When Dina and Nada and I met last week to talk about this morning and what they might share as a part of our service I said to them, “Share with us what Islam means to you. What you understand to be the heart is Islam because most of us don’t know or don’t understand.”
So, if turnabout is fair play.
I should be able to do what I asked them to do.
To share something of my faith and my understanding of the Christian witness. There are any number of texts from Christian scripture to which I could turn, but this is the one for today.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
Here is what I believe….
If the Bible is correct…
And, if Jesus is right…
Then loving God and loving neighbors are connected.
They are, in fact, a Gordian knot.
One cannot exist without the other.
That somehow as we learn about and care about and come closer to our neighbors we learn about and care about and come closer to God.
So, this morning we will do our best to do just that.
To meet our neighbors.
And, if some of what has been shared with me over the last several months is true,
then our Muslim sisters and brothers are often…
Invisible to some of us.
Unknown to others of us.
Stereotyped in ways that are, too often dehumanizing and demeaning.
God calls us to something more.
May this morning’s witness show us the way.