Building Community Through Prayer - Round Two

Tonight I was lucky enough to be able to attend a prayer event at a local mosque.  It was part of the second series of interfaith visits sponsored by the peace and justice center where I work. (I wrote last fall about the first series). The event is called One God, Three Faiths: Building Community Through Prayer. The idea is that you visit Christian, Jewish and Muslim places of worship with people of all 3 faiths to pray together and learn about the traditions.

The members of the Muslim community tonight were such gracious hosts.  First of all ... the food!!  Hummus and stuffed grape leaves and fresh fruit and just general yumminess that kept coming around the table.  The Imam greeted us in prayer, then several younger men and women from the community led us through a series of informal talks, table sharing and a panel discussion.  We broke in the middle for their sunset prayer, which they invited us to join as we were able. It was very moving to follow the other women in their movements.  God felt very present, whatever name we choose for our loving God, and we were very present to God.

When we arrived at the mosque, we were invited to choose where we would sit by picking out a particular attribute shared by our faiths.  There was a place card on each table with the name of one of the attributes.  I was drawn to "trust," and so I sat at that table.  They had more table spots than people, so eventually I moved with the two other women who found themselves at the trust table to the "justice" table which had a few empty spots.  As we were joining in conversation about our personal and faith perspectives on trust and justice, it struck me that in a way they go hand in hand.

Trust is about God.  Ultimately, its up to God, not us.  These days in particular I've been feeling especially called to spend time in prayer, trusting in my loving God and my ongoing response to that love.  When we get out of the way, we can let God be God.

Justice, it seems to me, has to do with God but more so with us.  God desires justice and peace.  Humans tend to mess it up.  But humans also have the responsibility and the ability to participate in building Gods reign of justice and peace here, following in the footsteps of the Prophets, of Jesus, and leaders of other faith traditions.  It is no coincidence that all of the major faith traditions, at least to my knowledge, share the call to justice.

I was left with a feeling of community with our global family, and hope that we can grow together in the love of our creator to live more as one people with many faces.

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