We Are Here Today ...

By Michael W. Salemink

Date: December 3, 2015

Category: Abortion, Sharing the Message of Lutherans For Life, Abortion and the Church, Family Living, Sexual Purity, Worldview and Culture, Christian Responsibility

This article is adapted from a talk given by Rev. Michael Salemink, Executive-Director-elect of Lutherans For Life at the 2015 Lutherans For Life National Conference.

We are not here today just to demand defunding Planned Parenthood, though we would welcome that development.

We are not here just to point out blatant law breaking, though we are indignant at the fact that it is happening.

We are not here just to protest the harvesting and marketing of babies’ bodies, though we adamantly oppose such an obviously irrational and horribly immoral thing taking place in our communities.

We are not here only to advocate reversal of Roe v. Wade, though we do indeed long for that day.

We are not here only to dispute journalistic prejudice, judicial discrimination, and political posturing, though our society is neither free nor fair nor safe as long as they occur.

We are not here solely to spare in utero children from institutionalized violence and save intimidated women from cultural lies, though we will not stand by and allow it.

We are not here solely to represent the defenseless and to be a voice for the vulnerable, though we will neither be still nor silent as long as they are.

We are not here simply to promote restrictions on abortions and support reductions in abortions, though we champion such causes and rejoice when they prevail.

We are not here simply to proclaim abortion wrong and call promiscuity sinful, though we insist that it is because God says it is.

We are not here merely because these places [such as abortion clinics] lessen and threaten our common humanity, though we are declaring that they do that very thing.

We are not here merely because these procedures endanger the inalienable rights of us all, though we contend that this constitutes their greatest danger.

We are not here merely to memorialize 42 years of victims, 57 million martyrs, and countless walking wounded casualties, since the blood of the innocent and the tears of the oppressed cry out from the ground to all of human history.

We are not here just to demonstrate objection to the degeneration of family, marriage, and sexuality, though we do indeed vehemently lament it.

We are not here just to grieve that the miracle of procreation has been reduced to a mechanical reproduction and children are becoming commodities, though we testify to that sad truth.

We are not here only because we regret our previous apathy and inactivity, though we hereby confess that we have contributed to our nation’s corruption.

We are not here only because we repent our self-righteousness, we repent our complacent complaining, we repent our competing and comparing, we repent our hypocritical judgmentalism.

We are not here simply because we fear failure.

We are not here because we believe we must be victorious.

We are not here because we need to be here.

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We are here today because our God Himself is out here today.

We are here today because Almighty God has become incarnate, took on our flesh, shared in our nature, claimed personal and final responsibility for our condition, and dwells with us; and His coming among us gives immeasurable dignity and unconditional sanctity to our lives and everyone else’s.

We are here because the kingdom of the Heavenly Father has come near, and it has authority to liberate from falsehood and undo all evil.

We are here because in His compassion and crucifixion, Jesus Christ has already settled our debts, suffered our punishment, made up for all wrongs, and gained forgiveness not just for all sins but for each and every last sinner; and I am forgiven, and you are forgiven, and they are forgiven, and we are forgiven, and all are loved by God and forgiven before Him.

We are here because this same Son of God and Mary’s Son is resurrected from death, and there is hope in His name, and there is healing in His Word, and there is peace in His way.

We are here because incarnate, resurrected, crucified God Jesus means that the gift of everlasting life in His heavenly kingdom is universal and unconditional, and this ultimate total salvation is for such as us and the least of these.

We are here because Savior Jesus is Lord Jesus, ascended and enthroned, reigning and returning, and His love redeems all people and all situations for His good purposes.

We are here because the same Father-Son-and-Spirit God who is embracing us into a better way also longs for all persons—from the infant and the unborn to the egotistical and the afraid to the elderly and the infirm—to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth and the way and the life that He freely and fiercely gives and preserves.

We are here because the fall and curse we each have wrought will be repealed, and creation is being restored to righteousness already, and our Alpha and Omega has given us all front-row invitations to witness and participate in it.

We are here to embody and deliver Gospel-Christ to broken lives, wounded spirits, and hearts enslaved, and to embody and deliver Gospel-Christ not in speech and sentiment only but even in deeds and resources.

We are here today not because of fear or force or anger but because of love and joy and hope.

We are out here today because we want to be here, because God is here, because this is where Jesus Himself is within and among the least of these His brothers and sisters, His people, His children; and He is working repentance, forgiveness, and everlasting salvation.

We are out here today because changed hearts change not just minds but lives, and changed lives change not just local laws but the world, human history, and eternity.

God grant it to them, to us, and to all, in this age and in the greater age to come, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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