What is Sanctity of Life Sunday? And why have you never heard of it?
On January 13, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating January 22 as the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day. (January 22, 1973, was the day the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion-on-demand in all 50 states.) *https://store.lifemattersww.org/sanctity-of-human-life-sunday
The stated goal of this presidential proclamation was so that churches around the United States would use the day to celebrate God's gift of life, commemorate the many lives lost to abortion, and commit themselves to protecting human life at every stage. While many large events are planned in areas such as Washington D.C. and even right here in Atlanta, unfortunately most smaller communities and their churches seem to let this important day go by without even so much as a bulletin insert or social media posting.
In the years since Roe v. Wade was made the law of the land, it is approximated that over 60 million children in the U.S. have been lost to abortion. *http://www.numberofabortions.com/ In this community we are taking a stand! We realize that not everyone that is willing to stand up for the Sanctity of Human Life can attend one of these national events. However, we can stand together in solidarity with our neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens to declare that God is sovereign, and He gives the breath of life to every child. We can declare together in one voice that we believe in the principle that all lives have value, no matter what the circumstance surrounding birth.
Now that I have explained to you what Sanctity of Life Sunday is, let’s try to tackle the second question. Why have you never heard of it? Well the short answer is politics. And that is a shame. Regardless of how anyone feels about the issue of unplanned pregnancy, abortion, or even adoption. We all are alive. We all have family, friends and people we care about. Do you know someone that is suffering from the loss of a loved one that was gone too soon? Illness, miscarriage, suicide…the reasons are too numerous to list. Are you struggling with a loved one that has a health problem that is severely affecting their quality of life, Cancer, Downs, MS, Autism, etc. There are so many circumstances that cause one to pause and reflect on the value of every human life. Simply because each of us values our own lives, we can agree that life is a beautiful and magnificent miracle that should be celebrated.
You may have never heard of Sanctity of Life Sunday because your church may have never heard of it, or because they see it as strictly an abortion issue. However, you may be able to change that. Ask your church leadership if they have heard of SOHL. Have a discussion about your views on the subject that all lives are important. Ask your pastor if a message on the Sanctity of Life is being planned.
We have resources that can help you start the conversations. The Refuge Center is part of the Care Net national network of Pregnancy Centers. Care Net provides resources for your church. “How to Make the Most of National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday” Click here to download your free resource kit.
Finally, on Sunday January 19th, please make plans for your family and friends to join us for our first ever Sanctity of Life Candlelight Celebration. The Refuge Center is graciously being hosted by St. Pius X Catholic Church. Together, let’s believe God has great things in store for the ministry of Refuge, and more important, for those we serve. Let’s believe in 2020, more will choose life, more will choose healthy relationships, and more will choose faith as we walk alongside them in their life’s journeys. Let’s believe in the unending grace and mercy of our sovereign Lord and that through His will our community, and our country will turn back to God and believe in the Sanctity of Life.