Friday, April 17, 2009

Watch out what you ask for...

Watch what you ask for...
by Abu Daoud

You might actually get it. You know this saying, it's pretty well-circulated really.

I think of this today--let me tell you why. I entered the place of business of a friend of mine. Today is Friday, like Sunday for Christians, a day of observance and worship, but here in my city some of the businesses are open. He was reading (or chanting actually) the Qur'an when I entered his place of business. I sat down and waited for him to finish, which he promptly did.

And then he reached for the little Bible I had given him some months ago, and said, "The Messiah said, 'I have not come to bring peace, but to bring a sword!' What does this mean?" I had given him the Bible hoping he would read, and perhaps some of your prayed for him because I had asked you to, and he was reading it!

But this is hardly an easy saying of Jesus; it speaks of the division of families. My brain was working at full speed, not only scanning my ability to interpret this Scripture, but also how to explain this all in Arabic. The explanation I gave him is not the important thing (that Jesus as a prophet knew that the truth brings division, even persecution, because sometimes people hate the truth, and he had brought a message of truth from God), but that he was reading, and indeed, truly grappling with the meaning of the words of Messiah.

Then his friend entered and said hello. He asked, "Have you asked him about the sword thing?" I explained myself again.

I had given them a Bible and they indeed had read it. Not so much like they read the Qur'an, which is more of a spiritual recitation that does not focus on the meaning of the words, but really trying to understand this message of Jesus.

Pray for these two friends, and pray for me, that we might have wisdom and be led by God into all truth.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

--Abu Daoud