I am honored to have been invited to give the sermon as the 2013 Spring Term Jameson Jones Visiting Preacher at Iliff School of Theology, in Denver, Colorado. The title of my sermon is “‘With Hardship Comes Ease’ (Q 94:5): The Voice of Consolation in the Qur’an.”
My sermon will reflect on the consoling nature of the Divine Word. The Qur’an is an unvarnished revelation that sometimes depicts human nature at its worst, yet offers a way out, and provides consolation for the pain of simply living through it all. These days, Muslims are often painted into a corner from which they are forced to defend themselves to anyone and everyone that their religion is not what everyone fears. It can be a risky matter to publicly share how one grapples with the harshness of life through the Divine Word. Talking about God’s more easily digested and uplifting messages sometimes seems to be the only way to survive being a Muslim in North America. I hope that by baring my experience of psychic and bodily salvation through the Qur’an from abuses of authority and control permitted by God, fellow travelers will recognize their own struggles with their own Word and find consolation and healing in our common humanity.