everyone matters

Yesterday I came across “An Open Letter to Young Christians on Their Way to College” written by Stanley Hauerwas. (You can find the full letter here.) While I have my agreements and disagreements with parts of his letter, one line really jumped out at me. 

“Don’t underestimate how much the Church needs your mind.”

While it is obvious he was speaking to college students, I think these words need to be heard and remembered by all of us who are part of the Church, adults and youth. This is not just some flippant homage to the body of Christ. So often we forget how valuable each person is. We are all different. We have different experiences, thoughts, and habits. It is those differences which foster creativity and growth within our worshipping communities. The Christian faith is communal by nature. We cannot exist apart from one another nor should that be our aim. 

Another thing that we must remember is that no one person is more important than the other. Today being “Reformation Day” it is so easy to get caught up in the overly-romanticized version of events from 1517.  Martin Luther may have played a major role in the historical events surrounding the reformation era but he is no more important than those of us who inhabit worshipping communities today. Furthermore, we should not pretend that Luther, or anyone else, reformed the church independently from others. 

I really struggle with celebrating “Reformation Day” for several reasons, not the least of which is the overly-romaticized version of events. But I think in celebrating that day we are setting up other people to believe they will never matter as much as Luther did. That could not be more false. The world is constantly changing and although Luther was great for his time, he cannot address all things throughout all time. In the end it is up to us to, as a community, change our interactions with both our worshipping communities and the world. We cannot do that by ourselves. We all need to be part of the conversation. We need to remember that everyone has different thoughts and experiences and those things are important for us and our interactions with the world in which we live. Everyone matters.

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