In a culture rife with contention, debate, turmoil, and crisis, it’s somewhat refreshing to arrive at the end of the year and experience the peace that encroaches upon the chaos at Christmastime. The holiday season allows us to take a moment to breathe, and look with a measure of gratitude at the life we’ve lived and the people who have surrounded us on the journey.
But Christmas holds another reminder — a lesson — to us who may find ourselves in uncomfortable situations that stand in stark contrast to where we hoped we’d be as the year comes to a close. In a year where historic legislative gains have been made to protect the lives of women and unborn children, infant lives are still at deadly risk in communities of color. In major cities around the nation, a targeted attack to eliminate black and brown children continues to unfold as mega-abortion centers stealthily plant themselves in urban communities in cities like Charlotte, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; and Chicago, Illinois.
The climate of death and aggression toward the unborn was present on that first Christmas, with Joseph and Mary fleeing for their lives and protecting the life of the unborn son in Mary’s womb. Under the mandate of unjust rulers, Joseph and Mary were forced to risk their lives to protect the innocent life that would, in the end, change all of our lives.
Can you imagine how she felt: Mary, a young, teen mother, engaged to a man but unsure of how her unplanned pregnancy would affect her future? In those days, and in these days, a pregnancy changes everything. From the moment of conception, the priorities and consequences no longer have a singular impact. Every decision a mother makes matters. And for Mary, she decided that she wouldn’t see the babe in her womb as a problem. She would accept him as a promise.
This Christmas, we will remain committed to raising awareness of the systems of cruelty and injustice that occur in communities of color around our nation that threaten the lives of children, born and unborn, but we encourage you today to take the battle to a much more personal place. We implore you to make the decision that Mary made: see the infant in your womb, or the one in your arms, as a promise. See the children who bear your image and wear your name as a promise. Look at them afresh this Christmas and see that you have been uniquely selected to bear, nurture, and care for God’s most precious gift: a child.
Whether you are like Mary — parenting in an uncomfortable, unplanned, and unstable environment — know that your life and that of your child are not outside of the care and protection of a heavenly Father who loves you, who will guide you to people and resources that will encourage and support you. This Christmas, if you are not like Mary, and the pressure of bringing forth new life isn’t the road you’re walking right now, then be like Joseph. Walk with Mary, find a donkey to carry her to safety, compel an innkeeper to provide shelter, and then share your life with both mother and child offering support, companionship, and community. This Christmas, the miracle of birth and life has not ended. It is alive and vibrant, an invitation for all to take part in bringing peace, love, light, and good will to children, to mothers, and to all men.
Walter B. Hoye II is the founder and president of the Issues4Life Foundation, the founder of the California Civil Rights and the Frederick Douglas Foundations of California, and proponent of the California Equal Rights Amendment.