2013 September

MATERIALISM

Image: Creative Commons

Qatar was named the world’s wealthiest country by Forbes Magazine. While a Qatari’s primary possession was once a tent, the discovery of oil and the country’s new wealth has transformed that to a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Blackberry.  Foreign workers are drawn from all over the world on the basis of high earning potential. And this nouveau empire has built its foundation on the concept of luxury: Qatar has a large stake in Harrods; Volkswagen, which owns Audi and Lamborghini; Tiffany; and LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton bags and Dior perfume. Luxury is foundational even to tourism; fashion, hotels,…

A PRAYER FOR MOHAMMED and others like him

mohammed

Read Mohammed’s profile. Even those unfamiliar with the Bible can quote the proverb, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” We may not agree with other parents’ decisions on how to raise children, but we can identify with the desire for children to have more than their parents ever had. We pray for Mohammed and others like him. Give his parents and his nanny grace and wisdom as they guide him into adulthood. Help them find the balance between raising a citizen of the world who…

THE HAJJ, PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA

Islam has five pillars, actions obligatory for believers. One, the hajj, is a pilgrimage that every able-bodied Muslim should make once in his lifetime. Pilgrims join millions of others in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the week before the annual festival of Eid al-Adha. They perform a series of rituals centering around a stone called the Kaaba, a journey between two hills, drinking from a well, and sacrificing an animal to commemorate God’s provision for Hagar when Abraham and Sarah sent her and Ishmael into the wilderness. (You can read the Biblical account in Genesis 16 and 21.) According to tradition, this is the place…