dispatches to and from

nathan f. elmore

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

Ramadan Renderings/Day 23

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.

 

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Day 23 || Reading: Qur'an 36:28 - 39:31

 

Rendering from Qur'an 39:5 

http://quran.com/39/5

 

How has what is come to be? "In truth," the answer reverberates.

Then, a beautifully contemplative image reminiscent of the Hebrew psalms: He wraps night around day and day around night.

The scripture goes on to proclaim the sun and the moon as God's subjects; it emphasizes the intelligence of God in setting their courses. And I love the unattainably high note on which the verse ends: He is Almighty, Ever-Forgiving.

This same God whose truth created what is, and whose might rules the sun and the moon, offers humanity his unrelenting forgiveness? Indeed, there are good reasons to go speechless every now and then. Here, God's presence feels like a strong tenderness.

 

Photo by BioGeek via Flickr