Faith Lift from the Pastor



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Faith Lift: Breakfast

Jack in the Box now serves breakfast all day….and all night.  I’m used to breakfast in the morning but last Monday night I had the opportunity to break fast at 8:35 p.m.

This is the time that Muslims observe the month of Ramadan.  They fast from sun up to sun down.  They take no food and drink no water during those hours.  I remember when Hakeem Olajuwon was playing for the Houston Rockets and people were concerned about his health playing such a strenuous sport and fasting on game days. 

This last Monday I was invited by Baytown’s Imam, Mohammed Ahmad Khan, to a prayer service after which we would “break fast.” One of our members, texted me and asked if he could come as well.  When we arrived another man from Palmer Episcopal in Houston was also there.   

After the prayers I was asked to bring greetings and say a few words. I read three passages in chronological order, oldest to the newest.  I read first from the Hebrew writings, from the Talmud Shabbat 32, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary.”   Then I read from the gospel of Matthew 7:12 “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”  Then I read from the Hadith “Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.”

I expressed my appreciation for the Imam’s invitation and shared my concern about the attack that morning in London when a man drove his car into a crowd of worshippers leaving prayers at a mosque there. I shared my appreciation for the Imam that shielded the attacker from those on the street, and expressed my sorrow at the attack, as I grieve all acts of terrorism. My hope, and the hope of Iman Kahn is that our faith communities can work together to be a blessing to the Baytown community. 

After the prayers we had a feast. There were several dishes that I did not recognize.  One dish was called tabbouleh.  Another one consisted of flat bread that had tomato sauce and cheese on it.  The Iman jokingly said, ‘We call this Pizza.”  

What impressed me so though was their hospitality. Every man there greeted us personally.  One man said he has started to write a book titled “Love Your Religion.  Respect Other Religions.”  He said he had stopped writing it because he was afraid he would be killed.  He said now that we had come to his service he was going to start writing again.   Another man said he had wanted to visit a Christian church, was afraid to do so.  He asked if he could visit our church.  I assured him he would be welcome.  I gave him my card and said, “If you want to see our church as usual you might not want to come this Sunday.  This is our Vacation Bible School week and it will be unusual.  But then it was unusual for me to have…  breakfast at 8:30 p.m.


Rev. Dr. Jim Gill

Faith Presbyterian Church

3900 N. Main

Baytown, Texas  77521