Is it a good idea for Christians to fast during Ramadan? I have friends living among Muslims for the sake of God’s kingdom who do so as a way of empathizing with their neighbors and co-workers and opening doors of conversation.
If ever I was going to fast during Ramadan, the fall of 2003 was the time. We were living in northern England that year when the fasting month ran from late October to late November. The daylight hours, during which observant Muslims are required to abstain from food, water and many other pleasures, were few and treasured. Sunrise around 8.30am. Sunset about 4.30pm. It would have been the easiest Ramadan ever! We felt for Muslims fasting in Australia!
Given the crazy tension currently characterizing Christian-Muslim interaction, I propose we fast a bit this Ramadan, which goes from to May 27th until June 24th. I plan to skip one meal each Friday (I know, really swinging for the fence, eh?). I’ll use that fast to focus prayer on Muslims near me and far away. I’ll also pray against the violence that sometimes raises it’s ugly head during Ramadan. If you’ll join me in that, fire off an email and I’ll send you a very brief prayer outline to fuel your efforts. Please forward this to your tribe and let’s ask God for a crowd of faster/pray-ers!
If you want to take it a step further, check this out: My friends Jessey and Jeff are promoting an effort in which Muslims invite Christians to share a fast breaking meal (iftar) with them during Ramadan. Check here to see what events are happening near you.
Next week we’ll hear from a Muslim what Ramadan means to him.