Sunday, March 13, 2016

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 33: A movement of sinners

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Abortion workers, the media, politicians ... and even a few pastors (see below) will label pro-life people as self-righteous, judgmental Christians.

But the reality is that we are a movement of sinners.

All of us are sinners ... and our movement is led by those who don't have a distant relationship with abortion. Quite the opposite; there are many leaders who have had an abortion, paid for an abortion – or even done abortions.

The pro-life movement is a movement of repentance, and therefore, a movement of hope.

One active abortionist was recently quoted as saying, “The Jesus that I was taught about would be holding the hands of women inside the clinic.”

These days, Jesus is often molded into whatever the individual (or the world) wants Him to be. But we need to remember that He is exactly what we and our world need: mercy.

Mercy offers freedom and clarity in an often confused world; but mercy is not always a welcome message. It wasn’t for Jesus, and won’t always be for us. 
Southfield, Michigan
Leaders in Southfield were thankful that members of a local church met at the 40 Days for Life vigil … taking time out of a Sunday afternoon to pray for an end to abortion.
They were wondering why more churches weren’t involved when a man who said he was a Christian pastor stopped by to suggest that they change their tone and stop being so judgmental.
“How can signs that say ‘Pray to End Abortion’ and ‘Love One Another as I Have Loved You’ be viewed as judgmental?” one team member wondered.
This volunteer reflected on the previous day of prayer and peaceful vigil. “This abortion center was packed on Saturday. Patients were arriving by 7:30 am and the last ones were released after 5:00 pm.”
The need for a peaceful, prayerful, loving witness – such as 40 Days for Life – was never more obvious.
Bogota, Colombia
“When a woman comes out of the abortion center,” said one of the 40 Days for Life team members in Bogota, “sometimes she thinks will be judged by the volunteers standing on the sidewalk.”

She may assume that vigil participants are self-righteous Christians, that can't wait to tell her she's going to an unhappy place in the hereafter. “On the contrary, she is received with hope and love.”
And in the moments after the abortion, precisely when the woman feels that there is no hope, when she feels vulnerable, the volunteers are there to express the mercy of Jesus.

“The love and acceptance expressed by our volunteers might be the only message that woman hears in her whole life that there is healing after the abortion,” the team member said.
Here’s today’s devotional from Fr. Terry Gensemer, National Director of the Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life.
Day 33 intention 
May we absorb the truth that God is paying attention to us, and to each human life, personally and individually.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.
— Psalm 8:3-9
Reflection from Fr. Terry Gensemer 
How often we ignore the phrase, “stop and smell the roses” and instead submit to the all-too-urgent task at hand. Is this tendency what keeps us, at least in part, from acknowledging that God’s care for His sacred creation is paramount in His own mind?
The Psalmist speaks of God’s handiwork: the heavens, the work of his “fingers,” and then points to God’s masterpiece – human life. He declares to us that God is mindful of us. God keeps His masterpiece in His thoughts.
God, the creator of the awe-inspiring heavens, is not distracted by the tasks before Him. He is not pulled away, as we might be, by thoughts of something “more important.”
God is paying attention to and attending to His crowning glory, His masterpiece of creation, which cannot be duplicated or replaced, which surpasses the beauty of all other created things – the human being.
There is no way to adequately describe how God feels about us as human beings. There are no words to fully portray His love, compassion or desire to be in communion with us.
Perhaps, the closest we can come, is to contemplate the thoughts of a mother as she gazes for the first time at her newborn child. God cares for Life.
We, as His followers, should take time to consider the life He has created and called upon us to love and protect.
Lord, you are the creator of all things. Guide my thoughts to consider your creation in all of its majesty, beauty and holiness. Guide my heart especially to your creation of precious human life.
Help me to comprehend how essential life is in your own heart. Teach me to appreciate, love and protect all human life through your son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Printable devotional 
To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share with friends:
For life,
 Shawn Carney
40 Days for Life