Reflecting God’s Freedom and Grace …

I’ve spent a good chunk of today trying to pull my thoughts together as to how I feel about the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Roe vs. Wade.

So what am I struggling with the most?

I guess the thing that I struggle with most is how some are compelled to live out their faith in the world.  Let me tell you what I mean by that.

As a long-time Congregationalist, I live in a world that celebrates the freedom and grace that God extends to ALL of God’s children.  I live in a faith community where we know that not everyone embraces the same set of values and perspectives.  And that’s okay! That’s why it’s in our spiritual DNA to extend to others the same grace and freedom (or free will) that God has extended to us.

This celebration of freedom (or free will) doesn’t come from a set of civic, or secular, beliefs for me.  No, my celebration of this freedom comes from one of the first metaphorical stories contained in Scripture: the story of Eve and Adam in the book of Genesis.

That story taught me that while God COULD have created a world in which human beings had no choice (by creating a metaphorical garden that did NOT contain the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil), God didn’t.  By including such a tree, the story teaches me that a sacred aspect of creation is the space to make choices for ourselves.

The very existence of that wonderfully expansive Tree puts us on a path where we have sacred opportunities to grow, to learn, and to become through our choices.  The story suggests that if God is comfortable enough to extend to humanity such freedom, then so – too – should I.

There are some, however, who are not comfortable honoring God’s approach.  They want to uproot the tree – or opportunities – and force everyone to travel the path they have chosen.  In doing so, they are not reflecting God’s approach: they are imposing their own.

Having served as a pastor for roughly 20 years now, I have stood in the space with individuals and their families many times as they wrestled with how to respond to an unexpected pregnancy.  And every time, I have been humbled at how powerful the process is when individuals can choose and affirm a path for themselves with the help of the Beloved.

As a pastor, I stand in solidarity with those individuals who affirm they would not choose to terminate a pregnancy for themselves.  As a pastor, I stand in solidarity with those individuals who affirm that their circumstances dictate they cannot see a pregnancy through.  That is why I am pro-choice to the bottom of my soul.

I pray for the day we human beings can overcome our desire to play God by dictating choices that are beyond our limited perspective.  I also pray that for those who feel compelled to play God, that they might do a better, more faithful job of “playing God” by extending to their siblings the same grace and freedom with which they have been blessed.

Until then, I’ll continue to stand in this holy space, and do my VERY best to protects the rights, responsibilities, and freedoms of ALL of my beloved siblings.

About Pastor Craig

I'm a 54-year-old who lives in Los Angeles, CA with his black Labrador Retriever named Max. I'm an ordained clergy person in the United Church of Christ. My passions include spirituality, politics, and sports (Go Houston teams, go!). I use my blog to start conversations rather than merely spout my perspectives and opinions. I hope you'll post a question, comment, or observation for me to respond - so we can get the conversation started!
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2 Responses to Reflecting God’s Freedom and Grace …

  1. Beverly Marshall Saling says:

    I think you’ve given a very eloquent reply to “What would Jesus do?” in this moment. Loving everyone means empowering everyone, and offering truly free choices—which in this case means making it easier to access factual sex education, birth control, abortion, pre- and postnatal healthcare, parental leave, childcare, and a host of other supports (especially for BIPOC, LGBT2QIA+, disabled, poor, and teenage birthing parents, who have long been denied the access enjoyed by cis white women).

    It’s not abortion that’s bad; it’s unwanted pregnancy. Offering as many as possible ways to deal with that both before and after it occurs gives people the most autonomy over their own bodies and the least likelihood of regretting their choices.

  2. Pam Eychner says:

    I agree 100% with your comments. Not only had the constitution given us the freedom of choice but God also has given us the choice. To take that choice away is just NOT right!!! We MUST stand up for our rights as human beings. Do all that we can NOW. We must help get everyone to vote in the fall. It’s important. Our lives & our futures depend on it!!!☮️💜

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