By Jama Edlund |
Wasn’t it wonderful celebrating our Savior’s birth just a few weeks ago? Images of Jesus as a tiny baby in humble surroundings flooded Facebook and were seen on Christmas cards. In our church services and devotionals we were asked to ponder Mary and Joseph as first time parentsâ€”of the Son of God.
Have you ever considered that this young couple faced a crisis pregnancy? Scripture tells us that when Joseph learned of Mary’s condition, “he had in mind to divorce her.” And Mary, well she was greatly troubled and afraid when first learning of this news.
Women and men today continue to find themselves in crisis pregnancy situations. They too are faced with fear and uncertainty. Unlike Mary and Joseph who had a personal message from the angel ,these women and men try and navigate through this crisis with false information, lack of support, and fear of judgmentâ€”even from the body of Christ.
Abortion not only takes the life of the baby, it wounds the life of the mother and possibly the father and others connected with them. As we observe Sanctity of Human Life month, remember there are many women and men in our neighborhoods, workplaces, Â and churches who have experienced abortion and are now living with the guilt, shame and regret of this choice. Â In fact, 1 in 6 women in our churches have had abortions and work especially hard to hide this reality for fear of condemnation and rejection. Our desire is to see the church be a place where the imperfect can grow and become whole.
As the body of Christ we are called to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Eph. 4:32. We need the church to be a hospital Â for healing because healed healers can be mobilized for Â Kingdom expanding work in the body and the community.
Eph. 4:15 tells us to speak the truth in love, not to withhold the truth in love. We’d like to encourage pastors to create an environment of grace providing Â the truth, acceptance, healing, safety, perspective, freedom and power.
Jama Edlund is Director of Ministry Services
PO Box 836 Grain Valley, MO 64029