Meditation and Prayer
by Mark Lloyd Taylor, Ph.D.
My brothers and sisters, may God be with you! The sacred scriptures of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions all tell stories or pass along sayings about hospitality. I invite us to muse on those scriptures this week.
In Surah 6 of the Holy Qur’an, for example, we read these words: “It is Allah who produces gardens, with trellises and without, and dates, and tilled soil with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar in kind, and different in variety: Eat of their fruit in their season; render the dues that are proper on the day that the harvest is gathered. But waste not by excess: for Allah does not love those who waste” [6:17:141]. And the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is remembered as saying this: “Eat together and not separately, for the blessing is associated with the company” [Ibn Majah].
Sisters and brothers, these words from our holy books encourage me and challenge me this week. Guided by the stories of Abraham and Sarah, of Jesus, and of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them all), let us pray:
Blessed are you, O God, ruler of the universe and our maker.
You bestow upon us from your bounty the gifts of food and fellowship.
Surprise us this week with the birth of new and unexpected beginnings.
Open our eyes this week to all that is holy, hidden right in front of us.
Call us back this week from our wasteful ways;
send us out in compassion to those brothers and sisters
whom we have deprived of food and conversation.
O Holy One of Blessing, teach us all, Jews, Christians, Muslims,
that eating and talking together can create harmony among our peoples.
Grant this, most merciful God, for the sake of your righteous name.
School of Theology and Ministry Prayer Cycle: We pray today for the Systemic Treatment of Addiction and Abuse class taught by William James; Mark Taylor, faculty; Simone Winston, staff; Jonathan Martin and Richard Martin, students.