Genesis 11:5

The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. Genesis 11:5

Christmas Carols in Colchester

On Sunday I walked in the cold to Colchester town, determined to find the perfect Get Well Soon card for my adopted grandmother. I could not find a card with the type of expressive and Christian message that she would appreciate, although I did find a card with an ornate floral design, featuring purple and gold--her favourite colours.

I spent hours between several card shops, and enjoyed the Christmas carols pouring from the speakers overhead, as I read through greeting card after greeting card. Eventually I wandered over to boxed sets, and found the cards were dominated by Santa Clause, snowmen, penguins, wintry scenes, reindeer, and Christmas trees. Only a few designs featured Baby Jesus, the Nativity Scene, or Mary the Mother of Jesus. I was surprised to notice that although my beliefs about Jesus have drifted far from Jesus being deity or the Son of God, I still found most meaning in Christmas being the opportunity to celebrate the birth of a most influential prophet of God.

I have yet to grow in my knowledge of what words are attributed to Jesus in Islam, but I have grown to appreciate the basic premise in Islam that Jesus is a Prophet to be honoured and respected with other prophets in Islam, such as Ibrahim, Moses, and Muhammad (Peace be upon him صـلى الله علـيه و سـلم). From the first time I heard of the Islamic belief that Jesus was not crucified, I found comfort in the thought that Allah spared the Prophet Jesus suffering by sending another to take Jesus' place on the cross. Jesus was raised directly to heaven, and will return sometime in the future--even to raise a family, I hear!

The thought that Jesus was not crucified seemed to obliterate the need for debate after debate I participated in with pacifists and Messiah College and Goshen College, as we tried to answer whether or not a Father God who allows and even requires his Son to be crucified is violent. Forgiveness, in Islam, does not require the birth or death of a Son / offspring of God. Islam requires the believer to submit their life entirely to Allah. Allah is "the forgiver of sin, acceptor of repentance, severe in punishment, owner of abundance. There is no deity except Him; to Him is the destination" (Surah Ghafir 40:3).

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