“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
Today is a monumental day, a day on which we simultaneously rejoice, pray, give thanks, lament, repent and weep. The Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade and returned the responsibility for protecting life to the states. “Held: The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives” (SCOTUS, Dobbs v. Jackson, 1).
“[The Lord] has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate” (Luke 1:52).
Today is also the Church’s feast day, the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ. These two events are a happy convergence.
Today we celebrate the birth of the one who, before he was born, leaped in joyful Spirit-inspired confession when his mother met the mother of his unborn Lord. Today we take comfort in our Lord’s unborn forerunner and in the unborn Savior. We also rejoice at the resounding victory for life in the United States. Many of us long doubted it would ever come. The Lord has had mercy upon us, even us, sinners all, even in these times.
Today we continue to speak out against the evil of abortion, which many will continue to practice and advocate in states bent on death. Many who have been misled by the father of lies and the culture of death greet this day with weeping and gnashing of teeth. Today we continue to sing that the Lord “has visited and redeemed his people” (Luke 1:68).
Today we pray for unborn children who remain unprotected in many states. Today, in many places, the abortion industry continues to kill unborn children and welcomes those from states where such killing is illegal. Today we take comfort that by the Lord’s hand “we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us” (Luke 1:71).
Today we repent of our own lack of love for the least, the last and the lost, for mothers in need and families facing crises. Today we celebrate God’s gift of the one He sent to “go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:76–77).
Today we recommit to love all, unborn and born. Today we receive the sunrise from on high, “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Luke 1:79).
Today we proclaim: Repent and believe the Good News that Jesus Christ, conceived by the Spirit, formed in the womb and born of the virgin Mary, died and rose for sinners. That includes all of us. Today we give thanks for John who preached repentance and pointed to the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
Today we lovingly invite all to listen to Jesus’ call, “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). If you have caused an abortion, the taking of life, there is forgiveness in Jesus! Don’t be hardened in sin or advocate for more sins. Today you have hope in the One whose way John the Baptist prepared. Jesus is for sinners. Come join the rest of us forgiven sinners! Jesus is for you! You need not have a bad conscience! Repent and believe the Good News of God’s love for you in Jesus.
Today we lament that the U.S. Supreme Court continues to deny the unborn the legally recognized right to life. Even though Roe v. Wade has fallen, states can still allow the killing of unborn children. Today we pray that more unborn will leap for joy in the womb, as St. John did.
Today, even as we rejoice, we weep that U.S. policy continues to promote abortion globally. Today we bend our knees in prayer.
O Lord, “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24). The Lord preceded His Son, our Savior, with a forerunner. We pray that today’s decision points ahead to the day when every state advances the cause of life and expands protections for unborn children.
Lord have mercy upon us.
Matthew C. Harrison
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
For more information on the Synod’s response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson, read:
• A joint letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland from Harrison and the presidents of the WELS and ELS regarding increased violence against churches, pregnancy resource centers and pro-life organizations.
Also, LCMS Worship provides prayer petitions for congregations to use following the ruling.