By Nell Green
Ramadan begins on June 28th. Ramadan is the month when people who follow Islam fast from the time the sun comes up until it goes down. They do this for 30 days.
Sometimes my Muslim friends laugh at me because they say I keep up more than they do about when Ramadan starts and ends. I admit, I pay attention to it. I think this month when Muslims fast from sun up to sun down is pregnant with possibilities not only for them but for me. Why?
• When Muslims fast so faithfully I am forced to examine how I as a Christian practice the discipline. Mostly I don’t. How about you?
• When Muslims are seeking God so ardently during this month I am forced to examine how I as a Christian seek God with fervor. Not enough, to be sure. How about you?
• When Muslims are willing to lay aside everything — work, family, pleasure — to stop and pray, I am forced to examine what I lay aside to stop and pray. Not much. How about you?
• When Muslims are willing in the West to go against culture and forgo eating at the company lunch in order to remain true to their faith, I am forced to examine how often I am willing to go openly counter culture. All too rarely. How about you?
• When Muslims wait in anticipation of manifestations of God’s miraculous power, I am forced to examine if I actually wait and anticipate it. Well, if I am honest, not so much. How about you?
• When Muslims worldwide take a month to reflect on God and God’s purpose and power in the world, I am forced to examine if the Christian community does this. Does Christmas count? In our commercialized version of Christmas, probably not. How about you?
• When Muslims are willing for a month to endure discomfort in order to satisfy what they understand to be a command from God, I am forced to examine how much discomfort I am willing to endure. Well, I have my limits, you know! How about you?
• When Muslims as a community join with other Muslims around the world in unity on this doctrine, I am forced to examine if Christians do this. No need to think much here. We do not!
I watch my Muslim friends during this month. I learn things from them that strengthen my faith as a believer in Jesus. For me, the question is, when do my Muslim friends watch me and what am I revealing to them about my faith? How about you?