Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. John 2:2

The traditional Haft Seen table has been set with seven symbolic items. The wheat or lentil seeds have sprouted. Spring cleaning of their homes has been completed. Buying new clothes is over and they can’t wait to show them off at a party. Excitement is in the air because tomorrow starts Nowruz, the New Year for Zoroastrians, Persians, Afghans, Iranian Kurds, and many other ethnic groups.  Over the weekend here, there will be separate parties for the secularized Iranian Muslims, the religious ones, the university students who love to dance and another one for the religious ones who won’t allow dancing. The Baha’is will have their party.  Some years the Kurdish organize a party. The Afghan Shiites will have their own party.   Maybe the Afghan Sunnis will have a party. It all depends on whether their group has a president or a committee and are united in spirit. If there is no organized party for their particular people group they will usually invite their closest friends to a home party. Even though there are various issues that separate these beautiful people from each other they are united in a tradition of welcoming the Persian New Year in. Divisions can spring up around age, ethnicity, religious/political persuasions, economic status, or whom you will or won’t associate with. Sounds typical of any group of human beings on planet earth, doesn't it?

Perhaps your Muslim friend has invited you to a Nowruz party and you feel unsure of what to expect.  Here are a few tips to help you feel more comfortable:

Ask your friend how to say Happy New Year in her language. When you meet people at the party you can say their greeting and you will be welcomed right in! It will go a long ways if you inquire from your friend the history and traditions which accompany the Nowruz celebration. If there is a Haft Seen table at the party set up with the usual seven symbols take an interest in it and ask someone to explain the meaning of all the symbols. Have your picture taken beside the table with your friend. They take pride in that table. There is much richness and spiritual meaning in their symbols which can produce wonderful discussions. At most parties they will do traditional dancing and clapping after the meal. It is a joyful and fun time for everyone. Eventually they often move into more modern dancing. The music will probably be loud and go on for a long time. If you go alone you do not need to feel you have to stay until the party is over which will be quite late. You can ask to be excused and bid good bye to those at your table. They can dance a long time and never seem to tire of it. Have fun!

Jesus most likely went to many parties. I think He would feel right at home at a Nowruz party.  He would certainly take advantage of any opportunity to discuss their symbolism. Ask the Spirit what you could say about their tradition of throwing the sabzeh into moving waters on the 13th day.

Dear heavenly Father, please give me Your heart and Your words when I’ll be at the Nowruz party. In Jesus’ name, Amen.