Christian hospitality is empowered by the Spirit of the hospitable God. We have been graciously invited to participate in this divine hospitality and given many gifts, many tongues, and many practices through which to meet, interact with, and perhaps even bless religious others. Along the way, the Spirit of hospitality will transform us precisely through the interreligious encounter into the image of Jesus, even as we hope and pray – to the point of daring to believe – that as guests and hosts we can be instruments of the hospitable God for the reconciliation, healing, and redemption of the world.

Hospitality & The Other: Pentecost, Christian Practices, and the Neighbor, p. 160
Amos Yong

Christianity & Islam, Holy Spirit, Hospitality

The Spread of Islam, Building a Cast, and a Little Child Will Lead Them

Review

Take a few minutes of your wonderful Saturday to check out these links:

The folks at Global Initiative talk about why training local churches to reach Muslims is imperative.
One of my favorite fiction writing blogs/podcasts talks about how to build your cast in a way that makes sense and serves the story.
This 3 minute video of interviews with Christian children who have escaped war in the Middle East may make you seriously think about Jesus’ call to forgive.

The situation of Christians was not the same. Some had religious links with the Byzantine Empire, and may have incurred suspicion in times of war. They did not have the same close-knit communal organization as the Jews; in parts of the countryside they may not have been deeply Christian. In some places Christianity died out completely, although not for a long time; in others it remained as the faith of a minority.

A description of Christianity in the Middle East, Northern Africa and Spain during the 10th Century AD from: A History of the Arab Peoples,
Albert Hourani pp.47-8

Christianity & Islam, History

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Jesus, Peace

At our church, Trinity Church, we spend a good portion of the first Wednesday of every month in corporate prayer.

Last night we were encouraged to follow the Biblical imperative to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” in light of the global political issues surrounding the state of Israel and the state of Iran.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. (‭Psalm‬ ‭122‬:‭6‬ NIV)

What came to my mind as we began praying was Jesus’ understanding of what would bring peace to Jerusalem, recorded in the book of Luke

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. (‭Luke‬ ‭19‬:‭41-42‬ NIV)

Jesus, who could quote the Scriptures, recognized that in order for Jerusalem to have real peace it would have to recognize him as Messiah. He recognized that their rejection of him would bring physical destruction:

The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (‭Luke‬ ‭19‬:‭43-44‬ NIV)

So when you pray for the peace of Jerusalem you should be praying for the Jewish people to have their eyes opened so they can see the Prince of Peace who is the only one who brings the peace described in Psalm 122.