dispatches to and from

nathan f. elmore

Dispatches to and from faith, culture, and things in between

Ramadan Renderings/Day 12

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.

 

Qur'an reading at the planned launch of the Nakheel Harbour and Tower in Dubai [Geoff Thatcher via Flickr]

 

Day 12 || Reading: Qur'an 11:6 - 12:52

 

Rendering from Qur'an 12:19-21

http://quran.com/12/19-21

 

In the Qur'anic telling of the story of Joseph (Arabic: Yusuf), there are numerous theological reflections to unpack or spiritual insights to glean -- from the nature of God and his involvement in human affairs to the significance of dreams to the divine purposes of hardship or suffering. Here, especially in verse 21, there is a great intersection of the great themes in Yusuf's life according to this story: God has called him, He is with him, guiding him, teaching him, empowering him to use his special gift -- all the while as a stranger in a foreign land.