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FROM THE PULPIT: Everyone is a child of God and worthy of that station's dignity

This past Tuesday, Nov. 2, about 70 people gathered at Beal Memorial Cemetery in Fort Walton Beach to remember, memorialize, and inter about 40 individuals. These individuals, if not memorialized in this service, would have simply faded into obscurity.

You see, the persons memorialized that day were elderly who had outlived all their family, or young children whose parents could not afford to have their children buried, or veterans who for one reason or another would not be buried in a military cemetery.

But, with the coordination of County Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel, 22 congregations from around the county provided pastoral leadership to make sure these persons did not fade away. Pastors, rabbis, deacons, and elders provided a very meaningful service. A local choir sang two beautiful anthems. A soloist filled the air with melodic songs of praise.

We were all there because of what unites us – we are all children of God. It doesn’t matter from what tradition we come when it comes to expressing our faith. It doesn’t matter from what socioeconomic strata we come.

Each and every person is a child of God. And as such, each is to be afforded the dignity of which they are worthy – even in death.

“God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness…’ So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7-8)

God created us in God’s image – men and women. God breathed life into us. That is, he gave us a soul. So each person on the face of the earth is created in God’s image. Each person is infused with the breath of life – given a soul.

As Rabbi M. Robert Delcau of Temple Beth Shalom reminded us, we are given a soul and are called to accomplish something on God’s behalf. We are called to make life better – somewhere, somehow, for someone.

How have you been fulfilling your calling as a child of God to help make life better? Have you remembered in the midst of the cacophony of slander, anger, hatred, and division that is swirling around our nation that you and everyone around you is a child of God and worthy of the dignity of that station in life?

Mark Broadhead

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.

This article originally appeared on Crestview News Bulletin: FROM THE PULPIT: Everyone is a child of God and worthy of that station's dignity