April 13, 2021
Happy New Year in Laos, Thailand and Cambodia.Mubarak Ramadan in the Muslim world. It starts today at sunrise, and continues for a month.
As our world gets bigger, or smaller, we encounter new cultures, new languages and different peoples of faith. We can learn new diets, new insights and new worldviews from others. In Southeast Asia, one of the celebrations of their New Year is throwing water on everyone. It happens also to be the hottest and driest part of the year, so it is so refreshing to be dunked by a pail of water. We hear that Ramadan is mostly the fasting that happens during the day. There is more to it. Muslims are encouraged to pray five times a day. They are invited to make an offering to relieve the suffering of the poor. Billions of dollars are raised worldwide. Every year a man from Turkey would make a donation to Shirley’s work in Outreach. For Muslims , Ramadan will again be different. When Muslims pray, they are in rows, and their shoulders touch to signify that they are a community. and they cannot be next to each other, and there are fewer people at the mosque. At the end of the day of fasting, they often celebrate with a meal together in their homes or at a mosque. They cannot do that this month either. So, they have the same issues of trying to keep their community together during the pandemic, as we do at Poole. No potlucks allowed.
Paul enters Athens in Acts 17. Athens is past its prime as the center of the world. Rome is the powerhouse now, but Athens is still an important religious and cultural center. Paul meets with the philosophers and scholars on the top of a hill in Athens. He seems to enjoy discussing with them issues of faith, He says, ” even some of your poets say, ‘ In him we live and move and have our being, for we too are his offspring.'” ( Acts 17:28).’ ” Paul acknowledges different peoples have common ideas about certain things. At the end of this meeting on Mars ( the God of War ) Hill, there is talk of another meeting. More conversation about things that matter.
The world that we live in is full of mystery,
You are everywhere, with us,
Show to us the roads.
that will allow us to, to experience the footsteps of all people,
as your children . AMEN
Soaring like Vultures lifted up by unseen Hands Trust, silent enters my fears Monica Pieper Landoni 2021