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Monday, June 30, 2014

Excerpt from With A Day Like Yours, Couldn't You Use a Little Grace


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May 9: FDA Approves Birth Control

On this day in 1960, the Food and Drug Administration announced it would approve the first oral contraceptive birth control.  While some faiths ask women to refrain from using contraception, Lutherans believe that God’s creating power is bigger than our personal medical choices.

While some people may use birth control as an excuse to indulge in unsafe behaviors, many women use birth control to regulate pain from their periods or to treat illnesses. 

Birth control, much like Viagra, uses hormones to regulate how private parts function.  Did you know that regardless of sex, hormones are the most prescribed medication in the US?

For some women, access to birth control is primarily about maintaining choice and the ability to make personal health decisions. 

In Biblical times, people believed that menstruating women were more like God, because blood was thought to be the creating tool to make life. 

Do you hear more about women being holy or evil when they are menstruating?

While science, religious organizations and society continue to work on improving communication and health options for families hoping to create or acquire children, today we celebrate the advancements in medicine that help women decrease pain and illness, while increasing their choice and health.

Prayer of the Day:  Creating God, help us to find ways to celebrate women, their rhythms of life and to honor their choices about health and family.  Support and protect the scientists and doctors that put their careers and lives on the line to help women.  Amen.

This is a day about choice, so I’ve decided to also offer prayer choices. Depending on your personal beliefs, you may choose to pray the prayer below.  If your faith is against birth control, or if you are opposed to abortion in all circumstances, skip to the biblical text of the day. 

God of health and healing, be with all women who feel shame or regret about choices they have made about having or not having a family.  Care for them and help them to feel your full forgiveness. 

Provide comfort for those who mourn children lost through abortion, miscarriage, untimely death, custody battles or who have run away.  Help these parents to find a light in their deep darkness and to find healthy ways to honor the memory of their lost children.

Bless the doctors and health care providers that provide controversial lifesaving treatment for mothers or who provide a dignified passing for children with severe complications.  May your will be done even when your continued creating, remaking and reforming our world looks different than we might expect. 

Be with everyone who lives with the pain of being unable to have a child.  We don’t know why it’s easy for some and impossibly hard for others.  But, we trust that you are always with us.

May the love of God overwhelm us, especially when we are unsure, or make the wrong choice.  Amen.

Biblical Text of the Day: Mark 5:24b-29
And a large crowd followed Jesus and pressed in on him. 25Now there was a woman who had been menstruating for twelve years. 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but continual grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind Jesus in the crowd and touched Jesus’ cloak, 28for she said, “If I but touch Jesus’ clothes, I will be made well.” 29Immediately her bleeding stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.