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In the span of 7 days: celebration & challenge

 

Ronnie Floyd

Within the span of seven days, each American had some important reasons to celebrate and to recognize key challenges before us.

Last Monday, America celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His extraordinary commitment and sacrifice in bringing recognition to racial equality in America changed the course of human history. Major advancements have been made in our nation relating to civil rights due to his service and sacrifice.

Yet, it is without question that racial challenges are still evident in America, seemingly more so in recent years. Each man and woman in this world has been created in the image of God and each is equal before God. Life on this earth needs to mirror what God declares.

Please do all you can with any level of influence you have in order to show distinction and value to each person in your community and in our nation regardless of the color of their skin. Each of us needs to lead forward in praying, leading and working together to bring racial unity in America.

Another reason to celebrate in this nation is the remarkable American heritage of the peaceful transition of power in the American presidency. America observed this historical event on Friday. Regardless of who you voted for, it was once again a remarkable day in history.

President-elect Donald Trump was sworn in and became the president of all Americans, and he now faces extraordinary challenges in our nation. While national security, economic concerns, educational challenges, social issues and a myriad of other things are great challenges, the greatest challenge is for our nation to come together as one. Each of us must do all we can to quiet the rhetoric and accusations, use wisdom, and determine that the greatest America occurs when we are not just saying but are living as the United States of America.

Almost all people who read these words live somewhere in America. In our relationship networks, in person or on social media, as well as in our communities, millions of us must begin to call for unity in America. We live in the greatest nation in the world, so let’s go forward in the greatest way—together.

This past Sunday was the day that millions of Americans celebrated the sanctity of human life. We believe that life begins at conception and each unborn child is made in the image of God; therefore, each is a life that God has created. Even as abortions are now nearing 50 million babies since 1973, we see hopeful signs of a reported fewer abortions than the year before. For this, we are grateful.

Additionally, technology has increased our potential to one day have the real story of each baby revealed before each mother’s eyes and prayerfully move them to choose life. We are also hearing a great commitment from the incoming administration to appoint pro-life justices for the Supreme Court.

Yet, while there is so much reason to have hope, we still must be vigilant to value each human life. As we stand for the value of the unborn child, we need to stand just as courageously for the quality of life for each person alive from the womb to the tomb; yes, from conception to death and burial. We must hold high this banner and not compromise any value of human life regardless of the color of their skin, the level of their resources or the location of their dwelling in this world. It is on each of us to hold this high.

As well, we must stand with ministries that do all they can to assist and care for mothers who are in the crucible of decision-making about their pregnancy. This is critical for the future of this world in holding high human life. As well, for anyone who assists unwed or single moms with a pregnancy, it is crucial for churches and ministries to come alongside them and attempt to assist in their needs.

If the church does not stand for and practice racial equality, lead and call for unity in our nation, and value life from conception to death, who will? We cannot expect politicians to do what the church is called to do. (BP)

Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, is immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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