Will you respect the dignity of every human being?

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? — The Book of Common Prayer.

I suspect during Baptism in most Christian churches the baptized and the congregation are asked something similar to the baptismal covenant found above, and everyone says, “I will, with God’s help.

I came across someone today talking about Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Jose in apocalyptic terms. I’ve never been a big fan of the apocalypse at least the way lots of fundamentalist teachers describe it, especially the rapture. It seems pretty exclusionary.

I tend to believe that when Jesus and John talked about the coming of God’s kingdom on earth they were talking about a world so engaged in love-transforming acts that the world is truly changed. And at the heart at the transformation is the very promise we made to God at baptism — “We will strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.”

That’s right, we promised God to respect the dignity of every human being — there are no exceptions, no opt-outs. Color, Sex, economic condition, sexual preference, medical condition, or immigration status, etc. Every human is entitled to dignity and respect. And what would happen if all of our actions were guided by our promise, and we made every personal, political, economic, and social decision in light of our promise to strive for justice, peace, and to respect the dignity of all?

The world as we know it would indeed come to an end, and the kingdom of God would arrive. Now that’s an apocalypse I can get excited about. How about you?

 

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of the United States, is an author and lecturer. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, and A Game Of Inches, are published by Beaufort Books and are available online, in your local bookstore, or you can order autographed copies at webbhubbell.com. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps Won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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