It's Christmas Time!!! A time of shopping and of gifts. A time for children and for toys. A time of laughter and of joy. A time for shepherds watching their flocks by night and angels announcing peace for all mankind. A time for wise men bringing their gifts to the newborn King and celebrating this new life. A time for a stable, a manger and a young virgin named Mary giving birth to the Christ child. What a time for joy and a season of love. A time for peace and celebrating life. A time of the year when we try and bring out the best in a fallen mankind.
But we know too well that there is a darker side to our times of joy -- times of sorrow. There are times when instead of the giving of life -- there is the taking of life. Rather than love for a newborn child being born -- there is death.
If it were of natural causes, as in the cases of miscarriage, there would be great grief and expression of sorrow at the loss of the life. But when it's planned, calculated, and all cleanly taken care of in a "Medical Clinic", even the grief is hard to identify and even harder to deal with. It's there, it's just not dealt with. To admit that there is grief is to admit that something terribly wrong has occurred, a tragedy has happened, and no one wants to deal with that reality.
Too many times I have had to try and pick up the pieces of broken lives, where after years of denial, they have finally come to the reality of what happened so long ago. These wounds were not healed over time. The sorrow, that had been kept deep inside and had not been expressed to anyone for years, now came gushing out with all the force of Niagara Falls and it left them emotionally drained, exhausted and sitting limp on the living room floor. There was no time of rejoicing, no time of peace, no love being demonstrated, only the expression of deep sorrow and eternal regret.
So what must we do to restore our time? The answers are many but let me offer only a few.
1. We must recognize the times from which we have come and in which we now live. When I was in High School in the 70's and studying my courses on embryology, I was taught that what was in the womb was a form of tissue. It passed through various stages of development and no one really knew at what point it became a life. Today, we know better, it's a life and we must continue to scream "It's a Life." But the times have changed and today the argument isn't about life it's about freedom (which abortion doesn't give) and tolerance and social progress toward a new society where individuals have freedom and the right to choose their own destiny in life. Who, in this politically correct world, would ever want to stand against the nobles of freedom, rights, individuality, tolerance and progress toward a new society (whatever that would be). It sounds so good -- but then so did the message of Hitler who sold the third Reich on the idea of social progress and a new society. Remember that he started with the physically and mentally handicapped before he convinced thousands of the need to exterminate the Jews. This progress toward a new society actually sounds to me like a socially refined version of the "free love" message of the sixties. Let's let everyone be able to freely express their love without assuming any responsibility for their actions. That's what has brought us to the point where we are today. But then again look who's calling for the reforms of society, those who accepted the ideals of the sixties.
2. We must recognize that time is of the essence. Today, time is seen as a precious commodity. We buy pagers and cell phones to save time while in the car. Our food is fast and microwaveable so we can save time. It seems we can always make more money, but we can't make more time. So we use our money to save us time. Many are finding that it is easier to ask for a person's money than it is their time. This is even more evident in the fight for life. With the passage of time there is more loss of life. That means we need to do what we can as quickly as we can. We need to devote our time and our money to the saving of lives. The apostle Paul says it best when he writes "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." (NASB)
3. Finally, we must recognize that there is a time for forgiveness. Let's not let the darkness overshadow the light. Remember that Jesus did come as a light in the darkness and the light of the world. He came to give life abundant to all who would forsake their sins, confess them to Him and believe that He is the one sent from the Father to give eternal life to all who believe(Jn 5:16-47). He is the ultimate answer to the times in which we live. He is the one who redeems and forgives and sets free and gives joy and peace and love. He is the one to whom the angels longed for and rejoiced at his birth. It is Jesus who was born, that now gives eternal life (Jn 10:10). He was the one that both lowly shepherds and stately kings came to worship. He was the one who fled to Egypt to escape Herod's rage when all the male children were killed. He is the one who is intimately aware of our times and is able to heal and to forgive!! We must not only continue to proclaim the gospel message, we must continue to demonstrate it in our offer of forgiveness to those who have been through the darkness of abortion.
In this season of Joy and giving to those who are less fortunate, let's not neglect to remember those who are the less fortunate of all -- those who through no choice of their own have lost their life. And let us pray that peace, love, joy and goodness can once again be restored to the heart and soul of our nation.
Rev Donald L Blasing
First Evangelical Free Church of Brimfield, IL 10/98