“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:13-18 (ESV)
God loves life. The psalmist tells us about the intimate way God has formed each and every one of us. And because God loves life, we are called to cherish and defend it. Lutherans have attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C., since it began in 1974. In 1998, Lutherans for Life started an organized presence at the march, beginning with a communion worship service at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in nearby Springfield, Virginia.
This year NALC Life Ministries has planned a life-filled two days to celebrate God’s precious gift of life. It will all begin on Thursday, Jan. 23, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Joppa, Maryland, where the NALC will hold its fourth annual Life Conference. Here is the agenda for the conference:
- 1 p.m. – “Pain Perception in the Developing Human,” Dr. Sheila Page.
- 2 p.m. – “How Suicide Threatens Our Veterans,” the Rev. Leslie Haines, executive director of Lutheran Military Veterans and Families Ministries.
- 3 p.m. – Additional speaker to be announced.
- 4 p.m. – Worship, the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, assistant to the bishop for ministry and ecumenism, preaching and presiding; the Rev. Chris Porter, pastor of Advent Lutheran Church in Winchester, Virginia, and Lebanon Lutheran Church in Lebanon Church, Virginia, chaplain.
The theme for this year is: LIFE EMPOWERS: PRO-LIFE IS PRO-WOMAN.
For information about the March for Life, schedules, and other events on January 24th, the March for Life has an abundance of information: https://marchforlife.org. To access the March for Life, you can also download the app in Apple or Google Play.
By marching, we follow a proud tradition of Lutheran pro-life awareness started by the reformer Martin Luther in the 16th Century. He wrote, God “is not hostile to children, as we are. But God emphasizes His word to such an extent that He sometimes gives offspring even to those who do not desire it, yes even hate it … How great, therefore, the wickedness of human nature is! How many girls there are who prevent conception and kill and expel tender fetuses, although procreation is the work of God.”
NALC Life Ministries continues the strong pro-life passion of the reformer. Its mission today is to equip Lutherans to be Gospel-motivated voices for life. The March for Life is a way of publically proclaiming that message to assure life for those who are most vulnerable. And the march is also about sharing of the Gospel of Jesus’ forgiveness to all, including those men and women who have lost hope through their involvement in an abortion.
To learn more about NALC Life Ministries, please visit www.thenalc.org/lifeministries.