The Path of Law and Obedience, of Love and Sacrifice
Muslims fast because it is required by their law.
That is obedience.
They do it in the month of Ramadan where, for 40 days, they wouldn’t even drink water from sunrise to sunset. Any thing less is sin for them. Yet the law provides equity because some people are exempt: the pregnant, the sick and those below 12 years old. At 12 years old, I am just thinking that this severe discipline will probably leave a mark and a strong impression on the child.
And no wonder why they will be willing to face certain death for the sake of their faith. They will eat before sunrise and after sunset, where they prepare a feast! Think about the power of millions of people doing this civil obedience. Compare these to the rallies of civil unrest and disobedience in the US. They number in the thousands. They stand for their rights: “human rights”, “labor rights”, lesbian and gay rights, but few will be willing to die for their cause. (Some probably will.)
Jesus came two thousand years ago. He went into fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. Yes, it was in obedience but it was something more: it was also a sacrifice. He was brave and committed, and was willing to face death. Not for obedience but for love.
I am now in my second day since my last meal. What keeps me on is love for God and faith. I am not saying that I am perfect. On the contrary I oftentimes faulter.
When you start thinking about it, you will never sacrifice for someone you don’t know. We always find it hard to to give a little extra for someone we don’t quite know. It’s too uncomfortable, and rightly so. Would you give a tenth of your earning? Would you give up a job? A relationship? A hobby? But those in relationship will find it easy to give up their own money, their time, their sleep, their comfort for pain. A father will wake up late in the evening to change diapers. There is connection, there is love, there is relationship.
What drives your faith? Law or Love?