Day of Remembrance for Aborted Babies
Today is a sad day as we remember the innocent babies slaughtered through the tragedy of abortion. But today, we have a reason to rejoice. I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime, but Roe v. Wade has been defeated! Thanks be to God! Let us take a moment and rejoice and give thanks to God our Father.
In light of this victory, I want to leave you with three thoughts today: 1) The battle against abortion rages on, 2) the battle is not against flesh and blood, but is a spiritual battle, and 3) Jesus has already won the battle.
First, the battle against abortion rages on.
God created man and woman for a lifelong union that bears the fruit of children before the fall. And He called it a “very good” thing. Even after the fall into sin, God blesses marriage, family, and children.
Jesus loved children and didn’t want them held back from Himself. Many of us know the joy and blessing of a loving family. Thanks be to God for loving parents.
Some of you may not know the joy and blessing of family due to sin. Even if this is true, many still recognize the joy and blessing of family. When a man and woman are joined together for life, even unbelievers admire their love and commitment. When parents show sacrificial love for their children, even unbelievers admire their devotion. Paul talks about families in the fifth chapter of his letter to the Ephesians and then he says something profound: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
God created the church so that everyone might have the joy and blessing of an eternal family. The earthly family reflects the heavenly family. It is true that the earthly family may break down, but Jesus has established the heavenly family so that it is always and forever a blessing.
So many fight against this blessing of family and children. We see the sin of Onan in our first reading today. It was the duty of the younger brother to have children in the name of his older brother if he died. This may seem weird to us today, but it was a way for a family name to carry on. Onan tried to evade his responsibility and God judged him. Many today try to get around God’s good order of marriage and family through sexual promiscuity, divorce, and abortion. They try to destroy God’s order even to the point of taking innocent life. God will judge those who defy Him on the last day and it won’t be pretty. And this should remind us of the second thing I want you to take home with you: our battle is spiritual and not against flesh and blood.
One of the wonderful things about the reversal of Roe v. Wade is that pro-abortionists have revealed how ugly abortion really is. The devil likes to hide behind the appearance of virtue; like the lies that abortion is “good for women” or counts as “women’s healthcare” or the truly ironic label “reproductive rights.” Their ugliness has shown the world how despicable abortion is and this is a good thing.
God be praised that some states are sticking up for the innocent and banning abortion. God be merciful to us for some states are doubling down on the blight of abortion. Our state is especially heinous. It would be easy to demonize Governor Newsom. He is spearheading some truly horrific legislation. But it is good for all of us to remember what St. Paul says, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Legislation is truly important. Used properly, it promotes good and punishes evil. But this alone will not prevail against the evil of abortion. Only Jesus can do that. And Jesus, and His church, has always used one weapon to prevail over evil: Baptism. For someone to be truly changed, they need to have a change of heart. The way that Jesus says this is: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) And He repeats Himself: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)
You might think, How can water do such a thing? Luther’s Small Catechism provides a wonderful answer:
Certainly not just water, but the word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith which trusts this word of God in the water. For without God’s word the water is plain water and no Baptism.
But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says in Titus, chapter three: “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying.” (Titus 3:5–8)
Baptism changes lives. It would even make a saint of Governor Newsom. Pray for him. Pray for all you know who are affected by the tragedy of abortion. Prayer is nothing else than taking God’s Word upon your lips for the benefit of your neighbor. If you are a Christian, you are a child of God, and He loves to hear from His children!
Prayer and baptism seem like such weak weapons against such an evil as abortion. We always need reminded of the third ting I want you to take home with you: Jesus has already won the battle.
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in order to “fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15) John the Baptist was puzzled because Jesus is the “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Jesus was sinless. He had no need of baptism. Yet He submits to it to take on the mantle of the world’s sin, including yours and mine. We call this the blessed exchange. Jesus takes on your sin in His Baptism and you receive Jesus’ righteousness in your baptism. He then takes the mantel of sin and goes to the cross. He pays the penalty for your sin and my sin and the sin of the whole world. All sin for all people of all time has been paid for by the blood of Jesus.
Listen to me carefully. If you have participated in the sin of abortion, your sin is covered by the blood of Jesus.
If you have participated in sins like sexual promiscuity or divorce or anything that attacks God’s good order of family, your sin is covered by the blood of Jesus.
The blood of Jesus covers the sin of the abortionist, the promiscuous, the complacent, any sin you can think of that’s related to the sin of abortion. Even the sins of Governor Newsom. Even your sins.
When you are plagued by your sin. Remember your baptism. There Jesus forgave you all your sin and covers you with His righteousness.
Only when you know the power of forgiveness are you in a position to fight for the unborn.
Today is a day to be sad. But there is much reason to be joyful.
The battle rages one, but there is much joy when you save one life! There is much joy when you convince one person of the joy of marriage and children.
The battle is spiritual. There is much joy when one person repents and is baptized. Jesus says, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7)
The battle is already won by Christ. I have to remind myself to by joyful at times because I can get grumpy when I forgot the battle’s already won! Christians are joyful because we know Jesus has already won the battle. He proved it by raising Himself from the dead.
Let me leave you with the words of St. Paul:
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, [be courageous,] be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)
And our Lord will surely bless you and your fight for the unborn! Amen.