Okay fellow followers, we are in the homestretch of our "Sanctity of Life" series. I'm thankful you have stuck with me thus far. Let's pick up a prayer from Ephesians as we start, "I do not cease to give thanks to you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you..." (1:16-18a).
Last week, we saw sin followed Adam and Eve out of the garden and led to murder. One child killed another child. As Adam and Eve sinned, so their children sinned. This is not part of the plan. God's plan as, and always will be, life.
So what are we to do about this? We live in a world that is groaning for new creation, where all of creation seems to have a bent toward killing. We need to be unbent, we need to go back to our first image. We need to go back to our created purpose. We need to go back to the original plan.
We need the plan that is centered on God's mission for the world. What is God's mission for the world? For us to go back to the garden, and in the meantime live on earth with a Kingdom mindset as we are seated in a new place (Eph. 2:6). Right now we are in the in-between times. We see glimpses of glory, yet still bouts of hell. A war rages, murder continues, yet life does prevail.
Life prevails, because God has called a people (you and me...the church) to be a pro-life people. That is not a political statement, it's a Kingdom statement. We are called to be a pro-life people in that we live as life-giving people in every circumstance, around every person, in every situation. We are on the side of life.
How do we do this? We forgive. We pray. We give. We receive. We fast. We weep. We mourn. We love with a Cross type of love (1 John 3:16). We proclaim life in heart and life. We live as the people who use to wear grave clothes yet found them to be gross and not fitting for us. So we received new clothes, we are clothed in Christ (Gal. 3:27), we are back on track with the original plan of life.
Because we are clothed with Christ we do not slander, we live a different way. We do not protest; we proclaim a different way. In a world bent on sin and murder, we've gone back to the plan of holiness and life.
Merely being pro-life in heart, but not in life, isn't complete. That's not being a follower, that's being a philosopher. We ain't (I used that word purposefully) philosophers. We are disciples of Jesus Christ, the son of the One true God, who, with the Father and the Spirit, is the fullness of life and has given us life - that we might be life in a world that was made for life.
How do we do this? We get religious, really religious, James 1:27 religious. More on that next week.
For now, chew on this, we wear Christ in the world, that we might be the reflection of God's original plan of the world - life.
Luke is the Associate Pastor of Nashville United Methodist Church in downtown Nashville.