Toward a More Humane Future – Article 3

Toward a More Humane Future is a devotional study on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for use by individuals or groups.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3

Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and security of person.


Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everlasting stream.

Amos 5:24

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Let your gentleness be known to everyone.  The Lord is near.  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians. 4:4-7


  • Consider a situation in which people are denied their right to life, liberty, and security. What do you know about that situation? What do you need to learn? How can you respond?
    Learn about the work of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for access for justice for the Dalits of Nepal.
  • The United Nations Cyberschoolbus suggests the following activity (slightly adapted):
  • Draw a four-columned table and label column one liberty and column three security. List the liberties you have or want and then what kinds of security you have or want. Label columns two and four as means. Across from each of the items in columns one and three, write down the means by which that particular form of liberty or security might be achieved. For example, under security one could list ‘walk home safely at night’. One way to achieve that is by setting up ‘neighborhood watches’ or a ‘police patrol’. Once you have the table complete, discuss the following: can any of the items listed under means also be used to seriously obstruct the liberty or security of citizens.
  • If you enjoy the freedoms of life, liberty and security, consider how Christ safeguards these freedoms for you through prayer. Without prayer, we confront our problems with anxiety and fear. With prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, we find a sense of security and peace that surpasses all understanding.


  • Pick an action from Amnesty International’s Activism Center.
  • Consider actions suggested by the International Dalit Solidarity Network.
  • Plan a worship service for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or Race Relations Sunday.
  • Pray for our sisters and brothers who are oppressed by unjust governments, besieged by war, violated by discrimination and overwhelmed by hatred. Pray that “justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everlasting stream.”


Living Spirit, Christ our Lord,
We give thanks for our world, but we weep for its people.
We pray for an end to the violence all across our planet.
We pray for an end to wars, an end to fighting, an end to torture and rape.
We ask for peace and reconciliation,
We ask for security and justice.
We ask for your presence among us today and every day, that we might feel your peace that surpasses all understanding, your power that emboldens us to seek justice, and your provision that ensures us we will have what we need to carry on, and to encourage others to trust in you as well.  Amen.

With thanks to Ellen Clark Clemot

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