Jesus Christ is our Deliverer: He has broken our slavery to self-obsession by his cross, and we can now truly love others!
This Week's Pastor to People
As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me (Matthew 25:40).
On this Sanctity of Life Sunday, I present a forceful excerpt about human dignity from Onward, a book by Russell Moore. Moore, who spoke last fall at Stone Hill’s TGC Conference, is a journalist and ethicist.
On a Sunday this January I will probably be preaching somewhere on “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.” Here’s a confession: I hate it.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to preach the Bible. And I love to talk about the image of God and the protection of all human life. I hate this Sunday not because of what we have to say, but that we have to say it at all. The idea of aborting an unborn child or abusing a born child or starving an elderly person or torturing an enemy combatant or screaming at an immigrant family, these ought all to be so self-evidently wrong that a “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday” ought to be as unnecessary as a “Reality of Gravity Sunday.”
Several years ago, I heard a lecturer talking about ministries of mercy to the poor and vulnerable. The crowd seemed to be in agreement with the lecturer because, as one respondent put it, social ministries give us the opportunity to share the gospel. The lecturer agreed, but then he talked about a group home filled with cognitively disabled children. This man’s church went every day to brush the hair of these children, to sing to them, and sometimes just to sit quietly and hold their hands. “They can’t hear or respond to the gospel,” he said. “So is our ministry to them worth it?”
Of course it is. This ministry is “worth it” for the same reason it was “worth it” for Jesus’ friends to wash and anoint his body after his crucifixion. It was honoring him, loving him, recognizing him. He tells us when we stand with the poor, the unborn, the orphaned, the widowed, the diseased, the abandoned, the disabled, the poor, the elderly, we are standing with the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40). And when we care for them, Jesus tells us, we will recognize him there, too.