I am fascinated by the power in our human spirituality for peace as we recognize the common moral and spiritual ground that exists in our respective faith traditions and teachings. We are, as human beings, bound together by an innate "need" to understand the meaning of our existence. I believe this was by design of our "Creator." In this quest we are thrust together into discourse, and we are interdependent. Furthermore it orients us toward a common goal. Coming from a Christian peace tradition, what I have to offer below comes from that perspective. As I have been in several interfaith dialogue groups I know the Quran, in its reverence for the Hebrew prophets and for the teachings of Jesus, also echos the scriptures I have listed below. But I will leave that to those of you who know them better to add them to our conversation. I am intrigued by the fact that Muslims like Ghaffar Khan have built a nonviolent movement based on the teachings of the Quran; and Gandhi and Martin Luther King jr likewise based on the teachings of Jesus, all of which grow from their Abrahamic roots in Judaism. Our faith offers many resources for peacebuilding which we must gather and apply to intervene in the conflicts we face together.
Thank you for beginning this conversation, Sabriyah! You have written wonderful words of inspiration for peace! I look forward very much to what will grow from this, and to adding to what is here.. this is just a beginning!
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor
as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
“Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say ‘The Lord will surely separate me from his people.’ …The foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant – these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; and their offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Thus says the Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.” Isaiah 56:3,6-8 and quoted by Jesus in Mark 11:17
I give you a new commandment that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35
You have heard that it was said ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who abuse and persecute you; so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:43-45
“Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another,a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this you were called - ..For those who desire life, and to see good days…let them turn from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it.” I Peter 3:8-9,11
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’ But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you for your coat, give him [your cloak-the rest of your clothes] also; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him a second mile also..” Matthew 5:38-41
“So then remember, that at one time you Gentiles… being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of God’s promises, were without [Jesus as well], having no hope in the knowledge of God. But now through Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by his sacrifice. For he is our peace; uniting both groups [Jews and non-Jews, all humanity] into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body... So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him all of us have access through the same Spirit to God. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but… members of the household of God, built on the foundation [of the prophets and these witnesses, and Jesus] who is the cornerstone. In him the whole structure comes together and forms a holy temple of which you are a part, [spiritually the living dwelling place of God].” Ephesians 2:13-22
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; that is in Jesus, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us.” I Corinthians 5:16-20
Then Peter came and said to Jesus, “Lord if a person sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Isaiah 61:1-2 and qouted in Luke 4:18
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?” Isaiah 58:5-7