. Wade, we — the soldiers and very liberators of Germany from the darkness of the Third Reich — have largely ignored and continue to ignore the deaths of some 50,000,000 innocent unborn babies in “the land of the free,” where we are allegedly guaranteed “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

By the love of God the Father, who chose a young woman to carry out His plan of salvation, a young woman who knew what it is to be confused by an unplanned pregnancy; by the grace of Christ, who while still in the womb was greeted by the “leaping,” yes, “rejoicing” John the Baptizer, himself unborn (Luke 1:44); by the strength of Him who healed every disease and cared for every life He encountered (Mark 1:34); by the mercy of God the Father who sent His Son, mercy incarnate for all (Luke 1:78); by the knowledge of our eternal God and Lord who knows and loves every child formed in the womb (Jer. 1:5; John 3:16); empowered by the Spirit of life who gives me life (Job 33:4; Rom. 8:10), I–a sinner no better than the next (1 Tim. 1:15)—shall speak (Jer. 20:9). I shall intervene (Luke 10:33). I shall love all and treasure God’s gift of life, womb to tomb (1 Tim. 6:18). For Jesus experienced it all, sanctified it all and redeems it all (Gal. 3:13). He has redeemed me that I may no longer live for myself (1 John 4:9; 1 Pet. 4:2).

“Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them” (Acts 14:15).

For the sake of LIFE,

Pastor Matthew Harrison
“Let’s go!” Mark 1:38
e-mail: president@lcms.org
Web page: www.lcms.org/president

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