It’s the time of year again when the Yuletide brings us both celebration and serenity as we observe the birth of the Christ Child and reflect on the year that has flown by.
2017 has been an eventful year for Life and indeed the entire pro-life movement. It was the 50th year of the passing of the Abortion Act and as we linked hands in the movement and reflected on the 8.8 million lives lost through this Act, we recommitted ourselves to the struggle to protect the unborn child and support women in crisis.
The desire to reach out with love and compassion to the most vulnerable, the most challenged and those in greatest need of support, is central to the message of Christmas. The Christmas Story told in school plays and in churches across the country is as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago. Jesus’ parents, a very pregnant Mary and her husband Joseph must have faced considerable hardship and challenges as they journeyed for about 70 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. One can imagine how fearful and how vulnerable Mary must have felt when her baby was about to arrive and she had no place to stay. Jesus’ birth in a humble stable is itself a message to us all. Indeed, the entire Christmas story represents a lesson to all of us. That like Mary, many of us will face challenges and hardships but if we have hope, faith, and perseverance, great things can happen even from the most modest of circumstances.
Christmas reminds us, even as we celebrate, that we must reach out with love and compassion to the vulnerable and homeless. Our Life houses across the country have been doing this for over four decades. Thousands of people are alive today, who may themselves or their children to come, do great things, and who otherwise would not be here had we not reached out with the care and support their mothers needed. This year our charity came under sustained attack from the abortion industry and its allies in parliament, as the Government pledged a grant to us to provide support for women in crisis. It exposed the greed of the industry which is worried that if women are helped to continue with their pregnancy it would chip away at the millions of pounds they rake in every year from the taxpayer. I can imagine that such greed and selfishness also existed 2000 years ago. In the Massacre of the Innocents, Herod sought to protect his wealth and power by killing children. So greed is not new and today we expect that those who profit from the plight of women by terminating their unborn, will of course do all they can to protect their money. We in the pro-life movement will do all that we can to protect women from the abortion industry and save the lives of unborn children.
We believe in hope in times of adversity. We believe in compassion and care for those who are troubled. We believe that despite its sham and drudgery it still is a very beautiful world, made even more beautiful with the birth of every single child. We believe that light shines in the darkness when we reach out with love and kindness to our fellow human beings both inside and outside the womb. Such beliefs are central to the wonderful story of the miraculous birth of Jesus. We celebrate His birth and life.
From our entire Life family to your family, may this Christmas time bring you peace, love, warmth and great joy. Merry Christmas everyone!