For use in your Faith Shared service.
In the Abrahamic religions, even more than in other religious traditions, a book of sacred scriptures is of central importance. Jews, Christians, and Muslims, known as “people of the book,” believe that the content of their respective scriptures was revealed by God and provides instruction on how to live in a manner pleasing to God.
The scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam provide profuse encouragement for their adherents to live in love, by law, with prayer and the practice of charity. Unfortunately, specific passages in each tradition can be and have been ripped from their historical/scriptural context and manipulated to promote division, nurture hatred, and even inspire violence. Such abuse of scriptures is as common as it is wrong.
Below are scriptures drawn from the Torah of Judaism, the Gospels of Christianity, and the Qur’an of Islam. Each scripture represents the distinctive truth of the tradition from which it comes as well as the openness, respect, and an opportunity for cooperation with other religions as well.
Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy
President, Interfaith Alliance
The following readings are suggestions identified by Interfaith Alliance for Faith Shared. Participating houses of worship are encouraged to use these or to identify other readings that hold meaning for their individual communities.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
You shall love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Jesus said . . . ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second one is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another.
Jesus said . . . ‘whoever is not against you is for you.’
O humankind, We (God) have created you male and female, and made you into communities and tribes, so that you may know one another.
Let there be no hostility except against those who practice Zulm (oppression).
There shall be no compulsion in matters of faith.
Verily! Those who have attained faith as well as those who follow the Jewish Faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians—all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds—shall have their reward with their Sustainer, and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.
Correct and courteous words accompanied by forgiveness are better than a charitable deed followed by insulting words.