Saturday, May 20, 2006

questions i ask myself

Psalm 139

لأَنَّكَ أَنْتَ قَدْ كَوَّنْتَ كُلْيَتَيَّ. نَسَجْتَنِي دَاخِلَ بَطْنِ أُمِّي. 13

14 أَحْمَدُكَ لأَنَّكَ صَنَعْتَنِي بِإِعْجَازِكَ الْمُدْهِشِ. مَا أَعْجَبَ أَعْمَالَكَ وَنَفْسِي تَعْلَمُ ذَلِكَ يَقِيناً.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

The other day I witnessed the birth of a tiny Arab boy. It was just a few minutes after he was born, when his father took him in his arms and started whispering Quranic blessings in his ear. I was impressed.

I'm sure most baby's born into Christian families are blessed in prayer shortly after their birth, but I have not seen Christian's being so openly thankful to God in the delivery room. We dedicate our children, but in our own Christian environment and not with the gynaecologist still there to witness this.

I don't know...I suddenly wished that we would have more traditions like the Muslims do, that would make it so obvious to the world around us to see who we are. Perhaps it would motivate us to live our lives more in accordance with what we believe. Maybe it would make us more alien to people around us, which is not what I'd like to see happening. And I do wonder how much of what the Muslim father does, is culture and no longer true conviction?

How convicted are we of it being truly worth it to serve God? How do we let it show? Where is the balance between being adapted to the world we live in and being completely different as followers of Jesus? There are plenty of people who are "good people" for no reason. So how can we be a light in this world? How does our thankfulness to God shine out?


sarahm said...

indeed, we both quoted the same Psalm ;)
And it's a great thing to bless your child immediately after it's birth! how did the gynao react?

annegreet said...

Actually, he didn't. The midwife was a christian who went: "Ah, I know what that's about." So she gave the man some time.

GJ said...

John 15:18-19 reads:
18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

I came upon this text today studying New Testament Theology... I don't know. The world hating me always brings these images to my mind of persecuted christians in China and the like. While I keep wondering how a christian in a tolerant western society is supposed to respond to these verses... It's a paradox, in a way, looking for tiny traces of the world disliking you to be able to match the apparent requirements of this text, while being to ashamed to confess your faith at public occasions. And that's not even to mention the profound way this Muslim-dad acts in public. Inspiring and touching stuff, Annegreet. Thanks.

Luke said...

This has been a recurring question in my own mind as well. I've a lot of respect for ardent muslims because they out-shine the majority of christians. With the way the West is, starting traditions wouldn't be culture for a very long time; as our cultures are so opposed to overt and forthright christianity.

I'm not opposed to being somewhat alien to others, so long as we love them well enough for that to overcome the barrier. Being an alien to the world is much like what the scripture has perscribed to us as are made more like Christ.

The real difficulty is being as passionate and intent as we believe we should be. That's where I struggle the most. I believe much further than I act... or do I? I'm frustrated enough to think such is true. (c: Frustration is sorry substitute for genuine discipline. Where do grace, freedom and discipline meet?

Good questions in your post Annegreet.

annegreet said...

GJ, that's a fine description: "looking for tiny traces of the world disliking you to be able to match the apparent requirements of this text, while being too ashamed to confess your faith at public occasions".
Yeah, I recognise your frustration-paradox, Luke.
Thanks for your comments, guys. You inspire me to reflection. (c;

Wolterkabolter said...

look on to see how this girl made a fool out of herselve by hitch-hiking to heaven on ascension day and showing a little of het faith in God :-)