By Susan Ciancio
One of the most evocative lines in “O Holy Night” tells us:
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
“The soul felt its worth.”
What are we worth to God? We are worth His Son. We are worth the mockery. We are worth the scourging. We are worth the crown of thorns. We are worth the weight of the cross. And we are worth the agonizing pain of nails driven through His hands and feet.
That is how much we are worth to God. Yet all too often, we as broken human beings feel unworthy. We think the things we have done will keep God from forgiving us. We allow that fear to keep us from seeking forgiveness and a better relationship with Him. But we also allow that fear to keep us from loving ourselves.
Jesus came so that we could spend eternity with Him. He believes in our value and our dignity. He believes we are worth His sacrifice. But in order for us to see the value and dignity in all people, we must first truly believe in our own value and dignity. That can be so difficult in today’s world where the woke crowd shouts that people can mutilate their bodies and change their gender at will, where women scream for the “right” to kill preborn children, and where the elderly and sick are discarded before their time under the guise of “compassionate care.”
We look around our world and see such a lack of love and respect for people as God created them, such contempt for suffering, and such a focus on what we can do rather than who we are as sons and daughters of God that we begin to internalize this message of disdain. It then becomes part of us, and we begin to question our value.
We will never be able to see the dignity in others if we cannot see the dignity in ourselves. We must look at that person in the mirror and be 100% convinced of our own worth—a worth that caused our Heavenly Father to send His Son to die. If ever we had a doubt about our value as human beings, we need only look at the cross.
So as Christmas approaches, and we prepare for this joyful day, let us take time to reflect upon our worth as human beings. If we feel unworthy, let us examine the reasons why. Maybe we seek the confessional. Maybe we seek professional help. Maybe we seek forgiveness from someone we have hurt. And then we make changes. It all begins with us.
God wants us to truly know and understand that we are worth Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. This was His gift to us. And though we can never even come close to repaying that gift, we can live our lives giving thanks, praising Him, and helping others see their own value and dignity. That is what is meant by building a culture of life.
So as we sing “O Holy Night” and ponder that tiny baby and the sacrifice He will make, let us never forget our worth and the worth of every single person around us. For when Christ died, He died for you, and He died for me.
Merry Christmas from all of us at the Culture of Life Studies Program!