Thoughts on Easter and Ramadan
On April 17, many Christians celebrate Easter. For many this is the most important Christian feast. During Easter we celebrate that Jesus rose from the dead, and with it the opened the way to eternal life. This is a life in the presence of Almighty God. Many Christians prepare for Easter during 40 days. This period of Lent is sometimes accompanied by fasting or lifestyle austerity. It is a time of repentance, reflection and prayer. During this period, people want to strengthen their desire to be close to God.
The month of Ramadan begins for many Muslims on April 1. For thirty days many Muslims, more than at other times of the year, are aware of their relationship with God. It is a time of repentance, reflection and prayer. The month of Ramadan is for many Muslims a period in which they want to strengthen their desire to be close to God.
It’s really special that the desire to be close to God is so clearly present in the lives of both believing Muslims and believing Christians!
This desire to be close to God presupposes that being close to God is a safe place, a good place, a place of peace, happiness and prosperity, because God is safe, good and the ultimate Source of happiness.
Our desire to be close to God is essentially a response to an invitation from God Himself. Our Creator envisions our ultimate and eternal happiness, so He invites us to be close to Him.
King David put it this way in one of his songs: My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with Me.”……..And my heart responds: “Lord, I am coming.”
Is it not remarkable that the Sovereign, Eternal, Almighty, Holy, and Perfect God, invites vulnerable, weak, impure, limited, fickle and puny people into His presence? Does that fit? Isn’t the difference between God and man too great? Can they really come close to each other? Is not a man consumed by the Almighty?
Both Muslims and Christians sense this is a tension. We can ask ourselves whether being near God is a gift or a merit, or both. Isn’t that just why
Christians see the death of Jesus in His role as Mediator as good news that belongs to Easter? And isn’t it for this reason that Muslims make extra effort and are more religious during Ramadan?
Anyway, in this time of Easter and Ramadan, let’s repeat after David: My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with Me.”……..And my heart responds: “Lord, I am coming.” for only in God our desire for happiness can come to rest.