Pastor’s Email College Devotion
The Week of Lent 3
February 28, 2016
Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house. (Deuteronomy 26:11, NRSV)
We had another session this morning in our adult ed. Crosspoints Class on the topic of Islam. As we have studied various parts of the Muslim faith, we have found ourselves finding much that we have in common with Islam (good works; commitment to almsgiving; the pursuit of peace; a commitment to prayer and worship). But there are also significant differences (Jesus is only a prophet in Islam, not the Son of God; there is no concept of original sin; there is no belief in the Trinity; our Bible is “corrected” by the Koran). It makes for an interesting process of reflection. Our world is small these days, and we are regularly confronted with world religions that we may not be familiar with. How do you handle that situation? Do you engage friends of different faith systems in conversations about what we have in common and what we do not? Do you think of them as people or faith? Do you ever think you might find something of value in a different world religion that can enhance your own faith life as a Christian? We no longer live in a cocoon of Christian life. The world is diverse in every way, shape and form, including its religions. How will you approach that reality as a strong and committed Christian? How can you be both deeply faithful to your own religious heritage, while also honoring those of others? I would love to hear your thoughts. As always, make choices that you and your loved ones will be proud of.
God of grace, all the earth is your creation and every person who walks upon it is your child. Give me a spirit of openness, a mind of inquiry, and a heart of faith, as I engage a world that is as rich and beautiful as it is diverse. Give me a heart my God, that reflects your love and joy in everyone you have made. Amen.