Celebrating Ramadan As A Christian
This year has been a journey for me spiritually I began the year with the Daniel fast and celebrated easter by participating in Lent and now beginning May 5, 2019 according to most calendars marks the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. I’ve decided to participate and continue to seek God’s face with approximately 1.6 Billion fellow praying souls I too will be praying during the scheduled times of call to prayer.
My Husband challenged me to study during the days leading up to Ramadan to find out what is Ramadan and as a christian how Ramadan can be celebrated by those who believe in the gospel. I was surprised at what I have found and I’m looking forward to this next chapter of the year. 2019 has been a year of stillness for me thus far I’m unsure of what my next move should be and given that we’re almost half way through Ive decided to just embrace it. If all I am able to accomplish is a step closer to the Lord well I’d consider that far more valuable than anything I could humanly accomplish.
So what is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims — the Prophet Mohammed reportedly said, "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained."
Muslims believe it was during this month that God revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam's sacred text, to Mohammed, on a night known as "The Night of Power" (or Laylat al-Qadr in Arabic).
During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. It is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline — of deep contemplation of one's relationship with God, extra prayer, increased charity and generosity, and intense study of the Quran.
I’d like to consider myself a respecter of all including those who’s beliefs are different than mine, while researching I found an article from Christian Today that had this to say regarding Christians and Ramadan.
"In order to bridge the gap between the East and West Muslim and Christian cultures, rather than condemning and criticizing, here's something very easy that we could do as followers of Jesus that's consistent with the teachings of Christ and the scriptures. Not that we're supporting every viewpoint and doctrine, no—we're supporting them as neighbors in the spiritual journey. We're all on a spiritual journey."
Mark Siljander, author, A Deadly Misunderstanding: A Congressman's Quest to Bridge the Muslim-Christian Divide
I think often times we all get so wrapped up in being “Holier than Thou” that we forget or shall we say have selective amnesia as to who we were and often times still are post being believers. Well, I love to remind myself of my imperfections and short comings because I want to grow and continue to make strides as I press towards the mark. I never want to be perceived as a goody two shoes want those around me to know that God loves us all no matter what state we are in and I don’t mean that geographically.
Ramadan is pretty interesting especially when looked at from the biblical text Isaiah speaks on a time of fasting in chapter 58 what drew me to this chapter was another article I stumbled upon during my web surfing that believes Isaiah predicted Ramadan. Now I tell you this raised an eyebrow because like most of us i do not know very much about the Islamic faith and was unaware that Biblical text was used to teach and show guidance for their religious practices. I have pulled the excerpt from 4-8, however, I strongly suggest reading the entire chapter and meditating on it.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
The month is spent praying and eating at very specific times here are some references to some other great articles and calendars if you are interested in joining me.