Carolyn Winfrey Gillette wrote this hymn in celebration of Human Rights Day (December 10), the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Seven years later, on Dec. 5, 1955, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began with 40,000 African-Americans walking, bicycling or car-pooling to pressure the bus company for change. The boycott ended in victory after 381 days. December is a good month to remember past work for justice and to work for it today as we celebrate the one who came “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:79).
You Made Us in Your Image
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You made us in your image, O God of love and grace;
You treasure every person in every time and place.
You call your world to follow—to see in every one
A person loved and cherished, your daughter or your son.
Your will is for your people to live in safety here,
With dignity and justice, and free from want or fear.
In families and nations, may all know freedom’s song;
May all enjoy the blessing to choose where they belong.
You warn against enslavement and things that would oppress.
You call for living wages, for times of welcome rest.
You call for education for all—not just a few;
You teach us: Welcome strangers, for so we welcome you.
You made us to be equal; you made us to be free—
To speak the truth with courage, to change society,
To follow our own conscience, to choose the words we pray.
O God, may all your children enjoy these gifts each day.
Biblical References: Genesis 1-2; Exodus 5:1-20; Nehemiah 5:1-13; Psalm 82:1-4; Proverbs 4:1-27; Isaiah 58:1-12; 65:17-25; Amos 5:21-24; Micah 4:1-5; 6:6-8; Matthew 25:31-46; Mark 12:28-34; John 3:16-17; Acts 10:34-36; Galatians 3:26-29; Hebrews 13:1-9a.
Tune: Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1864.
Copyright © 2012 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Web site: www.carolynshymns.com
Hymn Use Permission: Churches that support Sojourners have copyright permission to use “You Made Us in Your Image” in their local church. This hymn was written at the request of the PCUSA United Nations Office and is also available with the music on the United Methodist Worship Office website as free download file.
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the author of Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor (Discipleship Resources/Upper Room Books, 2009) and Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today's Worship (Geneva Press, 2000) and the co-pastor of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware. Sojourners' past postings by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette includes hymns for creation care, economic justice, Matthew 25/disaster relief, immigration, the Gulf oil spill, war in Iraq, and the 10th anniversary of September 11. A complete list of the 190+ hymns by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, many with peace and justice themes, can be found at www.carolynshymns.com
Photo: Human rights illustration, ©