As we walked into the Superdome for the Youth Gathering, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was obviously moved by the singing and dancing of the 37,000 participants: “The people of New Orleans need to hear these joyful sounds. This dome holds so many painful memories of Katrina. Our whole city needs to experience the healing that the joyful witness of these youth brings.”
I thank God for the joyful witness of those young people, who live, as we do, in a polarized culture that equates unity with uniformity and sees differences as a reason for division. This is a time when the larger human family struggles with division and yearns for healing and wholeness. Think ahead with me to 2017, when Lutherans commemorate the Reformation’s 500th anniversary. When we look back, what will we say our witness has been?
Let this be our testimony: the crucified and risen Christ is our joy because he is our forgiveness and our peace.
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© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers