Peace Feast: Breaking Bread With Our Muslim Neighbors

Peace Feast: Breaking Bread With Our Muslim Neighbors March 15, 2019

 

Earlier this week, my wife Wendy and I responded to an RSVP to attend a local “Peace Feast” where Christians and Muslims are invited to come together and share a meal in hopes of building relationships and forging a path to understanding and peace.

The meal is scheduled for this evening, only a few hours after the news that a white supremacist went into a Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand and shot 49 people to death, wounding dozens more.

So, our conversations tonight will be overshadowed by this tragedy, and our need to find hope, and forgiveness, and healing is more essential than ever before.

At this moment, I cannot think of anything more I can say to my Muslim neighbors than, “I am so sorry.”

My hope is that we can hold hands, bow our heads, and pray together for unity and peace to flood the hearts and minds of Christians and Muslims during this time of grieving and pain.

Words are useless now. Only simple, honest and sincere acts of kindness and repentance matter. Our only hope is love. Our only path is forgiveness. Our only future is together.

As long as we remain divided, we will suffer violence like this. People from both sides will continue to kindle hatred in their hearts for “the other” as long as we maintain this posture of “Us vs Them.”

Tribalism is what is what is killing us. Only the breaking down of these walls will allow us to see one another -not as Christians, or as Muslims – but as people who are made in the image of God and dearly loved by our Abba Father.

We are brothers and sisters with one another simply because we share the same lineage: We are all children of God.

None of us is more loved, or less loved by our Father. God loves every one of us the same. And like any Good Father, God’s heart is broken whenever his children harm one another; especially if they do so using his Name.

“God is love. Those who live in love also live in God, and God lives in them.” (1 John 4:16)

Our mission is to love God, and to love others as God has loved us. So, let me ask you: How has God loved you?

Take some time. Think about this. Count all the beautiful ways that God has loved you. Make a list. Meditate on this great, beautiful and bountiful love that God has lavished upon you.

Got it? Now, let us begin to love others in this very same way. No matter whether those “others” dress differently, pray differently, speak differently, worship differently, or otherwise do anything and everything differently than we do. None of that really matters.

What does matter is this: God is love, and our mission is to love, and if we love as we are loved, then we are fulfilling Christ’s commands, and the Law itself, in full.

No weapon formed by anyone can overcome the power of love.

Love is patient. Love is kind.

Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Love never fails.

As we meditate on the hate and violence poured on the innocent recently, let us remember this: Hate cannot drive out hate. Only light can remove the darkness. Only love can cast out all fear.

Love is our only hope.

So, tonight as we gather together with our Muslim neighbors, and come around a table to join hands and unite our hearts as one, my prayer is that we will come to see one another as family. Because this is what will make the Father’s heart smile, and it’s the first step to healing, and peace between us.

Amen.

**

Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.

His new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.

He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. 

BONUS: Want to unlock exclusive content including blog articles, short stories, music, podcasts, videos and more? Visit my Patreon page.

 

 

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Iain Lovejoy

    A good thing to hear at a bad time.

  • Ategnatos

    Short version: hatred, sectarianism, racism and terrorism among non-tribal people has nothing to do with tribalism, the ways of tribal people.

    Full version: What you describe is sectarianism and racism, not tribalism. The common misuse of the word tribalism is offensive and dangerous to all indigenous people… including those Europeans who haven’t lost and abandoned their clanns or other tribal structures. Tribalism is the original and natural structure of humanity, no more, no less. Intertribal racism and hatred… those are certainly sometimes a problem on the tribal level, but they are not inherent to tribalism, just as sectarian violence is not inherent to religiosity.

    And just like there are wonderful interfaith events (such as described in the article), and even interfaith religious groups such as the Universal Life Church, and interfaith scriptures like the Adi Guru Granth Sahib of Sikhism; in modern-day tribalism there are many intertribal affairs, such as the Powwow movement among North American indigenous tribes, where we come together from many tribes to dance and chant together; or the gatherings of shamans from steppe tribes across Europe and Asia that have been happening in recent years. Or the mutual support that tribes from around the world give each other nowadays as nontribal people and nation-states continue their efforts at cultural and literal genocide against humanity’s tribes.

  • David Kralt

    One must be duped to believe that solely condolences would suffice for the cessation of the caustic memories that are generated when infamous felons perpetrate such an atrocity. To fight such loathing and ensure that retaliation is not elicited is not incongruous with both faiths. After such a horrific occurrence, the ominous memories will no doubt settle. In the face of this reality, article is eloquently written, flooded with nuances and laconic ideas, to help propel that tremulous hands, heated with hate, don’t lead to jostling for the sake of protection.

  • CO Fines

    Thank you, Ategnatos, for needed words of wisdom in this time of social engineering toward division and control by others. May you prevail and may we all be blessed and awakened in truth and light.

  • HamburgerHelperAgain

    Such bigly words.

  • billwald

    Neither Judaism nor Islam is designed for their members to break bread in my house we have neither kosher nor
    a halal kitchen.

  • Michael

    There are some wise words and kind ones in this piece, but you dilute their effectiveness with this:

    “People from both sides will continue to kindle hatred in their hearts for “the other” as long as we maintain this posture of “Us vs Them.””

    This sort of both-sides stuff is counterproductive because it helps to camouflage which side is overwhelmingly contributing to hatred and violence, and that’s the racist/xenophobic right. The “both sides” rhetoric aids the tactic of people from this faction of saying, “Oh yeah, what about them?” while pointing the finger away from themselves. Liberals and leftists aren’t forming militias to physically attack people of certain races or religions, they aren’t holding marches where they chant about their disdain for certain races or religions, they aren’t defending monuments to racial supremacy, they don’t routinely attack and harass people for their race, religion or sexual identity.

    Showing solidarity with threatened people includes being honest about where the threat is coming from.

  • For both sides, the threat is coming from “us” and both sides must admit this, repent of this, and change this.

    No side is more or less guilty. This is why the “Us vs Them” needs to go away.
    There is not “them” there is only “us”.

  • Michael

    “No side is more or less guilty.”

    This is a lie.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I wish this type of comment would get more attention. You are absolutely right. There are all kinds of social situations where one side is way more guilty than the other.

  • Chorbais Dichault

    Leftists are as pure as the driven snow. /sarc

  • Chorbais Dichault

    As long as human beings are, strife will be. Competition for resources has been the norm ever since life began, close to 4 billion years ago. Add human sentience and ideology to the mix and you get the mess we’re in today.

    Nothing can be done to prevent it; there is no X such that if we do X or think X or believe in X it will guarantee the non-eruption of strife. It is irrational to believe in such a silver bullet or to desire one. It is for every faction or tribe or nation or religion to do the utmost to prepare for the possibility of strife and hostility, so as to prevent themselves from suffering the consequences of being on the receiving end of it all.

    I know this isn’t a nice, inspiring message. The truth often is that way.