Covenant – Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Baha

This Interfaith Devotional program focuses on the Covenant between God and man: that God will always provide guidance to humanity and our part is to recognize God’s Messengers and abide by His Teachings. These readings have been selected from various religious traditions. Please come and join us on Sundays at 9:30 am at the Beaverton Baha’i Center.

Opening Prayer

I testify, O my God, that this is the Day whereon Thy testimony hath been fulfilled, and Thy clear tokens have been manifested, and Thine utterances have been revealed, and Thy signs have been demonstrated, and the radiance of Thy countenance hath been diffused, and Thy proof hath been perfected, and Thine ascendancy hath been established, and Thy mercy hath overflowed, and the Day-Star of Thy grace hath shone forth with such brilliance that Thou didst manifest Him Who is the Revealer of Thyself and the Treasury of Thy wisdom and the Dawning-Place of Thy majesty and power. Thou didst establish His covenant with every one who hath been created in the kingdoms of earth and heaven and in the realms of revelation and of creation.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

First Reading

Whenever the Law declines and the purpose of life is forgotten, I manifest myself on earth. I am born in every age to protect the good, to destroy evil, and to reestablish the Law.

Hinduism, Bhagavad Gita 4.7-8

…from the beginning that hath no beginning the portals of Divine mercy have been flung open to the face of all created things, and the clouds of Truth will continue to the end that hath no end to rain on the soil of human capacity, reality and personality their favors and bounties. Such hath been God’s method continued from everlasting to everlasting.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Christianity, Matthew 5:17-18


Second Reading

All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his Covenant and his Testimonies.

Judaism, Psalm 25:10

The Lord of the universe hath never raised up a prophet nor hath He sent down a Book unless He hath established His covenant with all men, calling for their acceptance of the next Revelation and of the next Book; inasmuch as the outpourings of His bounty are ceaseless and without limit.

Bahá’í Faith, The Báb

God said, This is the token of the Covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

Judaism, Genesis 9:12

We did aforetime send messengers before thee: of them there are some whose story We have related to thee, and some whose story We have not related to thee. It was not (possible) for any messenger to bring a Sign except by the leave of Allah: but when the Command of Allah issued, the matter was decided in truth and justice, and there perished, there and then, those who stood on Falsehoods.

Islam, Quran Surah 40:78

Today the pulsating power in the arteries of the body of the world is the spirit of the Covenant – the spirit which is the cause of life. Whosoever is vivified with this spirit, the freshness and beauty of life become manifest in him, he is baptized with the Holy Spirit, he is born again, is freed from oppression and tyranny, from heedlessness and harshness which deaden the spirit, and attains to everlasting life. Praise thou God that thou art firm in the Covenant…

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

Christianity, John 8:58


Third Reading

… Abraham … made a covenant concerning … Moses and gave the glad-tidings of His coming. Moses made a covenant concerning the promised Christ, and announced the good news of His advent to the world. Christ made a covenant concerning the Paraclete and gave the tidings of His coming. The Prophet Muhammad made a covenant concerning The Báb, and The Báb was the One promised by Muhammad …. The Báb made a Covenant concerning … Bahá’u’lláh … Bahá’u’lláh made a covenant concerning a Promised One Who will become manifest after one thousand or thousands of years …. He, moreover, with His Supreme Pen, entered into a great Covenant and Testament with all the Bahá’ís whereby they were all commanded to follow the Centre of the Covenant after His ascension, and depart, not even to a hair’s breadth, from obeying Him. The power of the Covenant is as the heat of the sun which quickeneth and promoteth the development of all created things on earth. The light of the Covenant, in like manner, is the educator of the minds, the spirits, the hearts and souls of men.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Allah! … It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down Law of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the Criterion of judgment between right and wrong. … From Allah, verily nothing is hidden on earth or in the heavens. He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases… He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: in it are verses basic or fundamental of established meaning; they are the foundation of the Book: … no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord;” and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding. “Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate now after Thou hast guided us, but grant us mercy from Thine own Presence; for Thou art the Grantor of bounties without measure. Our Lord! Thou art He that will gather mankind together against a day about which there is no doubt: for Allah never fails in His promise.”

Islam, Qur’an Surah 3:2-9


Open Prayers


Fourth Reading

The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good… It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. … Follow not, therefore, your earthly desires, and violate not the Covenant of God, nor break your pledge to Him. With firm determination, with the whole affection of your heart, and with the full force of your words, turn ye unto Him, and walk not in the ways of the foolish…. Break not the bond that uniteth you with your Creator, and be not of those that have erred and strayed from His ways….

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Closing Prayers

Grant me, O Master, by Thy grace

To follow all the good and pure: To be content with simple things;

To use my fellows not as means but ends: To serve them stalwartly, in thought, word, deed;

Never to utter word of hatred or of shame: To cast away all selfishness and pride:

To speak no ill of others: To have a mind at peace, Set free from care, and led astray from Thee

Neither by happiness nor by woe: Set Thou my feet upon this path,

And keep me steadfast in it, Thus only shall I please Thee, serve Thee right.

Hinduism, Ramcharitamanas of Tulsidas

Make firm our steps, O Lord, in Thy path and strengthen Thou our hearts in Thine obedience. Turn our faces toward the beauty of Thy oneness, and gladden our bosoms with the signs of Thy divine unity. Adorn our bodies with the robe of Thy bounty, and remove from our eyes the veil of sinfulness, and give us the chalice of Thy grace; that the essence of all beings may sing Thy praise before the vision of Thy grandeur. Reveal then Thyself, O Lord, by Thy merciful utterance and the mystery of Thy divine being, that the holy ecstasy of prayer may fill our souls – a prayer that shall rise above words and letters and transcend the murmur of syllables and sounds – that all things may be merged into nothingness before the revelation of Thy splendor. Lord! These are servants that have remained fast and firm in Thy Covenant and Thy Testament, that have held fast unto the cord of constancy in Thy Cause and clung unto the hem of the robe of Thy grandeur. Assist them, O Lord, with Thy grace, confirm with Thy power and strengthen their loins in obedience to Thee. Thou art the Pardoner, the Gracious.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Photo by George Xistris on Unsplash

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