My wife and I are visiting our friends in Israel (ישראל), and they live in a little suburb of Jerusalem (ירושלם) called Abu Ghosh (אבו גוש). Resonating outside the window right now is the Muslim call to prayer being sounded over the sound system of the local minaret, and at the same time is a small party happening with someone on a guitar singing “Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.
While we are continually struggling and striving to not only understand the religious and ideological conflicts that characterize our world, we are also reminded that there are pockets, many of them, where the diversity converges, many times harmoniously. True, the sound outside the window right now is a bit of a cacophony with the melodic tunes of soulful guitar music being “backed up” with a cultic chanting of the very vocalic tones of the call to prayer. And true, this is usually the perception of many as they observe the co-existence of such diverse religious opinions.
However, there is something wonderful too. Whoever and whatever this God of the universe is (אלהי אברהם), He is extremely wonderful, empathetic, creative, diverse, and very tolerant of our (humanity’s) shortcomings and failures. And as I listen to the clashing sounds, I imagine Him listening to the same, a thousand/million times over. And yet, God still is full of joy, and full of love for all His people.
May we, as we pick up our musical or non-musical instruments of praise, worship, and celebration, discover more fully this amazing Creator, and seek to love Him and His people in the way He has first loved us.
(She’s just switch songs now and is singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow!” The call to prayer is still the same🙂 )