I mentioned last week that I was invited to attend prayer at the Ottery Road Mosque and to break the fast with the congregation.
The sermon from the Imam revolved around his opening statement: “Work in this life as if you’re going to live forever and work for your next life as if you’re going to die tomorrow.” Well those of you who know some Methodist history will know that John Wesley said pretty much the exact same thing over 200 years ago. Isn’t that incredible? The Imam was visiting from Iran to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan in South Africa and I get to hear echoes of the founder of my own faith being spoken.
We are called to “do to others as we would have them do to us” yet this is too often forgotten when it comes to how we relate to people of other faiths. Jesus commands us to love one another. To love is to be open to learn from another. I pray that we will be open to learning from people of other faiths — to learn not only about their faith, but about God.
Witnessing the prayer and fasting of Ramadan I have been challenged to take my own faith journey more seriously. Fasting has never been a large part of my spirituality but I am inspired to grow more in this area.
I invite you to pray for the victims of the Sikh temple in Wisconsin last week. I agree with the Rabbi who spoke at a vigil following the tragedy: “It’s so easy to come together when there’s a terrible tragedy. It’s more difficult to come together when things are going well because we get caught up in our day-to-day lives, we re-erect the walls that separate us and we wait until the next tragedy, well, it can’t be that way anymore. It’s really time to demonstrate every day – not just on a terrible day like today – to demonstrate every day that we are one, that we are in this together, that our skin colours, that our religion and our nation of origin is meaningless in the face of our unified humanity.”
We are one!
In Peace, Alan.