By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
January 11, 2023
National Sanctity of Human Life Day will be celebrated across the nation on Jan. 22, exactly half a century since Roe v. Wade opened the door to abortion on demand across America and seven months after the Supreme Court sent the issue back to the states to decide.
That Sunday, especially, pastors should make clear the biblical position that all human life, from conception to natural death, is sacred, says the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League.
“Praise God, this will be the first year since President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the third Sunday of January as Sanctity of Life Day in 1984 that we are not under the dark cloud of Roe v. Wade,” he said. “Nonetheless, abortion is still a scourge on the land and remains the leading cause of death worldwide as the number of abortions is nearly quadruple that of people dying from infectious diseases last year.”
The Rev. Creech said the battle for life should go well beyond making abortion illegal, to making it unthinkable.
“Our goal in our churches must be to approach this issue with such love, grace and support that mothers and fathers are empowered to bring into the world the children they’ve conceived, even when circumstances seem impossible,” he said. “We’ve got to be willing to walk alongside them in their journey, not just to the delivery room, but long term, supporting their decision for life, whether that means raising the child themselves or choosing a plan for adoption.”
He said pastors should plan now to observe Sanctity of Life Sunday with a message and a call to action that will urge parishioners to support Christ-centered pro-life organizations and pregnancy resource centers in their communities.
CareNet, a pro-life nonprofit focused on helping families find abundant life in Christ, offers church leaders these tips to make the most of Sanctity of Life Sunday:
Talk about the abortion issue as a minister of the gospel, not as a culture warrior. Ministers of the gospel should not talk about abortion without talking about abortion recovery and God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Focus on the life issue throughout the month, not just on one Sunday. Obviously, abortion is key as abundant life is not possible for those who don’t survive until birth, but you can also use the opportunity to talk about life from the womb to the tomb.
Help your congregation understand why women have abortions. All the stats on how many abortions happen are shocking, but understanding the struggles women face is the key to compassion.
Prepare your church for ministry to the abortion-vulnerable and post-abortive. Training is available to help church members reach out to those facing unplanned pregnancies. Consider hosting a class at your church.
Churches often host speakers from pregnancy resource centers on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday so that congregants can better understand the work these centers do. Some congregations use the special day to kick off or wrap up fund drives for PRCs.
“Whatever your church decides to do, keep in mind that over the past several months some pregnancy resource centers have been targeted by pro-abortion groups lashing out in anger over the Dobbs decision,” Creech said. “These organizations need support as they are on the front lines of this issue every day.”