Dear Friends and Family of the Preborn Child,
“GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN.” (Luke 2:14) These are the words the angels sang as they appeared to the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night to herald the birth in that humble stable at Bethlehem of the Christ Child, the Savior of the world!
But Jesus had already been with us in the world for 9 months within the temple of the womb of Mary. Indeed, from the time that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her she would be “overshadowed by the power of the Most High” (Luke 1:35) – indeed, at this moment, the heavenly choirs surely sang in heaven the same words “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” because the angels were understanding that from the moment of his conception Jesus was among mortals on earth.
Scripture tells us that following Gabriel’s appearance to her, Mary went with haste (Luke 1:39) to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was 6 months pregnant (Luke 1:36) with John the Baptist. It has been estimated that even walking the trip from Mary’s house to Elizabeth’s house would have taken at the most a couple days. Scripture tells us that as Mary came up the walk to Elizabeth’s front door, upon hearing her greeting Elizabeth’s child, John the Baptist, leapt in her womb. He was leaping for joy in the presence of the Christ Child (Luke 1:41). The soul of John the Baptist was knowing and recognizing the soul of his Savior!
Part of the debate over the equal humanity and personhood of the preborn child in our world today deals with ‘ensoulment’. Scripture makes it clear that the soul is present from the moment of conception (Jeremiah 1:5). Life in its fullness begins, like everything else, at the beginning.
Dr. Jerome Lejeune, the world dean of geneticists, stated “The human embryo is a being, and being human, it is a human being. It is person and not ‘property’ because it is the only ‘property’ which has the property of building itself.”
Dr. Lejeune further explained that information and matter, body and soul come together and you cannot speak of one without the other and language never has (body and soul).
As we contemplate that manger scene this Christmas, let us prayerfully think on these things and pray for a new birth of understanding in our nation of the equal humanity and personhood of all pre-born children.
Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
R. Martin Palmer