Sunday, January 13, 2013

Do not our hearts burn within us?

"Describe your conversion to Christ.
"One night the only food my wife and I had was a small portion of macaroni.  My wife prepared it very nicely.  Then one of her friends knocked on the door.  I told myself, The macaroni is not sufficient for even the two of us, so how will it be enough for three of us?  But because we have no other custom, we opened the door, and she came in to eat with us.
     "While we were eating, the macaroni started to multiply; it became full in the bowl.  I suspected that something was wrong with my eyes, so I started rubbing them.  I thought maybe my wife hid some macaroni under the small table, so I checked, but there was nothing.  My wife and I looked at each other, but because the guest was there we said nothing.
     "Afterward I lay down on the bed, and as I slept, Isa came to me and asked me, 'Do you know who multiplied the macaroni?'  I said, 'I don't know.'  He said, 'I am Isa al Masih.  If you follow me, not only the macaroni but your life will be multiplied.'
     "He didn't tell me that he was God; he didn't tell me that he died on behalf of me; he didn't say, 'I am the Son of God.'  He didn't talk to me about any complicated theological issues.  He only told me that if I followed him, he would multiply my life.  At that time, I was very happy if he only multiplied the macaroni like he did that day.  I didn't understand what he meant when he said that my life would be multiplied.  Now I understand what that means.  But at the time, I accepted him simply as the 'lord of macaroni.'

"Much like the crowds in the Gospels who accepted him as 'lord of bread.'
"Yes, I just accepted him as one who satisfied my needs.  That day I understood that because Allah loved me, Isa came to my home.
     "When I think back now, the kingdom of God came to my home.  Jesus said, '[I]f I cast out demons . . . the kingdom . . . has come upon you' (Luke 11:20, nasb).  Any miracle that takes place by Isa al Masih speaks of the kingdom of God.  It was not because I was poor that Isa came to my home; there are many poor.  It is not because he wanted to multiply my macaroni.  Maybe there might be many other people who can multiply macaroni, like magic.  So what is the purpose?  Isa al Masih came to my home with the kingdom of God.  He didn't completely explain theological issues, he only said, 'If you will follow.'"

     "Abu Jaz," as interviewed by "Gene Daniels," "a missionary in the Muslim community".  "What it's like to follow Christ embedded in Muslim culture:  an interview with a Muslim follower of Isa," a component of "Worshiping Jesus in the mosque"/"Where's Christian?", itself a component of a suite of short pieces on "The hidden history of insider movements," Christianity today 57, no. 1 (January/February 2013):  23-24/27/31).

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