Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day in America. It's now been 50 years since his famous 'I have a dream speech.' This is probably the most famous speech in recorded history. He is on my short list of people I can't wait to meet in Heaven. I so admire what he did to move racial equality forward.
But it struck me yesterday, as I was hearing news reports about King and the speech, that there is a subtle irony in the fact that the day after MLK day (today) is the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision making abortion on demand legal in the U.S.
If you put it all together it doesn’t make sense. Dr. King said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
That is, unless you’re not quite born yet.
In my sermon on Jeremiah last weekend, I had the opportunity to point out one of many scriptures that tell us that God considers a person a person in the womb.
God tells Jeremiah…
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5
This and other Bible verses clearly indicate human life begins at conception, and we are formed in the image of God with a unique purpose.
In the past 40 years, over 55 million babies have been lost to abortion in America. They were deemed “not equal.”
I don’t stand in judgment if you are reading this today and have made this choice already. I’m sure my list of sins beats your list any day. You probably realize now it was, as Jeremiah described, a futile drink of bitter water. Praise God the only thirst-quenching Water of Life, Jesus Christ, crucified our sin and gives us new life.
But for those of you, who will someday find yourself with an unwanted pregnancy, please don’t buy the lie that it’s just a "blob of tissue," or a "choice." He or she is a baby.
We want to help you. Someone wants your baby! We work very closely with Pregnancy Aid South Suburbs (PASS), a pregnancy resource center that will help you, too. Please choose life.
The further irony of Dr. King’s speech is that it was delivered, as King states “in the symbolic shadow” of Abraham Lincoln who 100 years earlier had signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves. Dr. King’s point was that even though it had been 100 years, they still weren’t really free. I guess my point is that after 150 years, we still aren’t all really free.
I ask you to join in praying with me today – for freedom for the unborn. And I’ll borrow from Martin Luther King to do it.
“Let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi -- from every mountainside.
Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring -- when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children -- black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, (born and unborn) -- will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"