A person's a person, no matter how small

That's the repeated line in the Dr. Seuss book-come-movie 'Horton hears a Who', a favourite film in the Gobbett house.

Dave Gobbett | 18:52, 15 October 2016

Horton (an elephant) discovers a microscopic world (the land of Whoville) on a tiny speck of dust, that only he can hear. No one believes Horton, who spends the course of the film trying to protect the speck of dusk from would-be attackers who are out to get it.

Horton MovieIt's a brilliant film with beautiful animation, great characterisation and slapstick humour. But its message is profound: just because we can't see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. We've used Horton to talk to our kids about how some people don't believe in God, just because they can't see him. But the fact that Horton can't see the people of Whoville doesn't mean they're not there! (And in Jesus, God 'shrinks' himself down to enter our world so we can know him.)

Horton is also a powerful illustration of the plight of the unborn

But Horton is also a powerful illustration of the plight of the unborn, whose size in utero is their greatest peril. The scene in the movie when the people of Whoville realise they're facing death, and cry out in unison "We are here! We are here! We are here!" to try to alert the world to their tiny existence, is as terrifying a scene as you'll get in a certified U film. Especially with your eyes open to what it might remind you of.

Downs Syndrome: Vanellus Foto [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia CommonsWhich brings me to an extraordinary BBC documentary by Sally Phillips about Down's Syndrome broadcast on 5th October. If you've not yet seen it, I strongly encourage you to do so. With the advent of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing, which screens pregnant mothers for babies with Down's, there will a growing pressure to terminate. In Iceland where NIPT has been available for five years, 100% of Down's pregnancies have been terminated; in the UK we're already aborting three times as many Down's pregnancies than we were 20 years ago (we're now up to 3 babies, per day). And we can legally abort up to full term.

the joy, warmth and enrichment ... fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God 

While no doubt raising a child with Down's Syndrome adds its own unique pressures, all my friends who have done so would testify to the joy, warmth and enrichment their precious children – fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God – have brought them.

Why not pause right now and pray for the impact of Sally Phillips' documentary.

  • Pray that God would use it to stem the tide of prenatal infanticide in our nation, giving thanks to God for Sally Phillips' bravery in making the documentary.
  • Pray that God would give courage to Christian doctors to speak up for truth, like Daniel, and that they'd know where to draw 'the line in the sand'.
  • Pray for Christians in academic research that God would enable them to use their influence for good.
  • Pray particularly for those with Down's Syndrome today, and their carers, that they may feel respected and treasured for the people they are.
  • Pray for the ministry of Prospects, a Christian charity working with people with learning difficulties, including Down's Syndrome. Might you consider a one-off gift to them?
  • Pray lastly for women who have terminated their pregnancies. Pray that they would know God's grace and truth, and that our church would open our arms to them in love and hope.

These are challenging times to be alive as Christians, but our calling continues to be salt and light where God has placed us. And he promises to be with us till the very end of the age (Matt 28:20).

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