As we proceed through these next few weeks of Advent in preparation for the coming of the Christ Child, we should remember how closely the culture of life is connected with the holy feast of Christmas. Christ came into the world as a tiny child; His public ministry focused on restoring human dignity, inspiring repentance, and healing the sick.
When Christ accepted His cross on calvary, He reminded us of the redemptive power of suffering. From His humble birth in Bethlehem to His acceptance of suffering out of love for all mankind, Christ inspires us in so many ways how to live the culture of life. Here are some ways that you and your family can prepare for Christmas while exemplifying the culture of life.
Advent is a time of waiting, preparation, and joyous expectation, much like Lent is a preparation for Easter. As we decorate our houses in lights and Christmas greenery, we must also do things to show we remember Christ. For instance, leaving the manger in a Nativity scene empty until Christmas morning emphasizes the sense of waiting and longing for the arrival of the Savior.
Mary and Joseph did not completely understand what God was calling them to do when they said yes and followed His plan for the salvation of the world. Unmarried, but betrothed, the Blessed Mother willingly accepted the unexpected pregnancy. And, after receiving a message in a dream, St. Joseph heeded God’s call as well. If he had ignored this message, Mary would have been left to care for the Savior of the world by herself. Yet they both trusted in God to take care of them.
Pro-abortionists use the term “unplanned” to describe a baby who was not expected by his parents. This terminology ignores the intentional creative act of God to bring each human person into existence. Jesus might not have been “planned” by His earthly parents, but His coming and the salvation of the world had been in God’s plan since the fall of Adam and Eve.
As pro-lifers, it is our duty to reach out to women in difficult pregnancies or women who have had abortions. We must offer them love, compassion, guidance, and a safe place to go where they can receive both emotional and financial assistance. We can also be a presence where they will witness our love and support.
Some pro-life groups organize “empty manger” caroling outside abortion clinics as a reminder that the Savior of the world was born into lowly and humble circumstances. Standing in solidarity with the innocent children being killed in the clinic, the carolers bring reminders of the joy of Christmas, the gift of life of every child, and the hope of the Christ Child to save all sinners.
During His public ministry, Jesus paid special attention to children, people with illnesses, and those who were nearing death. As we strive to live a culture of life, our mission is to follow Christ’s example and protect those who are weak, suffering, undervalued, or ignored.
Take some time this Advent to reach out in your community to build this culture of life. This could be as simple as taking your children to visit an elderly neighbor for a few minutes, shoveling snow for a single mom, or reconnecting with estranged family members. Whatever you do, let your actions show that each and every human being has value and dignity.
Our materialistic, throwaway culture puts a low price on the value of the human person. In our society, human beings are considered expendable, even replaceable, and people are not given the dignity and respect that they deserve as members of the human family.
When we contemplate the beauty of our Savior’s birth, we begin to understand the significance and importance of every person’s life. People cannot be replaced, and no one else can fulfill the role given to them by God. Like Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the three kings, we must always be ready and willing to say yes to God’s call and stand up in defense of every human being. This Advent, let our actions reflect this acceptance of God’s call for us to care for each and every one of His children.
Mary Kizior is a content developer for American Life League’s Culture of Life Studies Program, which stresses the culture of life as an integral part of every academic discipline. CLSP is dedicated to helping students become effective communicators of the pro-life message. Sign up for our e-mail newsletter to see how we can help you foster a culture of life at home and in school.