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Anyone interested in writing an editorial piece for the Worship page contact Editor Phil Hawkins at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

When were we first known by God? My cousin was asked that question in a class she's taking at her church. Let's look at that.

The debate on abortion asks, "When does life begin?" Some answer that life begins when the baby can live outside, separate from, the mother. In contrast to this is a conversation I had with Marie Chinn. I called Chin because I was curious about Life Chain and she is associated with Salem Right to Life. Chinn said the little one in the womb has a heartbeat at three weeks. At six weeks, brain activity. Another source, Dr. Maureen Condic, PhD., speaking before Congress, said eight weeks is "the earliest point at which the fetus experiences pain in any capacity." (See LifeNews.com, 5/23/2013.)

COURTESY PHOTO - Suzanne YbarraThus, we have a practical answer and answers from science. Where is God in all this?

Christian abortionist Dr. Willie Parker says, "I became morally convinced that it was not a conflict of my Christian values to provide abortion care, and in fact, it became unethical to me not to do so." Parker believes he is doing God's work and that he is protecting women's right to decide their futures for themselves and to live their lives as they see fit. (See Opinion section, New York Times, 5/6/2017.)

In contrast, Chinn shared about Life Chain, an annual event when people line up along Lancaster Drive for an hour. They hold signs which say, "Abortion kills children", "Jesus forgives and heals", "Abortion hurts women", and "Pregnant? Need Help? Call 800-712-HELP".

Chinn has experienced God's presence. One year, on the day of Life Chain, it was pouring unending buckets of rain — until the time when the event started. It stayed dry for the hour-long vigil. After Life Chain time was over, the rain resumed full force.

God has answered Life Chain's efforts. One year, a young woman carrying a baby shared her story with a woman on the line. She had been pregnant. Her entire family was pressuring her to get an abortion. She saw the sign which said, "Abortion kills children". She decided she didn't want to kill her baby.

The question is, "When were we first known by God?" The abortion debate points toward an answer.

Scripture is not silent. It satisfies our quest. In Jeremiah, God says he knew us before he formed us in our mother's womb. In Psalm 139, God saw us before our bodies were formed. Along with Psalm 139, there's an amazing detail in Ephesians 1:4. It says God chose us before the creation of the world.

The answer is God knew us before the creation of the world. The next question is, "How does this answer affect the way you see yourself and others?"

Suzanne Ybarra can be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Anyone interested in writing an editorial piece for the Worship page is encouraged to do so. Contact Editor Phil Hawkins at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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