More than a decade ago I stood in a square in old Boston listening to a very passionate guide talk about July 18, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was read from the balcony of the Old State House there for the first time. One of my historical heroes, First Lady to be Abigail Adams, stood in the crowd that had gathered to hear the declaration read that day. She, an intelligent and thoughtful patriot, understood as much or more than anyone else in the square the significance of the moment.
As I listened to our guide and felt the momentary shadow of the importance of that moment years ago I briefly wondered what it would be like to experience such a day myself. To feel the weight of joy at the hand of God acting through the work of men for the good of a nation and to know the sober reality of the task now ahead. I did not really think I would see such a day in my lifetime.
But then yesterday, June 24, 2022, arrived and I sat awash with emotions at the news of the Supreme Court’s overthrow of Roe v Wade, declaring that the wicked decision which granted national legality to the murder of unborn children nearly 50 years ago was, in fact, not Constitutional after all.
The joy is weighty, overwhelming, deep. It erupted yesterday in happy tears in the middle of shopping and singing psalms at the top of my lungs while running errands. It exploded in thrown together plans for ice cream sundae celebrations with friends last night and the kind of bellylaughing that overflows from an abundance of joy. It was a good day. A feast day. A day that I will happily still be talking about when my hair is grey and my hearing is going. June 24 is a day that deserves the celebration and remembrance of generations to come.
This is a time for praise and thanksgiving to God who has used the work of men to bring about good for a nation who does not deserve His favor and grace. He has given us mercy once again and acted to stay the hand of those who wickedly participated in legalized murder, often gleefully. Mere hours after the decision abortion mills in Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Wisconsin had halted their activities and closed their doors. There are children who were scheduled for death yesterday who are still alive today. Praise the Lord! Praise, oh servants of the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord!
This is a time for praise and thanksgiving to God who has used the work of men to bring about good for a nation who does not deserve His favor and grace.
It is also a time for solemnity. For repentance for the national sin of abortion that has been allowed to stain our land for so long. For mourning over the 60+ million lives that have been snuffed out in the womb, little image bearers whose slaughter should take our breath away and drive us to our knees. For recognition that the work of complete abolition is ongoing and that the struggle will be fierce and, likely, bloody before it is done. But this is a good work, a work that honors God, and a work from which His children must not flinch. Our God is a God of life and calls us to courage in the face of all adversity. The words of Proverbs are instructive to us as we look to the days ahead.
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:10-12)
And it is a good time to remember that we are not the first to have stood in the weight of joy and solemnity, in the day of great matters and in the face of hardships in the struggle to come. John Adams wrote to Abigail on July 3rd, after the Continental Congress had finalized the draft of the Declaration, with this same mix of joy and resolve that all who love the cause of life should feel today.
“I am apt to believe that it [the date of the adoption of the Declaration] will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
Our God is a God of life and calls us to courage in the face of all adversity.
“You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
May God give us this same spirit of rejoicing as we celebrate the overthrow of Roe now and in coming generations, and equal courage and conviction to give our toil, blood, and treasure in a cause that is more than worth all the means, the rescue of those being taken away to death and the full abolition of abortion in every State in this Nation of ours.