I enjoy belonging to a couple of Book Groups. One is made up of Baptist Ministers and, truth to tell, we often discuss much more than the book! The other is a church group here at AFC and we met this week to reflect on the book Pillars by Rachel Pieh Jones.
As is so often the case, we all gained something different from the book and its enlightening to hear the variety of responses that one text can elicit. It’s rather like a family discussing their individual favourite parts of a shared meal! I loved the meat, but you preferred the vegetables!
Pillars tells the story of Rachel’s life, as a young American ex pat, living in the Horn of Africa in an Islamic culture. At one point she writes: I’ve read that some Muslims see prayer not as an interruption to their lives but as a call back to what is real. Rachel constantly observed the integration of faith and life around her so that for her many Muslim friends there was never a compartmentalization of the two.
Maybe we are not so good at this in Christianity?
I regularly come across the idea that attending worship or being involved in service is difficult for folk to ‘fit in’ to their busy lives. It betrays the idea that, in essence, Christianity is an interruption to the normal, not an integral part of it, and that is a betrayal of the whole-life understanding of faith and life advocated by Jesus. Indeed, I think he would wholeheartedly approve of the idea that prayer is not an interruption to our life but a call back to what is real.
ps. Blog holiday next week