Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Fast-Breaking is one translation) falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. It is a festive day of prayers, well-wishing, giving, and especially feasting. This year in Duluth, it fell upon Wednesday, July 6.
Returning to the church office late that afternoon to prepare for Midweek Worship, I found a note in the drop box outside the office door. It read: “Thank you! from a Muslim neighbor. We dropped off some donuts…. This is a small token to celebrate the end of Ramadan and to show appreciation for your message.”
Sure enough, there was a box of a dozen donuts in the refrigerator. This gift was prompted by Pilgrim Church’s large sandwich-board sign on the lawn for the previous month, “To our Muslim neighbors: Blessed Ramadan.” This sign remained on display even after the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, when the shooter was identified as Muslim and many pointed the finger — erroneously — to “radical Islam” as the motivation. It remained up just feet away from our rainbow shrine for those victims, a shrine that remains in place for fifty days — one day for each person who lost their life, and one day in honor of the survivors. The compassion of grace is wide; there was, there is, there always will be, room to rejoice with those who rejoice even as we mourn with those who mourn. This is extravagant welcome, especially for any who are marginalized.
Summertime Midweek Worship (mid-June through July) always includes Holy Communion, in which participants serve one another the bread and cup around a circle. That evening, a large glazed cinnamon yeast donut, selected from the box, served as the communion bread. Two faiths blessed one another in sweet and holy feasting.
Taste and see; the Lord is good, indeed.