As the Taizé community prepared to gather in Poland just after Christmas, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit sent prayers and encouragement on behalf of the WCC fellowship.
Thousands of young people will gather for a Pilgrimage of Trust event, many of them journeying long distances. “As always, your meeting in Wrocław will be marked by hospitality and spirituality,” wrote Tveit in a greeting. “Young pilgrims and residents will cross social, cultural, and religious boundaries to encounter each other and to share deep communion with God.”
It is a sign of new life and a crossroads moment for all of us, continued Tveit. “Further, you meet just after Christmas, when we ponder God’s incarnation in Jesus,” he wrote. “In him we learn that God stands with us, suffers with us, abides with us, and is at work in us.”
No matter where we are in our journey, we are never uprooted from the love of Christ, reflected Tveit. “At the beginning of a new year, we can then lift our hearts in genuine hope for a new day, when the seeds of contemplation and solidarity can enliven the creative energies of committed youth working for a better life for all in Europe.”
Tveit noted that the Taizé experience in so many ways exemplifies what the WCC continues to find on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace: that the journey itself calls forth our better selves. “As disciples, we are continually transformed by the encounter with God and each other, eager to break down barriers—of nation, race, gender, or creed—and build community,” wrote Tveit. "Christ is not bound to or limited to any nation or nationalist agenda.”
Christ’s love pervades the one human family, the world, indeed the whole of God’s creation, concluded Tveit. “Any discrimination or exclusion contradicts the love of Christ and endangers those who are stigmatized or excluded,” he wrote. “The experience of the 20th century teaches us that.”
On behalf of the WCC, Tveit offered prayers for every blessing on the encounter in Wrocław. “May this next stage on Taizé’s Pilgrimage of Trust enable each and every participant to grow in the love of Christ and reveal a new dawn for all of us,” he wrote.