The most important decision you ever made


18 October 2017

by Linda Macqueen

In 1999 I read an advertisement for the job of editor of The Lutheran. It was my dream job.

The job advertisement had a list of ten must-haves on it. I scanned down the list and mentally ticked off the first nine. Yes, I can do that one, that one, that one … Nine ticks. I got to the tenth one: ‘Must live in Adelaide.’ Hmm… I lived in Brisbane. Nine out of ten ticks was pretty good, but I needed that tenth one to apply for the job. So, a bit cheekily, I wrote an ‘expression of interest’ instead. In it I said something like this:

“There is this new thing called the internet. With it you could find information about anything at all (I remember the first thing I ever googled was ‘lamb recipes’ – it was 1999 remember, when you could still afford to buy lamb). The internet can connect you with anyone, anywhere in the world”, I said. I remember writing in my application, under my list of credentials for the job, that I was a competent user of email and the internet. Wow, cutting edge stuff! And so it was – back then in 1999.

How the world has changed in a mere 18 years – and I’m not sure if it’s exhilaration or terror that I feel when I consider what the world of communications technology will look like in the next 18 years. Mainly terror I think – though thankfully I’ll be safely retired and pruning the roses by then. (And maybe cooking a lamb roast once in a while, if the superannuation allows it.)

Speaking of retirement and being put out to pasture, I am so pleased to see that a new generation of Lutherans is taking up the challenge to engage with the world in contemporary ways. Lutherans for Life is blessed to be led by a bright, thoughtful and grace-filled young team. You are bringing to our world messages about life – the joy of life, the hope of life, the love of life, all pointing to the Creator of life, of all life – great … and small. No matter how small, or even unseen, every life is priceless to God.

Joy, Hope, Love. Life. These are not the sort of messages many people expect to hear from a pro-life group associated with the church. For whatever reason they seem to anticipate messages that are hard, harsh, full of condemnation – and absolutely no fun. Yet this is not the message we Christians have to share. It is certainly not the message Lutherans for Life has to share.

For instance, if you google ‘abortion’, and happen upon the Lutherans for Life website, you might find there the courage to keep your baby – and one day you might look back at that decision you made while blinking through your tears at the Lutherans for Life website … you might look back at that decision to save your child’s life as the most important one you ever made.

One day you’re thinking about Grandad and his longing to die in his own way in his own time, so you google ‘euthanasia’. You find on the Lutherans for Life website some different ways of thinking about death and dying – and you come to understand that assisting your Grandad’s suicide is not at all the same as putting your beloved dog down.

Or, after reading a story on the website, you might start daring to believe that your infertility is not God’s punishment for something you did when you were 15. It might in fact be God’s leading you to a different sort of life, a different sort of calling that he’s been saving just for you from before you were born.

Your new Lutherans for Life website will open up a whole new world of options for people you probably do to know, and will never meet. Your website will introduce them to life, and to the God of Life, who has something bigger in mind, some higher purpose, something precious saved up for each one of them, for each one of us, than we could ever hope for or even imagine.

Thank you to the Lutherans for Life team for your vision to create this website, and for your courage, honesty and freshness in the way you tackle head-on life’s most difficult questions. Thank you for the way you bring God’s messages of hope, healing, new beginnings and joy to people at what is likely to be the darkest times of their lives.

My prayer for all who come through the door of your new website is that they will feel here that they are finally free, that they will find love, hope and joy here – like they are walking in the parklands and hearing the birds singing.

And with that prayer in my heart, I am pleased and honoured to launch the Lutherans for Life website.