I get into today’s topic, let me remind you that this Sunday our annual parish meeting will begin at 10:10 am. Both worship services will begin at their normal times.
The apostle Paul teaches us to “mourn with those who mourn; and rejoice with those who rejoice.” The call to follow Jesus is a call not only to deep joy and freedom, but also to join in solidarity with people everywhere whose joy, freedom and even their lives are threatened. The biblical vision of the sacredness of human life calls us to defend the unborn, the disabled and the dependent, the trafficked and abused.
This Sunday Dr. Justin Dyer will be preaching on this topic. Some of you will remember him and his wife Kyle who attend Christ Church while he was a PhD student in political philosophy at UT. The Dyers and their two boys Bennett and Pierce now live in Columbia, MO where Justin holds a faculty position at the University of Missouri. His academic interests and publications are closely tied to the question of human dignity and rights, and how they are protected. The Manhattan Declaration articulates the church’s mission to uphold this culture of life:
Our concern is not confined to our own nation. Around the globe, we are witnessing cases of genocide and “ethnic cleansing,” the failure to assist those who are suffering as innocent victims of war, the neglect and abuse of children, the exploitation of vulnerable laborers, the sexual trafficking of girls and young women, the abandonment of the aged, racial oppression and discrimination, the persecution of believers of all faiths, and the failure to take steps necessary to halt the spread of preventable diseases like AIDS. We see these travesties as flowing from the same loss of the sense of dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life that drives the abortion industry and the movements for assisted suicide, euthanasia, and human cloning for biomedical research. And so ours is, as it must be, a truly consistent ethic of love and life for all humans in all circumstances.
While we are on the topic, you’ll notice the image above with bishops/spouses of our own Anglican Church in North America. This is from their participation in last year’s March for Life in Washington, D. C., which they will be joining again next week. Please join them in prayer for a culture of sacred life.
Your co-servant of the Way, the Truth and the Life,
PS To dig down deep into the holistic and biblical vision of life I highly recommend David Gushee’s The Sacredness of Human Life.