In the middle of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, in my little Middle Tennessee corner of the world, it’s hard for me to remember that this is the month of Ramadan for Muslims. So, I’m taking this Mission Monday to reflect on this month and why it’s important to those, not only serving among Muslims, but for the Church at large.
There are a LOT of Muslims in this world. Over 1.8 billion, yes that’s with a “b” for billion.
Yet, I’m not going to use this post to compare numbers or talk about the growth of Islam versus Christianity or any other religion. I’m just going to remind you, as I remind myself of our call as Christians to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and to “be the salt and light of Christ” to all.
I have lived through Ramadan in many countries, and it is never an “easy” time, and especially difficult in the hot, summer months, but it is always a month where we are provided amazing opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. While the “ritual” of fasting from sunrise to sunset is seen as a good work by Muslims, Ramadan is more than that. It’s a time when men and women are seeking God and seeking to please him in the way their religion has taught them.
So what do we do, as disciples of Jesus Christ?
- We pray for Muslims around the world, in our country and neighborhoods. Ask that Christ will reveal himself to those who are seeking God in a way that their religion has not provided.
- Pray for those who are actively witnessing to the Muslims in their midst, that God would open doors and bring fruit.
- Ask God to open doors for you to share with your Muslim neighbor:
- Take them a special treat for their “breakfast” time.
- Ask them questions about their fast and what it means to them.
- Talk about the “true fast” that God requires. (Isaiah 58)
- Ask if their fast brings assurance of God’s favor and share about salvation by grace, not works.
- Love your Muslim neighbor and be an example of one who is truly submitted to God in the way you live.
Several times, over the years, my husband and I fasted either part or all of Ramadan, in order to gain empathy for what our Muslims friends faced. When asked why, we would say, “because we love you, and wanted to feel for you. This is what Jesus teaches us.”
As we “walked in their shoes,” doors opened to share the sacrificial love of Christ with those for whom Jesus also had died.
Don’t let the worries of your day lead you to neglect the work of the Kingdom. God hasn’t stopped loving Muslims, nor should we — Till all have heard.
Grace and Peace
*In 2020, Ramadan runs from April 23 until May 23. Muslims follow a lunar calendar, so the dates will change each year.