a revision of Rev. John Pless' sermon to Lutherans before the national March for Life January 2010:
We can honestly say a deep darkness has come upon our world – and it seems to be getting deeper. Floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, wars around the world and gunfire erupting in our own land cut life short. The deaths you hear about on the news is staggering. But that amount is eclipsed by a far larger number the news does not report – the number of unborn babies whose lives have been cut short by abortion since the passing of Roe vs. Wade on January 22, 1973.
However, the good news is that the God of Light works against the darkness. He raises up people who do not just sorrow over or speak out against abortion, but actively support the cherishing of life. Places like the Sparta Crisis Pregnancy Center and the Life Network in Waterloo help pregnant women to choose life for their babies.
When Christ starts His preaching the Gospel and healing, Matthew says this fulfills Isaiah 9, “‘The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.’ From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matthew 4:16-17).
The Lord calls us to repent because the darkness is not only out there in the hearts of gunmen, or doctors who use the gift of medicine to destroy the life of the unborn. Repent, because the wickedness we hide in the shadowy parts of our heart is known by the God of Light. Repent of failing to speak and act to help the weak who cannot defend or speak for themselves. Repent of looking the other way when the darkness comes. Repent of making the darkness deeper.
We are not saved by our morality, no matter how many despicable evils we are against. Only Jesus saves us. Only His perfect life and innocent death earns the Kingdom of Heaven for us. Only His blood cleanses us from all our unrighteousness. Only His Light scatters our darkness. As Christ forgives you, the words of Isaiah 9:2 come true for you: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.”