Easter and Ramadan Is God’s forgiveness given or earned?

The juxtaposition this year of the Christian celebration of Easter (April 4), and the Muslim celebration of Ramadan (30 days of prayer and fasting beginning April 13) offers some interesting reflection on the nature of each of these two religious observances.

It’s a study in whether God’s forgiveness is given or earned.

Easter & Ramadan

Easter

Easter, coming at the end of Holy Week (March 28-April 4, 2021) is a time for Christians to remember the tremendous sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ in his suffering and death, and to celebrate his tremendous victory in rising from the dead. His sacrifice and victory have defeated sin, death and Satan, and we who are his disciples, rest in his finished work, even as we join him in his mission to make his redemptive work known to all.

We are confident of our access to and right relationship with God because Jesus Christ is our mediator, and his sacrifice has dealt with our sins. We have been given right standing with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.


Ramadan

Ramadan, marked by 30 days of fasting and prayer (April 13-May 12, 2021), is a season when Muslims diligently strive to fulfill the duties that form the basis of their religious practice.

During Ramadan, observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food, drink, smoking, sexual activity, as well as gossip, fighting, lying, etc. It’s a rigorous commitment to sacrifice, renunciation, reflection and spiritual growth. Ramadan is often a season of recommitment to God and the Muslim community.

A diligent observance of Ramadan is offered in hopes that God’s pardon might be earned for the sins they have committed.

Forgiveness

Christian forgiveness rests in Jesus’ finished work; our efforts to love God and love neighbour arise from a heart of gratitude and commitment to his good Kingdom reign.

Muslims seek to earn forgiveness through good deeds and religious observances. However, there is no confidence that even diligent efforts will achieve the desired outcome of God’s forgiveness for sins.

The contrast is clear.

An Invitation to Prayer

If you are reading this and are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you, like me, have received the grace and mercy of God. We stand together on level ground at the foot of the cross, with thankful hearts full of joy for the freedom we have been given.

My prayer is that our hearts together are moved with compassion towards those who are not yet free—those whom Christ died for, but who do not yet know him. Those who are zealous to please God but have no confidence that their efforts will be accepted; no confidence in salvation; no rest in forgiveness; no experience of mercy and grace.

As Muslims enter a season of prayer and fasting during Ramadan, let’s also enter a season of prayer and fasting. For 30 years, around the world, Christians have set aside these 30 days of Ramadan to pray specifically for Muslims. I invite you to set aside this month as a season of prayer.

Prayer Resources for Ramadan

There are a variety of resources to support you in your prayers.

  • 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslims World - Join the international movement of prayer that began in 1993. Adult and kids guides are available.
  • Canadian Ramadan Prayer Points - Download 2021 Canadian Ramadan Prayer Guide or subscribe to receive daily email prayer prompts
  • Prayercast - Love Muslims Videos is where you can subscribe to receive prayer videos focused on the Muslims world. There’s an amazing library of videos from previous years, so spend some time watching and praying.
  • Loving Muslims Together Events - is where you will find information about Night of Power prayer meetings held online across Canada towards the end of Ramadan. Join one and pray with others for light to shine in the darkness.
  • Pray for a Mosque Community - When Ramadan comes to an end, your prayers don’t have to. One of the opportunities that is available year-round is to pray for the mosque community nearest you. Wouldn’t it be amazing if God raised up people and churches to pray for every mosque in Canada? If you want to know more about this initiative check out Pray for a Mosque Community or contact us at info@lmtn.ca.

As Muslims make a concerted effort to pray, seeking God’s favor, let’s also, empowered by the Holy Spirit, make an equally concerted effort this month to labor in prayer, with tears and cries of petition, so that they too could stand on level ground with us at the foot of the cross and worship Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain.

This article has been republished with permission from Outreach Canada. https://outreach.ca/Blog/Blog-Detail/ArticleId/1890/Prayer-Ramadan

Series: #MissionIsNotCancelled

See all Read more...
Event Recap

Three Ways Your Church Can Prepare to Welcome Refugee Claimants in the Post-Pandemic World

How to make a difference in a refugee's journey in Canada.Read more Read more...

Video

Get to know Raija-Liisa Schmidt-Teigen from MedAir in Syria

Meet Raija-Liisa Schmidt-Teigen currently in Damascus, Syria. Hear from her about what 2020 has looked like,and her journey with Jesus.Read more Read more...

Video

Get to Know Ryan Giesbrecht and Ricki Chen from Servant Partners

Get to Know Ryan Giesbrecht and Ricki Chen from Servant Partners and what God has called of them this seasonRead more Read more...

Video

Get to Know Catherine Torres

Catherine sits down to talk all things at the heart of Ratanak as well as how God led her to such a roleRead more Read more...

More on Mission Central

Random entries from

Devotional

Altar Vision Devotional - Week 6

If God doesn’t control all my life, does he have any of my life?Read more Read more...

Article

Rest and Life in Third Spaces

A culture of third space is celebration. The same place to see the same people and simply present with one another, that is rest, and that is life.Read more Read more...

Article

​A Conversation about Discipling with Murray Moerman

The engine of the church is discipleship is growing in obedienceRead more Read more...

Article

Why Unity?

Our theme for the months ahead is Unity—an essential part of mission.Read more Read more...

Random entries from

Article

Grief over the Children

Grief over the 215 Children found buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential SchoolRead more Read more...

Devotional

Altar Vision Devotional - Week 10

What is the connection between surrender and unity?Read more Read more...

Article

A Letter from BC Christian Leaders

Let us all join together asking for the grace and peace of our God, all who are sorely tried by the COVID-19 pandemic.Read more Read more...

Article

The Context for Discipleship

What is discipleship? Discipleship in a missional community leads to vibrant mature followers of Jesus.Read more Read more...