For a project for World Religions class, I interviewed a Muslim named Karim. Karim moved to America a couple decades ago. He worked at a restaurant and fell in love with one of the waitresses there, Susie. The two of them decided to get married.
She took him home to meet her mother, a life-long Missouri Synod Lutheran. That's right, this girl took her Muslim boyfriend home to meet her LCMS mother, Edna. How do you think that went over?
At that moment, Edna was coming face to face with one of those creatures, an unbeliever. And she was faced with a decision. Would Karim be nothing more than a hopeless unbeliever to her ... or a person, in need of God's grace?
In loving gentleness, here's how she responded to their desire to get married: "I don't think so! You two aren't getting married. But Karim, I'd like for you to come to church with us."
Karim reluctantly agreed. But all along, he thought: Christianity is a foolish religion. Why should someone else die for my sins? I don't need that kind of charity. He said to himself, "These people are weak. They should have to pay for their own sins."
But over time, Karim felt his defenses becoming weak. He said, "God's Word was bigger than me." Gradually, God's Word was convicting Karim of his sins and pointing him to One who can take away the burden of sin.
A week before the wedding, Karim was baptized into the Christian faith. Now, many years later, Karim is a Lutheran pastor in Texas.
Karim has shared that Word with some of the most important people in his life, his nine siblings living around the world, in Israel, France, the United States, and their home country of Morraco. Seven of the nine have...