Regulasr raedersd will know my passion for Interfaith engagement. What fascinates me is wjat happens at key moments of celereation in the various faiths. I am sure you ahve noiced that isd Christams and on Facebook there is a group called:
On it some friends and their friends are talking about Christmas – nothing unusual about that except many of them are from other faiths. Julian Bond posted this letter he received from a Jewish friend and I am sharing it because it shows one few the reasons I am passionate about Interfaith – this is a real gift:
This year I was wished Merry Christmas by more Muslim friends than ever, even though some were saying it was haram, I also received this lovely Christmas message from a Jewish friend who sent it to many Christian friends:
As we approach Christmas, I write to thank you for your friendship and support over the last year. It has been a pleasure to witness the growing strength of our work in interfaith relations and social action in spite of the challenges posed by the financial climate. I put that down to your talent and commitment, and am truly grateful for what you have all put in to maintain and enhance progress in these fields. Through good times and testing times, your wise counsel, activism, understanding and patience have been assets more valuable than those that money can buy. Over the coming year, I hope that we can further our work to build a better Britain, and a better World. As Christians and many more of the human family celebrate the birth of Jesus in December and January, I hope that we all continue to be inspired, fortified and empowered by the contribution of the Christian faith and faithful to our common human progress. For me, the following words give us a snapshot of the Christian values that help to drive so much good:
‘“Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” ‘And the king will answer them, “Truly, I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”’ (NRSV, Matthew 25:34-40)
I wish you, your families and your communities a very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.
An indication that division is not at the heart of our different traditions and that we can appreciate each other’s scriptures!
One gentleman responded thus:
Thanky ou .As a muslim I am returning my seasonal greetings in my Inbox, in accordance with Surah An-Nisa’, Chapter 4, verse 86, Allah says that, “When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things.”