Today, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi for their work in standing up for the rights of children and young people, especially for their right to education.
Malala Yousafzai is the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Prize. She was in Chemistry class when she learned that she had won.
What does this mean for Dunker Punks? Well, I’m sorry to tell you, it doesn’t mean that being a Dunker Punk will get you the Nobel Prize. But here’s what it does mean: We live in a world that is paying attention. We live in a denomination that is paying attention. We go to churches that are paying attention. At least they should be.
Knowing that we live in a world where a 17 year old Pakistani girl can win the Nobel Prize encourages me that I have a right to speak up and put my beliefs into practice. And I want to speak up and say that you have that right, too. In the Church of the Brethren we recognize something called the “Priesthood of All Believers.” And yes, that even includes youth. How Dunker Punk is that? It’s pretty counter cultural, and its pretty radical.
And I would argue that it’s not just a right, but a responsibility.
In her statement after learning that she had won the Prize, Malala said that children around the world should stand up for their rights and not wait for someone else. In the United States, not many of us have our basic human rights violated. We have access to clear water and fresh air, shelter and food, health and safety, education and opportunity. But there are people in our communities and across the world who do not have these things.
Jesus advocated for a world that cares for one another, that stands up for each other’s rights. On earth as it is in heaven.
For Dunker Punks, Malala’s words and Jesus’ teachings mean that we have to stand up for others’ rights and not wait for someone else to do it. So don’t. But remember, we don’t have to do something worthy of the Nobel prize. All we have to do is listen to Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, talk to Jesus with the Lord’s prayer, and listen when Jesus inspires our creativity.
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