Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sanctity of Life Sunday - Fr. Phil Eberhart

Sanctity of Life Sunday
January 31, 2016
Fr. Phil Eberhart


"Before You were born, I knew you!"

This morning is Sanctity of Life Sunday, marking the anniversary of the Roe V Wade decision by our Supreme Court and now of the March for life in Wash DC, which happened just before the snow it last weekend in DC.

We have a 3 min video this morning to introduce the topic for us and Cathryn Terwilliger is volunteering down at Alternatives, who we support with our prayers and gifts.  There are baby bottles on the back table to take and put change or large bills in!!  I encourage you to take one and we will bring them back beginning on Ash Wednesday in 10 days.

[video]

If you would like to see more about the ministry of Alternatives

Turn with me in you bulletin to our first reading from the OT book of the Prophet Jeremiah.

Let's read God's Word to Jeremiah together:

The word of the Lord came to me saying,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Have you read this before?
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...
Before you were born i consecrated you;

Have you read similar verses in the Bible?

(Ps 139)

Let me read this to you:
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.   They cannot be numbered!I can’t even count them;    they outnumber the grains of sand!And when I wake up,    you are still with me!

These verses are all very important to me personally.  Many of you know my story - born of a 16 and 17 year old here at Denver General Hospital.  I was with my mom for a week and then in foster care for 3 months, until I was adopted by the Eberhart's, my farm family in Eastern Colorado.

When I was a youth pastor at Christ Church here in Denver, I did a poll of the leadership volunteers we had working with the Jr and Sr High students that year.  8 out of 10 that year were candidates for being aborted!!

About that same time, I got a call from my birth mother and ultimately, met my whole birth family, now nearly 30 years ago.

So my journey has been ... um ... interesting.  Perhaps enlightening, especially in regard to our course this morning, on a Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.

Here's my question?  How does God use our "mistakes?"

I was a mistake!  I'm not saying that to garner sorrow or make anyone feel guilty, I'm just making an observation about what can happen when we take our broken lives, our messed up circumstances, and let God into the equation?

And so, now as a pastor, I have two passions, when it comes to outreach locally - embodied by the ministry of Alternatives Pregnancy Center and by the work I'm involved with at James Resource Center.  Both are working with those who want to Choose Life!  I want to be and I want us to be the hands and hearts that let people know that they matter - that they are not mistakes - that God can use us, no matter what !

We want to celebrate LIFE in all its forms, with all its ups and downs, crazy turns, screeching halts, - it reminds me of being on the Mind Eraser at Elitches!  Any one else??

There is a lot we could say about the culture of death in our nation and the number of lives that have been shed; we all are familiar with the stats, horrific as they are.  And we have just largely chosen to live with it.  An amount of bloodshed and death that dwarfs the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews by several times.  And we've made it a political hot potato!  Lord have mercy on our nation!

So I want to work together and reward those who choose life - I want to support and facilitate the moms who make these hard choices, and who are seeking to do what I believe God wants, since He is the author of life.  

Even the mistakes, God can take and bless and use for the good of the world, for His plan in the Kingdom of God -- in fact I kind of think He specializes in using people like me!   Broken people,  adopted people,  people who need grace all the time.

Some of you may have seen the poster about some of the one's God has used in the past:

Moses - the murderer
Noah - the drunk
Abraham, was too old to be a dad
Isaac, the daydreamer
Jacob, the liar
Joseph, was abused and abandoned, repeatedly!
Samson was a womanizer!
David was an adulterer and murderer
Gideon was filled with fear
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
Rahab was a prostitute
Jonah ran from God
Job went broke and got sick, lost his family (and everything else!)
Elijah was suicidal
Isaiah preached naked ( let the scene only be imagined!!)
Naomi was a widow
Peter denied Jesus three times
The disciples slept through the prayer time in the Garden
Thomas doubted the resurrection
The Samaritan woman was divorced, multiple times
Martha was a worrier!

Did I miss anyone?  Everyone included in this list?

All I'm saying is that God is able, no matter what your circumstances are, or were - God  is able to use your life today.

I want us to be the kind of place - the kind of people who celebrate God's ability, not ours.  And certainly not are DIS-Ability!

What's your excuse? Can you match up to the list of the Giants of the Faith, that I just mentioned?

Maybe, just Maybe God can use you to touch a life for Him.   What I do know is that He wants to give you HIS perspective on this life.  And when you get HIS perspective often the mountains you thought you needed moved, become molehills, in the light of day and of His presence.  Seeing as God sees changes things dramatically.  Seeing people, seeing history, seeing into the future!

God wants to bring LIFE, to embody His LOVE in us, to give us a FUTURE and a HOPE - and for us to then turn to the next person
who is living "under the circumstances" and be His hands, His feet, His mouth, His supply!

Friends, God is in the business of redeeming all the He creates.  I believe we will meet millions of new people in Heaven, that we've never known - because these souls are everlasting, when God creates them!  And when they are aborted, I  believe that God takes them in arms and welcomes them into the portals of light.

But until them we are in the same business as He is - the redemption business!  Wanna come along?

Take one of the baby bottles, and make it possible for this ministry to continue.  Volunteer some hours at the Pregnancy Center, or at She She's -  both are looking for help.  Whatever you can do, every little thing, is valuable to God and to the Kingdom.  Pray, and ask the Lord about your part - your assignment and then do it.

Remember:  
Willingness
Availability
& Obedience.

Let pray:
O God, creator and author of all life:  You are the One who breathes life into your creation, even this broken, day to day mess that we've made of our lives.  Come, Lord Jesus, by Your Spirit and give us the power to change our own lives and the dynamic power to change our culture - our nation.  We pray for the President today, and the election process to come.  We pray for Godly leadership in all offices, local, state and nationally.  Let your choice emerge in the months to come and set our nation aright before you.  Use us, Lord, in your work, here and around the world.
In Jesus Name.
Amen

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