I’ve heard it over and over again: Isalm is a religion of peace.  But five times each day I hear the reminder that there is no peace.  The adhan is the muslim call to prayer that is blasted on the loud speakers that are apparently strategically pointed at my hotel room window (that happens to not close entirely).   More than a consistent distrubance of any peace that might be found in a noisy city, it’s a reminder that thousands in this city and millions around the world have no true peace with God.

The call to salaat (prayer/worship) is a command to “faithful muslims” to express the supremacy of their god as well as to seek forgiveness for any sin or mistake that they may have committed.  Of course, in Isalm there is no thought of the sin nature and sin is simply a bad decision that’s not in line with the will of Allah.  They pray the necessary prayer day and night in hopes of being forgiven for whatever sin it is that they have committed.  Though their god promises to be forgiving there is never any real assurance or hope for full and free forgiveness of sin.  So they go on and on with the ritual prayer hoping to attain something with prayer that they themselves must keep with a promise to “never do it again”.  

The voice of the  muezzin howls forth and it is as irritating as it is disturbing.  Tonight however, instead of being aggravated I found myself realizing that this is not a religion of peace because there is no peace with God; only the constant pursuit to please a god that doesn’t exist.  My heart yearns for those who know no peace but  instead hear constant reminders of yet of another chance to grasp at spiritual success that is neither spiritual nor successful.  

Oh God, replace my natural inclination to look with disdain on this sea of people with a heart of compassion and brokenness  at their peaceless plight.

It is only through the Lord Jesus Christ that I can rejoice in sins forgiven forever.  Having been justified by Christ through faith, I don’t seek to please God in order to obtain a higher or better standing in His eyes but rather I seek to please Him because I already stand before Him in the perfect, never-diminishing righteousness of His Son who said,

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  (Matthew 11:28-30)