To me it may be 2nd after Trinity, or even Proper 8 (the title our lectionary puts on this week), but to most of us out here it’s Ramadan. Many around us are fasting, and it’s not easy at this time of year especially. Many around us are praying, and when those around us are doing their fast from good motives, then rejoice that this is in their hearts – we have a common cause and we can seek God alongside them. When those around us are doing their fast from questionable motives (to be seen by friends/family, to justify themselves to God, to earn forgiveness etc), let us show by our living how life with God should be done, the grace of God flowing through us.
One of the ways that the grace of God can be seen in us is that we take sin seriously and fight to live a holy life. We should do this in our private life and also where we see things are wrong in ‘life out there’. When we want to contribute to the fight against sin and see the holy life of God established in ‘life out there’, the place to start is with humility, in our own life. The right way to fight for public right is not clear at all – it involves so many interactions and consequences with so many others, but the right course of action to fight for holiness within is much easier. Time with God, humility, love, time to nurture, time to let the seeds grow. The moon will not hasten it’s course however impatient we may become. In today’s rushing action filled living it is hard to wait.
In the months before Ramadan I notice the moon from time to time and think that this is the second to last, or the last moon before Ramadan. In Ramadan I notice the moon changing because it has an effect on my life. During this moon places to eat when you’re out are all closed, or at least discretely shuttered. At the end of this moon there will be a holiday. It may be that knowing the right course of action in a public arena is part of your job but God seems shuttered away and the refreshment of his guidance is closed off from you. In the which case talk with others and seek advice for you are not the manager at your place of work in isolation from your employees, and in church life we are not Christians alone but in a fellowship. Muslims do not struggle with the Ramadan fasting and prayers alone but with one another. We also should not struggle with the problems we face alone but together.
I pray that the grace of God may flow freely in your life, especially when you face tired and lazy co-workers using Ramadan to take it easy and let you, the non-fasting colleague do all the work. I pray that the grace of God may flow freely in our church life, especially in all those who God is raising up to lead us in the trials we face from time to time.
Ramadan Kareem 😉