Journey toward justice and peace

by Samuel Nderi Wairimu last modified 21 August 2015 03:47 PM
Journey toward justice and peace

ECHOS Commissioners visiting Old Egypt in Cairo, Egypt, 2015.

18 May 2015

As a youth leader, I have been involved in this pilgrimage since 2011 when I was nominated to attend the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches.

I wanted to know many things about the WCC but most importantly I wanted to know about the call to justice and peace. I searched for any information that could explain the real meaning of these two words especially in regard to Christian unity. After attending the assembly at Busan, I realized that it was not just a meeting but it was a calling to a journey.

A journey where all Christians are equipped to ensure that everyone is fairly treated, and this would translate to peace in the whole world. I am not a theologian, but it is evident that this is what Jesus meant by “love your neighbor as you love yourself”.

In this pilgrimage, all people are recognized and their contributions appreciated. Youth are an integral part of the pilgrimage not just because they are young but also because of their talents, knowledge and contributions. They bring with them new energy and ideas on how to deal with real issues affecting Christians.

During the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, many young people volunteered their services until the deadly virus is now almost contained. They volunteered from all over the world and everyone appreciated the skills and expertise they demonstrated throughout the period. This is just a single example among many. The role of the youth in the church as professionals in the various sectors will be vital in the pilgrimage of justice and peace.

However, in their endeavors to make important contributions to the pilgrimage, youth are often faced with obstacles. One of them is misrepresentation, when their voices are not heard directly, but echoed from the mouth of older people who fail to articulate the issues as they affect the youth.

Young people are considered as future members or leaders but their present talents, ideas and contributions are disregarded.

The pilgrimage of justice and peace will be more relevant if everyone is involved not because of his/her age, sex, race or region but because of talents and contributions. The idea of youth participating in youth activities only should be replaced with one that involves them as equal stakeholders in all matters that affect the church as a whole.

The pilgrimage of justice and peace is a noble calling. If we start with ourselves, then pass the call on to the immediate neighbor – our local faith communities – then the whole world can become a just and peaceful place.