In UK, more than one third of adolescent girls, and one fifth of boys, have self-harmed. In USA, suicide kills more young people than cancer. Countless people have such a low sense of self worth that they think life no longer worth living.
Gold, an inanimate metal, is highly valued: roughly $14,500 per kilo. If an 80 kilo human body is broken down into its individual chemical elements, its total value works out at around $160.  On this level, inanimate gold is thousands of times more valuable than humanity.
Yet, on another level, human life is inexpressibly valuable. It cannot be expressed in financial terms. Humanity finds its value and dignity in the events of Christmas. The Christmas story tells us that Jesus – God Himself – came to live a full human life, and to die a criminal’s death. He was willing to live for us, and He was willing to die for us. He was willing to take in and understand our pain. God shows that He values humanity infinitely and unconditionally. Christmas shows us that our value is not dependent on what others think of us. Our inherent value, our human rights, are grounded in the fact that we are infinitely precious and loved by the Creator. It’s a message worth remembering on the second Sunday in advent.
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 ‘Third of girls “have self harmed”’, http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/youthviolence/stats_at-a_glance/lcd_10-24.html, accessed 6 December 2014.