A Well-timed Holy Crossover
5th March 2021
Today marks the launch of our yearly Retreat led by none other than our very own Jo Parkin. If you missed the welcome video on Facebook Live please catch up with it here https://www.facebook.com/groups/770413550554540 I learned from attending today, that a large number of us may be suffering from some kind of burnout due to the pandemic and its related restrictions and despite most of us being in some kind of isolation, we haven’t really had a chance to be with our ‘selves’ and reconnect with our spiritual side, and if you believe in God- a chance to re-evaluate our relationship with God. The retreat gives us the opportunity to do just this. To find ourselves the opportunity to isolate our selves from the distractions, and to what is most important. (and I have separated ‘selves’ on purpose)
We’re more than a fortnight into Lent and we had the Fast of Esther last week. Coming up next week is the 27th of Sha’ban also known as Al Isra Wal Mi’raj. Then a few days after that we’ll come to Passover, just before Easter. If that wasn’t enough, exactly one week after that is Ramadan! So you see readers, we are in a very Holy time right now and its Holiness is significant to more than two-thirds of the world. Collectively they are known as the Abrahamic religions. Jews and Christians and Muslims revere the figure of Abraham is the forefather to their faiths. So how did we end up being so far apart from each other in doctrine and in practice? One of the reasons, I believe, is the passage of time. Abraham lived on the Earth approximately 2000 years before the Common Era and 2000 years after Adam and Eve (see further reading  for source link). This may not be fully correct and it may in reality be much longer between each of them but just imagine…
…Abraham had many children but two of his sons were seen as most significant. The Jews and Christians came from generations that followed the bloodline of Isaac, and Muslims came from the bloodline of Ishmael, the older of the two. In fact, the only Prophet to follow Ishmael was Prophet Mohammed, whereas the majority of the well-known biblical prophets followed Isaac. Jacob and Joseph; David and Solomon; Zechariah and John (the Baptist) were all of the progeny of the younger brother, and so with each new prophet perhaps there was a change in attitude and culture and so a change in the way things were done- leading to greater variances in practice, perhaps? These are purely my thoughts and reflections, and if we look for differences, they can easily be found. So what I am calling for is that we should all make a conscious effort to find similarities.
Next year the Holy events will cross over even more closely, until they become further apart. But this year gives us a chance to look at each other’s religious backgrounds more closely and find more common ground, and trust me there is plenty of common ground- you just have to look for it. So let us remind each other today, that we all come from one father and one mother- even before Abraham, as God Reminds us in the Holy Qur’an chapter 4, verse 1:
“O people! Be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who Created you from a single being and Created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of your duty to Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you.”