I had a troubling chat at church last week. A good guy I’d never met before, who’s recovering from a stroke, told me some of his story, including a move the day before. He shared with gratitude and delight how the local Mormon church had rallied to help him and his wife, “They brought trucks, a bunch of people. It was great. Within a few hours everything was out of the old place and into the new one.”
Well, yay for this guy. But this kind of bugged me and I’m not sure why. I don’t think it’s because our church should have done the helping and we dropped the ball. We didn’t know they were moving.
I’m concerned that I just don’t want Mormons doing good things because I have them in a category of “people who don’t believe correctly.” So what happens when people who don’t believe correctly actually act correctly? Should we celebrate it? Or is it maybe a risky thing because others might be drawn into their incorrect beliefs?
I think maybe we do this with Muslims too. You probably saw on the news last week that a young Muslim man near Paris stabbed his mom and a sister to death. This is evil. It also fits in with a general narrative that Muslims do that kind of thing. What didn’t make headlines here was the Eid Al Adha related contributions of maybe thousands of Muslims to flood victims in Kerala. There are other reasons, to be sure, but I wonder if we don’t see what doesn’t fit our narrative.
Do I feel the same dissonance when a Muslim does something good. If they’re wrong, can they do something right?
You may have some helpful thoughts on this. If you can spare a minute to comment below, the rest of us would like to hear them.
|What would you be doing if Christmas were three days away? Muslims are doing many of those same things right now in preparation for Eid al Adha, the biggest celebration of the Islamic year. While they’re not setting up the Nativity Scene and scheduling people to play Mary, they may be buying a goat!
By killing, sharing and eating the goat, Muslims commemorate God’s call to Abraham to sacrifice his son and God’s provision of a ram in the son’s place. The Bible says “Isaac,” while the Quran simply says, “son.” Muslims assume it was Ishmael.
Unless you’re the goat, Eid al Adha, which happens Monday and Tuesday, is a festive time of fun and family celebration. Special prayers are offered, gifts are given and families gather to eat and enjoy each other’s company.
If you’ve been wondering how to initiate something with a Muslim co-worker, class mate or neighbor, now is a perfect time. Here are three simple ways to connect:
- Greet them by saying, “Eid Mubarak!” (eed mooBARuk) This means “blessed feast,” or pretty much, “happy holiday,” and is a common greeting for Eid al Adha.
- Give a small gift. Flowers or chocolates work. Just something that acknowledges this is an important event.
- Ask how the holiday is celebrated in their family, and if they’re from somewhere else, in their homeland.
If you have a deepening friendship with a Muslim, this Eid al Adha might provide a good chance to delve a little deeper into the idea of sacrifice. The provision of God in Jesus is such a core idea for Christians and foreign to many Muslims. Grab Fouad Masri’s, Adha in the Injeel on Kindle for insight and conversation points.
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