On 6th June 2017 Covenant Christian Fellowship in Galway, Ireland hosted a “Celebration of Life” evening. It was a public meeting with two parts.
We watched the DVD “Choose Life”, produced by the Christian Institute. In this excellent DVD (running time 18 mins) eleven people tell their moving stories of how abortion, or the threat of abortion, affected them. From facing a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality to being conceived through rape, the individuals and couples speak of the trauma of abortion and the courage it took to choose life. It is very moving to hear them share their personal stories and the message of the DVD about the preciousness of every life is really powerful.
We heard from a representative of the pro-life campaign in Galway about how they are working, along with other pro-life groups, to protect the 8th Amendment in the Irish Constitution. The 8th Amendment is the last remaining legal protection for children in the womb. It safeguards the lives of both mother and baby in pregnancy. It was passed by referendum in 1983 by a two-thirds majority, in response to the effects of the legalisation of abortion in other countries. It reads: “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.” The government is planning to have a referendum on whether to change the 8th Amendment. As a church we are joining with others to protect this precious law and to build a more welcoming society for expectant mothers and their unborn babies.
The Bible tells us that every life, from the moment of conception, is of immeasurable value is God’s eyes. “O Lord…You created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139v13-16
This is a vital time in the history of the Republic of Ireland. We must pray earnestly and persistently that our Sovereign God and Heavenly Father convicts the people of our land about the sanctity of every human life. And we must speak up with compassion, wisdom and courage for those who cannot speak for themselves. We must also care for and counsel mothers in crisis pregnancies who may be considering abortion. So this is a time for action, for seeking God’s intervention in passionate prayer, for speaking up for the defenseless unborn and for ministering to troubled mothers with compassion and care. May God help us to be His servants and spokesmen in this crucial hour.
Rev Peter Jemphrey