You may be familiar with the Gospel accounts presented by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but are you aware of the other Gospel account that one-fifth of the world’s population places above all others?
The annunciation of this lesser known Gospel account says, “Behold! The angels said, ‘O Mary, God has chosen you and purified you. He has chosen you above other women of all nations. O Mary, worship your Lord devoutly, prostrate yourself, and bow with others who bow in prayer.’ …. Behold! The angels said, ‘O Mary, God gives you good news of His Word, who will be called Jesus Christ. The son of Mary will be held in honour in this world and in the hereafter and will be among those nearest to God. He will speak to people from the cradle and in maturity, and he shall be among the righteous.’
“She said, ‘O my Lord, how shall I have a son when no man has touched me?’
“He answered, ‘Even so! God creates whatever He will, and when He has determined a plan, He simply says to it, ‘BE!’ and it is. God will teach him the Book [of Scriptures] and wisdom and the Law [of Moses] and the Gospel, and he will be a messenger to the Children of Israel, saying thus:
“‘I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, which is that I create for you, out of clay, the figure of a bird and breathe into it, and it becomes a [living] bird, by God’s will. And I heal those born blind as well as the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by God’s will. And I can even tell you what you eat and what you store in your houses. Surely therein is a sign for you if you believe. I confirm the Law [of Moses], which came before me, and I make lawful to you things that have been forbidden to you [by the Pharisees]. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God, and obey me. God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is the Straight Way!’”
To read more of this Gospel account, you will need a copy of the Universal Qur’an, the book that Muslims believe was revealed to Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. Yes, Muslims believe in Jesus too! They believe that he was God’s Word miraculously breathed into the womb of a virgin and that he was a spirit emanating from God. Muslims believe that, by God’s will, Jesus was victorious over the cross and over death, that he ascended to Heaven, and that he will someday return to bring justice to the world and to establish peace prior to the end of time as we know it.
Prophet Muhammad (peace upon him), whom Muslims believe to be the prophet promised in Deuteronomy 18: 15-19, was raised in a culture of idol worship, and Muhammad was not at all popular among the idolaters as he recited Scriptures completely opposed to his own culture’s religion. His struggle in establishing the truth of the One True God was as treacherous as the struggle of early Christians. When he taught about Jesus (peace upon him), the idolaters, having heard of Jesus from neighbouring Christians, balked and complained that their gods were just as good as the Christian God.
According to the Qur’an, Jesus is “a sign for humanity and a mercy” from God. Love for Jesus should create a bond between Muslims and Christians; and, the common belief in the Messiah (the Christ) should also unite Muslims and Christians with Jews. The Judaic Talmud says that God will send the Messiah either when people are so involved in performing ‘mitzvot’ (good deeds) that they deserve the Messianic Age, or when people are so mired in sin that there is no hope for the world except for the salvation the Messiah will bring. Each of us must decide whether to dedicate ourselves to performing good deeds or to joining the insanity of the ‘irhadists’ (‘terrorists’ defaming the name of Islam), militant Zionists trying to usurp God’s authority by bringing about the Messianic Age by force, ‘crusadists’ who spread hate and bigotry against all who do not share their religious views, or others who continuously prevent peace on earth and goodwill toward all people. May Christmas become a time when people of all faiths learn to focus on the wonderful and consonant values of our diverse religions of light while respecting and honouring the unique and beautiful differences.
Jesus’ message, in both the New Testament and the Universal Qur’an, is that, to experience true peace, everyone must submit his or her life to serving God. Christians do not have a monopoly on Jesus. The Christmas story is for everybody!