I am a Christian pastor who works as a collegiate minister with the Virginia Baptists at Virginia Commonwealth University. One of my areas of vocational interest and spiritual work is Christian-Muslim relations, including text-centered dialogues or conversations. During Ramadan 2011, I read through the entire Qur'an, in English, via Tarif Khalidi's 2008 translation (Penguin Books). What follows is a personal, meditative rendering of the Qur'an portion of the day. This rendering is devotional in nature, not scholarly. And it comes in the form of textual observations, spiritual reflections, theological questions or poetic responses.
Palestinian boy at al-Omari mosque in Gaza City [Photograph: Ali Ali/EPA]
Day 1 || Reading: Qur'an 1:1 - 2:141
Rendering from Qur'an 2:61
The smallest desire can often lead us furthest astray. For the children of Israel, the Qur'an says that their hunger for lentils -- for something other than what God had given and was continuing to give -- was a miscalculated exchange. So I am asking myself, With consideration for what God has given me, how have I exchanged what is of lesser worth for what is better?