But we are pretty far along in January already. That’s good news. I always reason like this: If we can get through January, February is short, and then, in March comes spring. Well, supposedly — although last year we had about the snowiest April I can remember. Hopefully, that won’t happen this year.
January is also the month that I usually think about the sanctity of human life. This year marks the 46th year since the landmark decision we know as Roe v. Wade. Since that year, 1973, because of the legalization of abortion, more than 60 million unborn children’s lives have been destroyed. What a tragedy!
As a Christian, I cannot help but be against abortion. It is quite obvious, and science clearly shows, that human life begins long before a baby is born. A baby’s heartbeat is detectable already in the sixth week of pregnancy!
I remember with such excitement and joy when I first felt the little kicks of our children inside my wife. Then, there followed the ultrasound showing that our first pregnancy was going to be twins. Although it was a surprise to us, the doctor said, “Well, I could tell there were at least two. I thought there might be three!” Well, two at a time were plenty for us, and those two boys continue to bless our lives even today, with families of their own.
What science and medicine confirm in our day and age, the Bible spoke of long ago: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:13-14) We are not accidents or random pieces of tissue. Human life is a miracle! Who can fully understand it? Life is something only God can create. It is a miracle! So, then really, we are all walking miracles created in the image of God — living, breathing and thinking human beings.
Now, I know there is a lot of bad in the world. We don’t have to look very far for that. But, the thing is, God created us with such potential to do good. God created us in such a way that we have a tremendous ability to care for and love others. Not that we always do that, but we certainly could. And I have to believe that God, who is love, is pleased when we love one another. (See I John 4:7-11)
All this leads me to the thought that we human beings are quite precious in God’s sight. Remember that old Sunday School song? “Red and yellow, black and white, we are precious in his sight.” Indeed we are!
One of the newest television shows out on Netflix is “Tidying Up.” In each episode, Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo goes into a house that has become cluttered and needs organizing and “tidying up.” Marie has a method whereby she helps the homeowners go through their belongings and decide what they should keep and what they should throw out. Her process of getting rid of clutter, the KonMari method, is unique and really quite interesting.
Marie begins with clothes. Most of us have way too many clothes and end up not wearing many of them simply because we can’t find them. Her approach is to begin by piling all of your clothes on the bed. Then you go through them one by one, taking each article of clothing into your hands. While touching the shirt or jacket or whatever, you ask yourself the question, “Does this item give me joy?” Does it “spark joy” within me or not? Although I have not yet tried the KonMari method, she says, without question, you will know. If it “sparks joy,” keep it. If not, simply thank it for its usefulness and throw it out.
A colleague of mine pointed out in an illustration that with God it is a little different. No, a lot different! There are none of us who God takes in his arms that he throws away. We are all precious in his sight. Every single one of us, from unborn baby to the eldest of senior citizens, is precious to God.
Indeed, it is as the psalm writer says, “Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues to all generations.” (Psalm 100:3-5)
About the writer: The Rev. John Koedyker is pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven.