Dare to Have Questions!

2019. június 11., kedd

“I wish that our young people think about ways to shape our world so that it may look more like God’s Kingdom,” says Rev. Márton Járay, the keynote speaker at this year’s Starpoint Festival. Theologian and counselor, Járay experiences how God’s love surrounds him in his everyday life. This is why he is happy to speak about it at the morning lectures at this year’s festival. First we ask him.

Márton Járay - also known as Marci - currently works at the Semmelweis University Institute of Mental Health. He also serves as a Reformed theologian and pastor at Antropos Center for Mental Health Methodology. He used to serve as an associate pastor at Nagyvárad tér Reformed Congregation (Budapest), general secretary of an ecumenical university mission, the Hungarian Christian Student Organization (MEKDSZ) which is part of IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), and now he is happy to serve at the Starpoing festival as well.

Genuine questions

“For a long time, I have been interested in prison chaplaincy which is why I applied to seminary,” he remembers, “However, during my internship it became clear that this was not my way.” In the meantime, he started to attend MEKDSZ programs that is how he got involved in the university mission.

He also remembers that university life at the seminary is a more “closed” community compared to other institutions of higher education, but this made it even more exciting. “In the beginning, I experienced it as being cut off from the rest of the world - and by the third year, a lot of the things that I had once thought, changed, and I also needed to rebuild my relationship with God,” he says. The MEKDSZ community helped him a lot during this period, especially the community’s general secretary of that time, who became a credible example for him, both theologically and scientifically. “We were together from numerous universities, and through this community, the world opened up for me.

I learned that although everything can be questioned, it becomes a problem if I get stuck in the questions and cannot move on.

To me, university life is to genuinely ask questions and pursue answers."

These answers have transformed into service - he served as the general secretary of MEKDSZ for nine years. “After so many years spent in MEKDSZ, as I grew older, I wanted to see others who could find a common ground with young people in place of me. This is what happened, but now I am really grateful to be able to return for a short time and serve among the young people at Starpoint.”

Shape the world!

Marci Járay is still encouraging teenagers and young adults to ask their questions bravely. “Asking questions is essential in this period. Sometimes it seems to me that university students feel that they need to conform to this world, to be successful,” he explains.

“I wish that our see young people would rather think about how to shape our world  so that it may look more like the Kingdom of God.”

As he says, it is exciting to see whether the coming generations take this chance for themselves or they just learn to conform. "I hope that at Starpoint, we can think together about God's Kingdom and the ways to shape our surroundings according to it," he adds.

In light of this, together, we can search for the answers to the question of how God's Kingdom is present: “During the morning lectures, we will examine how all of this is realized in us, what it means to live it out in our Christian communities, and how we can represent it in our wider communities.” Marci Járay reminds us of what Jesus said: his disciples will be known by the way they love one another - that's why it is important for us to recognize how we can reflect God's Kingdom.

His message to the participants of Starpoint is to be prepared with openness, a lot of questions, and honesty, because this is the only way to face our dilemmas and find solutions: "Let us experience how God's Kingdom surrounds us, individually and in community."


Written by Zsuzsanna Farkas,

Translated by Gréta Pataki

Photo: László Szarvas, Viktor Capras

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