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Minute for Mission: Human Rights Day


December 10, 2022

Photo provided.

Human beings often forget that all life is sacred.

On this day in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) declared the sacredness of all human life due to its “inherent dignity” and its “equal and inalienable rights.”

In 1948, people across the world declared in the UDHR that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They … should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

And yet, segregation did not legally end in America until 1964.

In 1948, the UDHR declared, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

And yet, Black people were being lynched until 1968.

Human beings often forget that all life is sacred.

And as the preamble of the UDHR states, without a recognition of this sacredness of all life, there will be no “freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

In 1948, the United Nations declared a recognition of this inherent sacredness, and yet, in 2020 Black people were murdered across America and protests broke out across the world in their wake.

In 1948, humanity declared a movement toward freedom, justice and peace, and yet, we are still fighting for that today.

Mother Teresa once said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to one another.”

The past two years have revealed a very obvious lack of peace in our world.

There has been tumult in America, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, and many other parts of the world because human beings have forgotten that they belong to one another.

In his book Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul, John Philip Newell writes, “Why did the #MeToo movement take off so quickly in recent years in which hundreds of thousands of women came forward to speak out against abuse? Why did the Black Lives Matter protests burst onto the international stage within days of the George Floyd murder in Minneapolis? In each of these situations, deep down, we know something sacred was at stake. And we woke up.”

Human Rights Day is a call to wake up.

It is a reminder that we all belong to one another. That all life is sacred.

In 1948, we knew something sacred was at stake. And today, something sacred is still at stake.

It is time for us to wake up.

Angelina DeVincenzo, Field Education Intern with Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, Second-Year M.Div. Student, Princeton Theological Seminary

Today’s Focus: Human Rights Day

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Kathy Lueckert, President, Administrative Services Group (A Corp)
Samantha Lund, Legal Office Administrator, Administrative Services Group (A Corp)

Let us pray

God, we come to you today acknowledging that we often forget that all life is sacred.
We come to you admitting that we often forget we all belong to one another.
So today, Lord, give us curiosity before judgment,
give us love before hate,
give us belonging before division.
Help us to be more aware of the sacred Light in each person.
Help us to permanently wake up today.

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