I have grown very frustrated watching all of the news programs and trying to keep up with all the change that is going on in our economy and our world. North Korea is launching rockets and exploding nuclear tests. GM has gone bankrupt and the economy may or may not be recovering, or it may be crashing further…who knows? I get upset and frustrated, but you know, there is not a lot I can do about any of this. No one will call me about how to handle the Middle East or North Korea. President Obama will not seek my advice about his economic plans. For all of my worry, I am totally out of the loop…on all of it! The Serenity prayer says the following: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Rheinhold Niebhur, the writer of this prayer, knew some important things about life. There are some things we can’t change. We waste our time and lives trying to do so. There are things we can change and we do well when we do change them. But the wisdom to know the difference is what most of us lack. Today I pray God will give you the wisdom to know the things you can change in your life and world and that you will have the courage to do so.
I was shocked to hear of the murder of Dr. George Tiller in the foyer of his church in Wichita, Kansas. Dr. Tiller was the doctor who was nationally known for his performance of late term abortions. He was “Public Enemy Number One” for those in the pro-life movement and as strange as it may sound, he had received numerous death threats from the radical fringe of the pro-life movement. How does someone who proclaims to be pro-life send a death threat? That doesn’t make sense to me. I am pro-life. I believe God gives life and I believe only God can take life—period. I believe Dr. Tiller had a right to life. I do not believe we, or anyone else, had the right to say he was unfit to live or that he had done something so horrible he got what he deserved. No one gets what they deserve. That’s why we call it grace. This comes at a particularly bad time for the pro-life movement. For the first time, polls are showing people are more pro-life than ever before. Now, those who defend the pro-life movement will be defined as “radical nuts” and the case will have to be made all over again. And it is a case the church, throughout history, has made well. We will do so again. There is no message more life affirming than the message of the gospel. We believe every person bears the image of God within them. So, we are pro-life in every sense. We oppose all of those forces that rob people of their lives and dignity. We fight poverty and illiteracy; we support job training and food banks –all because we are pro-life. We believe everyone has a right to be born, a right to live to their fullest and a right to be loved and respected. Being pro-life in our culture is a total commitment. And it is one I believe Jesus calls us to make.