January 24 was Sanctity of Life Sunday—a day when Lutheran Christians reaffirm and confess the sanctity of all human life. Our Savior, Grand Rapids marked the occasion with two exhibits: 1) a life display in the church’s fellowship hall ; and 2) an outdoor display of 120 pink and blue flags representing 120 babies aborted every hour in the United States. This display was placed at the entrance to the church parking lot well before Sunday.
Earl Iseler, elder at Our Savior and treasurer for Lutherans for Life (LFL) of Michigan, shared the church’s bulletin insert they had for that Sunday. It reads,
The Sanctity of All Human Life – As Lutheran Christians we confess the sanctity of all human life, “from fertilization until forever.” In the past we would say, “from conception until natural death.” But the definition of “conception” had been changed from fertilization to implantation, even though science confirms that a new human person exists at the time of fertilization. It was changed because certain birth control methods destroy a fertilized egg. This was an attempt to deny that a human life was being destroyed. But changing the definition of a word does not change the truth of the reality. The term “forever” is what we confess in the Apostles’ Creed when we say, “I believe in life everlasting.” So Rev. Michael Salemink, Executive Director of Lutherans For Life, has adopted the phrase, “from fertilization until forever.” To learn more about the sanctity of life, search for Lutherans For Life on YouTube.
On the following Wednesday, January 27, there was a March for Life at the Capitol Building in Lansing. Six people from Our Savior attended, along with Rev. Paul Clark (President of LFL of Michigan and Life Coordinator for the Michigan District, LCMS.) and others from sister congregations.
Because of security restrictions at the US Capitol, the annual March for Life was held virtually on Friday, January 29. Cross and Resurrection, Ypsilanti opened its doors and 28 people came to watch it together.
Why March for Life in January?
Friday, January 22 marked the 48th year since the Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion. Since that fateful day, over 62,502,000 babies have been aborted in the United States. (While the abortion rate has been declining since the early 1990’s, over 862,000 abortions are still performed each year.)
On this particular Friday (January 22, 2021), Mark Cook, Faith Outreach Coordinator for Right to Life of Michigan, was particularly discouraged. Here is his story:
It was a tough week. In fact, a very difficult three months: November, December, and January. In the aftermath of January 6, and the installation of January 20, came Friday, January 22. A day that is not easy to live through each year, when we realize that over 60,000,000+ human persons, made in the image and likeness of God, endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights of LIFE and liberty… (rights that our Government does not have the right to bestow, nor to take away) have had their lives taken through abortion. Well, on this Friday, I was struggling and praying.
Praying for strength to move on in the work for human life that we and hundreds of others do at Right to Life Michigan every day.
I walk a lot. I pray when I walk. The parking lot at Our Savior, Grand Rapids is my favorite “track” to prayer walk through, as it is flat, smooth, quiet, and beautiful—knowing a sanctuary is just inside also helps—plus it is about 50 yards from my home. On this particular day, as I was about to turn into the parking lot with my head down, I looked up and saw flags in the dirt. I thought at first they were AT&T or ComEd or DTE gas flags… but no, they were blue and pink flags… ”…and He created them male and female…” and then I saw the sign attached to those flags…. Each blue boy flag, each pink girl flag was a death, and there were too many deaths to count. They were visible for all to see on one of the busiest streets in Grand Rapids.
It was, and is, a banner of truth for a world living in lies. A banner of truth in a world where people plug their ears, and stuff cotton into their consciences, because everyone knows, deep down, that murdering a child in the womb is never right. Never.
Thank you, Pastor Jeremy. Thank you, people of Our Savior. Thank you, LCMS. Thank you, confessional Lutherans for your leadership and stalwart defense of the Sanctity of Human life.
We press on.
We will not relent.
We will never compromise.
Photos courtesy of Our Savior, Grand Rapids, Rev. Paul Clark, and Meredith Vanderweide