Friday, 06 April 2018 09:47

All Lives Should Shine

Written by  Bob Crittendon
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A few years ago, Joni Eareckson Tada shared a radio commentary which encouraged listeners to allow the light of Christ to shine even through hardships.  She included a reference to a passage in Philippians 2.  She writes:


The apostle Paul is writing from a dark

prison cell and he tells his friends: “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe...”


For years, the Gerber company has been displaying the famous baby picture on its products. And, now, each year, the company, according to Bill Partyka, chief executive and president of Gerber, “...we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s long-standing heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby...”

That quote is from a story about the latest Gerber Spokesbaby, Lucas Warren, who was selected from 140,000 entrants.  Lucas is very unique - he has Down Syndrome. 


Writer Leah Barkoukis states:


In a world where far too many people and countries (like Iceland) don’t believe in the value of every human life, Gerber’s decision should be celebrated.


Many parents, particularly those who have children with Down syndrome, did just that.


Lucas is from Dalton, GA, and his dad, Jason Warren, told the Today show: “We’re hoping this will impact everyone — that it will shed a little bit of light on the special needs community and help more individuals with special needs be accepted and not limited,” adding, “They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else.”


The DailyWire website reported that the state of Utah is considering a ban on the abortion of pre-born babies with Down Syndrome, joining Indiana, Ohio, and North Dakota.  An article on the site quoted from the LifeNews website:


Unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities are discriminated against at astronomical rates. Parents whose unborn babies have Down syndrome or other disabilities frequently report feeling pressure to abort them by doctors and genetic counselors.


Earlier this year, a CBS News report shocked the nation with its exposure of the discriminatory abortion trend. According to the report, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland. The rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the United Kingdom and 67 percent in the United States between 1995 and 2011, according to CBS.


This is totally unacceptable, and completely ignores that every life is a creation of God, special, unique, reflecting His image.


Tim Tebow is devoted to showing teens and adults with disabilities that they are special by sponsoring a series of proms called the Night to Shine.  Last Friday, CBN News ran a story about the concept:


The event is called “Night to Shine” and it was created by the Tim Tebow Foundation to share the love of God in a practical way.


“Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older. On one night, February 9, 2018, more than 540 churches from around the world came together to host Night to Shine for approximately 90,000 honored guests through the support of 175,000 volunteers!” the foundation says on its website.


The article continues:


Each special needs youth invited to the prom is called a “king” or “queen” and the whole community gathers to treat them like royalty for the entire evening.


“We get to celebrate a lot of people with special needs and hopefully change a lot of lives,” Tebow said in a video Friday.


Just Google, “Night to Shine,” and you will see extensive local press coverage. 


This is a great example of the Church being the Church and shows how Christians value every life, and in unselfish acts of love, make people with special needs truly feel special - please notice that the anticipated number of volunteers was almost twice the number of guests expected.


The takeaways are simple - one, is that we should always come to the defense of life - in the womb, throughout a person’s life, and even until the end-of-life.  God is the author of life, and as humans, we are not authorized to take life.


We also can be grateful for what people with special needs, who struggle with disabilities, can teach us.  You hear inspiring stories of people who are disabled who provide an example of determination against sometimes overwhelming odds.


The Church has a special opportunity to speak and to act on behalf of the vulnerable.  There are excellent ministries, such as Joni and Friends, Hope Heals, Rooftop Friends, and others who are dedicated to making communities and churches more aware of the needs of those who are challenged.  



Last modified on Friday, 06 April 2018 09:57
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