The Scripture clearly leads us to an understanding that life begins at conception and that the Lord Himself places children in the wombs of their mothers. David believed and declared that it was the Lord who created his inward parts and formed him in his mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13). The Lord reminded Jeremiah that His call on Jeremiah’s life existed even before He formed Jeremiah in the womb (Jer. 1:5).
When Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, the child in Elizabeth’s womb “leaped for joy” at the sound of Mary’s voice. John the Baptist was the child in Elizabeth’s womb, and he was leaping for joy at the presence of his Lord, Jesus the Christ, who was in Mary’s womb. He leaped with joy inside the womb just as he would outside the womb. To put it plainly, he was already a person.
This January, many will celebrate Sanctity of Human Life month. Many churches will have a special Sunday when they will talk about the importance and privilege of adoption. They might address other life issues, such as human slave trafficking around the world, and many will also talk about abortion.
Abortion is one of the most tragic realities in our society today. According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 50 million legally induced abortions have been performed in the United States since 1973. More than 1.2 billion have been performed worldwide.
In your church, people have been affected by abortion. Some studies say that 5.6 million evangelical Christian women have had an abortion. That means 1 out of 6 women you look at on a Sunday morning have been through this experience. Many are plagued with pain and regret and desperately need the all-encompassing forgiveness of the Lord applied to their hearts.
Sanctity of Human Life month is an opportunity for pastors not only to declare God as the sovereign giver of life but also to point people to God’s grace, to bring liberation to those who are living with painful secrets from which to be freed, and to invite those with painful pasts to be used by the Lord to bring healing to others.
The recent film October Baby addresses many of these issues. It’s the story of a 19-year-old woman named Hannah who discovers through an illness that she is adopted. As she begins to learn more about her past, she discovers that she was not only adopted but that she was the survivor of a failed abortion attempt. The film explores many facets of adoption and abortion, but really, it’s a gut-wrenching film about the power of forgiveness.
If you would like to use the film as a tool to minister to the people in your church and community, check out this video from Thom Rainer about October Baby.