As I prepare to make my way to Washington, D.C. this week to stand with thousands in honor of life I am reminded of why I celebrate life in the first place. What is the driving force behind your stance for life? Is it science, religion, experience, or just plain logic? I find my answer in each of these areas, but the ultimate driver of my stance is the Author of all life and His Word. I know that some do not see life this way, but for me it has to land here. I cherish life because of the One that created it. I cherish life because I have been cherished by the One. It is this realization that has me traveling to D.C. this week to stand with people from all walks of life, Christian or not, religious or not. I am motivated and moved to stand with all if they stand for life.

I am motivated because we, Christians, should be the leaders in this movement. If not us, who? Now, I know that there are others that boldly stand for life and cherish it, but why would Christians, who believe in an Author of life, not be driving this train? Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are great Christian organizations working to see abortion ended, but I am afraid that many filling up our church pews today are not seeking to get engaged and active in the pro-life movement. We need you, babies need you, and families need you! I would love to take this space today to outline why we are to be the champions for life…the drivers of this very important and much needed movement.

There are a number of texts in the Bible I could refer to when discussing life. As a matter of fact, I could write quite a bit about why we should stand for life without using a single text from the Bible, and may do that at a later date, but today’s post we are going to go full-on Christian. My goal here is to prove, well prove is not the right word, my goal is to encourage Christians to not simply give voice, but to be the voice for those that do not have one.

I want to start our discussion with Luke 1. Luke 1 is a great chapter on life. Here we learn about the conception of John the Baptist. Zechariah and Elizabeth are told that their dreams will be coming true. They, not expecting to have kids as Elizabeth is barren, are delighted to find out that the Lord is providing them with a wonderful son that will pave the way for Jesus, the Savior. It is truly amazing to see the love our God has for His people. I love the line that says, “He will make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” What a blessing for parents to hear.

As Luke 1 continues we are given a behind-the-scenes look at Mary hearing about the conception of Jesus. This is a great look at God’s love, but also at the obedience and willingness of God’s people. Mary accepts this gift with open arms as she is told that her womb will carry the Savior of the world. It is here that we also see Mary’s excitement in wanting to share her news with Elizabeth. I love verse 41 when Mary enters the room where Elizabeth is waiting, for it is here we are witnesses to Jesus’ first convert. Jesus enters the room via Mary’s womb and John the Baptist does cartwheels in his mom. I love this illustration. The Lord as a blob of cells, simple tissue, a product of conception, some might say, is inside of Mary and already changing the world. Notice the attention to detail here as babies are the focus. Babies nestled inside of their moms are already making an impact. This alone should drive us to cherish life.

This life-work is too important to take lightly. The abortion issue will be the defining issue of my generation. I know that some would disagree with me on this, but let’s look at some numbers. The United States of America averages around one million abortions every single year, roughly 56 million in this country since 1973, and 40 million abortions worldwide every single year. To put these numbers into perspective I think it is important to look at another interesting statistic. The combined number of military deaths in all of America’s wars—from the Revolutionary War to the second Iraq War—is 1.2 million. We lose almost that number of babies every single year in the United States – babies that have heartbeats, their own DNA, own blood-type, own fingerprint, and their own dreams.  These are not mere blobs.

We currently live in a society that pushes abortion on demand. We see this happening on the news, television shows, and in text books. This fact means we should not be shocked when life is devalued. I spent time discussing much of this lack of value in my last post. It, however, deserves to be restated.

This is a gospel issue for us. Christians must understand this. The Bible discusses this quite a bit, but I will highlight a few verses for you. Look at Psalm 127:3, Psalm 139:13, 15, and Psalm 22:10. These verses ooze with life. These verses should drive us to engage in the life debate. I love how Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), put it a few months back in his post concerning Christians and their involvement in the life debate: “The children torn apart in abortion facilities have no names, but God knows their names. They have no resting place but Jesus grants them rest. If we are called into the kingdom of a just Messiah, one who welcomes children, we should stand up and speak up for the vulnerable ones He loves. These children may be just another line item in the abortion industry’s profit ledger, but they share the humanity of our Lord Jesus—and we must plead for justice for them. It is time for the reborn to stand up for the unborn.”

Many will want you to believe that this is a political issue, women’s health issue, or simply an issue of choice. The life issue certainly has a place in these areas, but its genesis is not found here. Its genesis is found at our genesis. Life has been celebrated since the beginning of time when God created man and woman. It is here where we were given the gift of breath. It is here, Genesis 3, where the gospel and the story of “One to come” is foreshadowed. Those verses pointed us to the verses in Luke 1. What a story we find in the narrative of the Scriptures. What a story is told by our God as He chooses to use a young woman and her fiancé to bring not just a life into the world, but the Life, the One we have longed to see.

I could spend hours diving into the atrocities of our day. I could spend days detailing legislation and policy that could be implemented to see things change in this country on abortion. I could bring up patient after patient at HOPE that beat the odds stacked against them and chose life, but I would prefer in this post to simply point you to a birth that was heard around the world; a birth that was heard around the universe and in the heavens; a birth that deserves our celebration yesterday, today, and forever. Our God showed us through this birth that life is precious and deserves our love and support.

As we reflect on life today and look back at the devastation leveled to humanity via abortion since 1973, I wish to encourage you. I want to encourage you because the future is bright. Abortions are on the decline nationally. Young people are more pro-life now than in any time in history. Our leaders in this state and in D.C. are starting to hear the cries of so many and are starting to push for pro-life legislation. Presidential candidates are openly and boldly speaking out in favor of life. I also want to encourage you by letting you know that places like HOPE are working all over the country to see that women and men in crisis have help; women and men who are struggling, are without insurance, or are broken and finding help in the arms of a stranger.

This is why I am pro-life. This is why I will be marching on Friday afternoon in Washington, D.C. I am excited to stand with thousands for one mission. Many of us may see the world differently, but we each can boldly stand together to see an end to abortion. We can engage the culture and our society together with a message of life, HOPE, and love. See you in D.C.

posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center