by Grace Bickers, intern, Presbyterian Ministries at the United Nations and student, Columbia University (New York, New York)
Today we celebrate Human Rights Day, an opportunity to rejoice in the entirety of God’s creation and reflect on ways we can share God’s compassion and love throughout it.
In its call for respect of the inherent dignity and worth of every person, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights echoes God’s message. Each individual has a right to be respected as a part of God’s creation, and we have a responsibility as Christians to share God’s love with everyone. We show God’s love through our respect. Yet our respect requires that we work at understanding what makes us different and value those differences as part of God’s rich and diverse creation. Respect for the human rights of every person is part of this responsibility, and we support them never forgetting that many are denied these rights. Believing in the worth of all persons leads us to oppose injustice wherever in the world it occurs.
Scripture is our call to action: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”
God of love, open our hearts that we might begin to understand your wondrous creation. Fill us with your Holy Spirit to share your love so that the human rights of all of your children are protected and realized.