At church last Sunday we talked about some of the differences between Christians and Muslims. It was a good sermon and I was reminded of the freedom I have as a follower of Jesus. Unlike Islam, Christianity is not based on a set of divines directives that must be followed 'or else,' rather, Christianity is based on the love and forgiveness of God demonstrated by the giving of his Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins.
I'm grateful that my salvation is not predicated on perfect behavior because I would fall far short of the holiness standards of God. My freedom as a Christian is not to do anything I please and expect forgiveness, but rather to live each day with an honest effort to please Christ, and to know assuredly that my failures will be forgiven. Thanks be to God for rescuing me because of his great love for me when I could not rescue myself.
In the coming days there will likely be much talk about Islam and Muslims. The acts of September 11, 2001 brought the Islamic faith to the forefront for many people and as we approach the 10 year anniversary of the Trade Center tragedies, Christians will have the opportunity to reflect on their own faith and the great salvation freely given to them through Christ. May we all thank God for his gift, and we may strive, albeit imperfectly, to live the life Christ calls us to life, a life marked with love, kindness, generosity, and forgiveness....even to our Muslim neighbors and colleagues.