May God's justice sober our society, and may mercy triumph over judgment.
Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.
- Genesis 9:5-6
The value of every human being can hardly be seen more clearly than with this verse. God, the King of the universe, has created all human beings in his image, and declares forthrightly that shedding the blood of any individual will require the blood of the one who shed it. God's concern for human beings is not limited to any particular group. Indeed, his concern is universal, and includes male and female, young and old, born and unborn, disabled and able-bodied, the citizens of every nation on earth.
Abortion, the deliberate killing of the unborn, is the shedding of innocent blood. Surely the blood of millions upon millions of innocent children cries out to God. It is true that we live in an age of grace, and yet this passage (among many other texts which express similar sentiments) should give every thinking Christian pause.
Christians of all people, entrusted with the Word of God as we are, must take a stand. We must speak out. We must do all that we can to protect the innocent, to pursue justice, and to encourage the repentance of all those who bear responsibility for this great evil. Only in this manner can we hope to forestall the judgment that must otherwise surely come.
This passage should also be seen as an encouragement to educate and disciple our children and grandchildren about what it means to be human, and the responsibility that will become theirs in this ongoing struggle.
O Father, forgive us for our lack of courage and our want of compassion for the unborn and for those lost and hurt by abortion. Fill us anew with your Spirit. Renew our minds, strengthen us in righteousness, help us be people of salt and light within our nation. May every human being, from conception to natural death, be treated with the respect due those made in your image. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Rev. John Brown
Director, United Friends for Life (United Church of Christ)