My friends and family enjoyed my last Sultan Center post so much, I am going to add a couple photos here.
The price of eggs is breathtaking:
(Remember, for KD to $, you can figure about $4/KD)
Down below these packages of 6 (top shelf) and 12 second shelf) were flats of 30 for only KD 1.000. They are smaller eggs, and need washing, but that’s what I bought.
The Sultan Center serves a wide variety of people – local and expat – so I always love to see the things they put next to each other. This is a section I call “food helpers;” they are not food, but you add them to something – meat, rice, something that really IS food:
Today’s Gospel reading includes a phrase that causes a lot of concern and discussion among Christians. The entire reading is this:
GOSPEL: John 14: 1 – 14 (RCL)
John 14: 1 – 12 (Roman Catholic)
John 14:1 (NRSV) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.
The phrase that causes problems is this: No one comes to the Father except through me.
Today’s Forward Day by Day (thoughts on the readings for the day) is very comforting. It says this:
Today’s gospel text is another hard one. The absoluteness of Christianity is affirmed over and over in John’s Gospel and never more disturbingly (to our pluralistic ears) than in this passage. Jesus declares himself to be “the way, the truth, and the life” that leads to the Father; no one comes to the Father except through him.
This grates on us. What about Jews? Muslims? Buddhists? Agnostics? C. S. Lewis, addressing this concern in Mere Christianity, reminds us that “God has not told us what his arrangements about other people are.” We know that no man can be saved except for Christ, but we do not know that only those who know him can be saved through him, Lewis adds. The heart of the matter, then, is not measured by the extent of our awareness. Grace is a mystery, not a formula-and not subject to our prior approval.
The Spirit blows where it will.
The epistle to the Hebrews reminds us that the word of God spoken in Christ is “living and active.” In hidden ways we cannot see, control, or imagine-even in other religions-Christ is bringing the whole world home to the Father, one beloved person at a time.
I have a sweet Moslem family who loves me. When they come back from Hajj, they always bring me prayer beads, and they always pray for me at the most important time and place. It delights my heart; it delights me that they love me and want me to be in paradise with them, and I will accept prayers for me from anyone, any day of the week!
One of the most meaningful things they ever said to me was that, in spite of everything, they believe I will be in the afterlife with them. They are devout. I know their beliefs exclude me, and somehow they have found a way to think I might be included.
I like this devotion for the same reason. I want to believe that God/Allah is so big that we can’t begin to comprehend how much he loves us, his creation, and how his mercy and forgiveness and powers of inclusion will work. We don’t believe the same things, not exactly the same, and yet I believe there is a way we can all be saved.
As you can see, the day is more clear, but not exactly clear:
At 0600, it is 66°F / 19°C and the high today is expected to be 100°F / 38° C.
It is still very . . . ummm. . . .Hazy(?) Cloudy(?) Dusty (?) on the horizon. Visibility down close to the ground is limited. There is definitely less dust than in the last two days, thanks be to God.