“God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27
January is a month in which we focus on human rights in the United States. Rather than generally throwing around the term, “human rights,” I want to begin by considering the source of such rights. Human rights are a product of human dignity; human dignity is rooted in our design. We were created in the image of God. Because of our common ancestry, all humans possess great value and worth with a great capacity to create and love. The same two common ancestors chose to rebel against their Creator bringing brokenness into our world. That brokenness has resulted in a world that devalues human life. The evils of racism, abortion and human trafficking illustrate that brokenness in exceedingly horrible ways.
Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of a world where “children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” His dream reflected the truth of human dignity being grounded in our Creator. As I sit in my office overlooking the playground of PCA, I observe the results of his dream. The diversity of PCA is worthy of celebration. Yet, racism continues to darken our world from ethnic cleansing to subtle discrimination.
January 20th is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. The image of our Creator is stamped even on the least of these. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret” (Psalm 139:14-15). Abortion is not a political issue; it is a human dignity issue. Yet, our world values the announcement of the expectation of the royal baby in Britain, but is willing to discard the fetus of an unwanted pregnancy.
There are more than 27 million slaves in our world today. President Obama has declared that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month stating that “we recommit to bringing an end to this inexcusable human rights abuse.” It is not just an international issue; forced labor and sexual exploitation can occur in our own community.
Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit has the power to change the broken heart of man. I believe that one change that occurs as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit is a passion to confront the injustices that strip human dignity from ones created in God’s image. As we confront injustice, be reminded of the challenge from BeAVoice.net
, “Let us choose to see those who disagree with us, as God sees them, treating them with respect and dignity while helping them to open their eyes to see the beauty and value of life.”