Sanctity, Dignity, and Value
I can think of very few things that overwhelm my mind like the concept ofImago Dei — the image of God. This is the theological doctrine in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam which asserts that human beings are created in God’s image and therefore have inherent value independent of their utility or function. It would seem that this understanding is so basic that it would permeate every aspect of our existence. At the heart of it, this truth is the origin of our value, our meaning, our purpose, our life path.
When anything happens to diminish or challenge this most basic truth, chaos results. The world is turned upside down. Everything begins to unravel. I have seen this occur during my lifetime. Some will point to the elimination of prayer in our schools as the critical event. Others might suggest the sexual revolution. For me, the greatest hit to our dignity came with the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973. It seems that, at that moment, America decided life was no longer sacred, that we humans were no longer really characterized by Imago Dei.
January 22, 2013, marks the 40th anniversary of that decision. It seems to me, my colleagues, that you have no choice but address this issue next weekend and to remind your people that, indeed, we are created in God’s image and that we are sacred and creatures of value and dignity. These cannot be removed simply because men decide reject them.
I want to share with you an excerpt from a special Web site created to remind us of this anniversary, how it has impacted us all, and how we can lead our churches. The link to the site is http://www.rememberingroe.com/.
Remembering Roe is an opportunity for our nation to come together to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the insidious U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
As we mourn the lives destroyed by Roe, YOU are invited to join together in solidarity on January 22, 2013, for a national day of prayer and fasting to end the violence of abortion. From 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST, you can pray with the National Pro-Life Religious Council* in a very special “hour of prayer” webcast.
Yes, make a visible sign of prayer by going to your knees wherever you are at 3:00 pm, Tuesday, January 22, 2013. For those who already pray to end abortion, go to your face! That’s right, wherever you are, lie down at 3:00 pm, January 22. For many pro-life advocates who have been mourning the Court’s decision on the anniversary of Roe for many years, that will mean lying face down on the steps of your statehouse.
Please sign up today to show your commitment to join with the Body of Christ in prayer as we go to our knees together to end abortion.
Remembering Roe is also an opportunity to tell others where you were when you first heard about Roe v. Wade, and to share about memories from other Roeanniversaries.
Designed to be a unifying memorial to honor life, this site is also a place forposting your prayers and sharing how you plan to Remember Roe on January 22, 2013.
Fasting, along with prayer, is the most powerful armament in the spiritual battle that now rages over the future of our country, and the future of humanity.
Consuming only bread and water is the recommended fast for this particular day of remembrance, although special dietary needs always take precedence. In which case, you are free to determine other things to deny yourself.
*The National Pro-life Religious Council is a Christian coalition which acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and is called to affirm and witness to the Biblical standard of the value, dignity, and sanctity of human life.
Whether or not you choose to join in with this effort to remember the court decision that stripped unborn babies of their God-given dignity, sanctity, and value, please do something special. Honor the millions of innocent lives that have been lost over the past 40 years.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).