by John Philip Newell
from Huffington Post
I do not know how many Christians have read the Quran. And I do not know how many Muslims have read the Christian Scriptures. But I do know that until we come back into relationship, until we begin to learn the wisdom at the heart of one another’s traditions, we will be less likely to work for peace. And without peace in the household of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar there will not be peace among us as nations today.
“Praying with the Earth: A Prayerbook for Peace” is a resource book in the Praying for Peace Initiative, designed especially to nurture relationship between Christianity, Islam and Judaism as a way of making peace in our world. Each morning and evening in a seve- day cycle we use words from the Quran, the Hebrew Scriptures and the teachings of Jesus to pray for peace. We know the shadow side of our religious inheritance, the way it is used to fuel hatred and division between us as peoples and as nations. But do we also know the prophetic power for peacemaking at the heart of our three faiths? We need to do the hard work of confronting the falseness within us and between us while at the same time accessing the vision and the hope for healing.
“Whichever way you turn, there is the face of God.” How many of us would have guessed that these words, which invite us to look for the Sacred in everything, come from the Quran? (The Cow 2:115) We have been too ready to believe the lie that it is only in certain faces, certain races, certain places, that we will glimpse the Holy. How can we help one another remember the true heart of Islam, the true heart of Christianity, the true heart of Judaism — all of which cherish a vision for the sacredness of every life?