Youth in Taizé: Be builders of hospitality and hope

Young pilgrims gather in Taize to share their faith and advocate for environmental protection. Photo: LWF/M. Renaux
Young pilgrims gather in Taize to share their faith and advocate for environmental protection. Photo: LWF/M. Renaux

LWF General Secretary sends message to young people at European Encounter in Madrid

(LWI) - The  Lutheran World Federation General Secretary has invited young people to be builders of a new world order marked by hospitality and Christian hope.

Rev. Dr Martin Junge sent a message to the 41st European Encounter of Young People organized by the Taizé community, which is taking place in Madrid, Spain, from 28 December 2018 to 1 January 2019.

In his message, the Lutheran leader noted the many challenges that young people are facing today, including the question of climate change and unprecedented levels of migration. “Adequate answers and concrete proposals” to resolve these challenges “often seem to be lacking,” he said.

Young Christians [should] become part of a response to the present challenges by walking with confidence and hope, rather than with hostility and fear.
LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge
But as a Christian people, Junge stressed, “we are encouraged by a very lively hope” which sustains “a profound trust.” As we celebrate the presence of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem at Christmas, we rejoice in the good news that “God has come to meet us” and never ceases to be present in our world.

In the message, Junge encouraged young Christians “to become part of a response to the present challenges by walking with confidence and hope, rather than with hostility and fear.” In this way, he said, they can help to build “coexistence between people and with all of creation” as they witness to the “transforming impact of Christ in our lives.”

From this perspective, the message concluded, “our hospitality is an expression of our humanity, created by God as people intrinsically connected and recognizing the face of Christ in the other.”

Road sign for the village of Taizé in central France where the ecumenical community was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz. Photo: LWF/M. Renaux
Road sign for the village of Taizé in central France where the ecumenical community was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz. Photo: LWF/M. Renaux