God Speaks Again

This Interfaith Devotional program focuses on God’s assurance that He will always provide guidance to humanity through His Messengers. 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

O Thou kind Lord! We are servants of Thy Threshold, taking shelter at Thy holy Door. We seek no refuge save only this strong pillar, turn nowhere for a haven but unto Thy safekeeping. Protect us, bless us, support us, make us such that we shall love but Thy good pleasure, utter only Thy praise, follow only the pathway of truth, that we may become rich enough to dispense with all save Thee, and receive our gifts from the sea of Thy beneficence, that we may ever strive to exalt Thy Cause and to spread Thy sweet savors far and wide, that we may become oblivious of self and occupied only with Thee, and disown all else and be caught up in Thee.

O Thou Provider, O Thou Forgiver! Grant us Thy grace and loving-kindness, Thy gifts and Thy bestowals, and sustain us, that we may attain our goal. Thou art the Powerful, the Able, the Knower, the Seer; and, verily, Thou art the Generous, and, verily, Thou art the All-Merciful, and, verily, Thou art the Ever-Forgiving, He to Whom repentance is due, He Who forgiveth even the most grievous of sins.

Baha’i Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

First Reading

Verily I say, this is the Day in which mankind can behold the Face, and hear the Voice, of the Promised One. The Call of God hath been raised, and the light of His countenance hath been lifted up upon men. It behoveth every man to blot out the trace of every idle word from the tablet of his heart, and to gaze, with an open and unbiased mind, on the signs of His Revelation, the proofs of His Mission, and the tokens of His glory.

Call out to Zion, O Carmel, and announce the joyful tidings: He that was hidden from mortal eyes is come! His all-conquering sovereignty is manifest; His all-encompassing splendor is revealed.

Baha’i Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted….

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

The Old Testament: Ecclesiastes 3:1-2; 1:5-7; Genesis 8:22

Music

Second Reading

Though the fact of “Return” is mentioned in the Divine Books, by this is intended the return of the qualities, characters, perfections, truths and lights, which re-appear in every age, and not of certain persons and souls. … That is, the same perfections and virtues and properties which existed in the past springtime have returned during this present springtime. … When one says, these fruits are the same as those of last year; in this sense, he hath reference to the freshness and delicacy of the fruit, which hath returned, although there is no doubt that the identical fruit of last year hath not returned.

The divine Prophets are as the coming of spring, each renewing and quickening the teachings of the Prophet Who came before Him. Just as all seasons of spring are essentially one as to newness of life, vernal showers and beauty, so the essence of the mission and accomplishment of all the Prophets is one and the same.

Baha’i Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The Jews await the Messiah, the Christians the return of Christ, the Moslems the Mahdi, the Buddhists the fifth Buddha, the Zoroastrians Shah Bahram, the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna, and the Atheists – a better social organization! Bahá’u’lláh represents all these, and thus destroys the rivalries and the enmities of the different religions; reconciles them in their primitive purity, and frees them from the corruption of dogmas and rites. For Bahaism has no clergy, no religious ceremonial, no public prayers; its only dogma is belief in God and in his Manifestations…

Baha’i Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

..I refresh this entire world
Like a cloud which releases its rain evenly for all….
Setting aside all tiredness, I rain down the rain of the Dharma [religion]….
So the nature of the Dharma always exists for the weal of the world,
And it refreshes by the Dharma the entire world.
And then, refreshed, just like the plants, the world will burst forth into blossoms.

Buddhism (Gautama Buddha): from the Lotus Sutra

Music

Third Reading

All glory be to this Day, the Day in which the fragrances of mercy have been wafted over all created things, a Day so blest that past ages and centuries can never hope to rival it, a Day in which the countenance of the Ancient of Days hath turned towards His holy seat. Thereupon the voices of all created things, and beyond them those of the Concourse on high, were heard calling aloud: “Haste thee, O Carmel, for lo, the light of the countenance of God, the Ruler of the Kingdom of Names and Fashioner of the heavens, hath been lifted upon thee.

Baha’i Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

The moon, from its first appearance to full moon, is in a state of appearing; from its fullness to its disappearance, it is in a state of disappearing. It is just the same with the life of a man: from babyhood to manhood, he is growing up; from manhood to old age, he is failing. What does this signify? It means that it is only the spirit of man that shares the longevity of heaven and earth….

To have attained Taohood is to become unified with eternity. One can never die even with the decay of his body.

Taoism (Lao-Tzu): Tao-Teh-King, Nos. 50, 16

Music

Open Prayers

Music

Fourth Reading

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God….For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past….They are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth….

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

The Old Testament: Psalm 90:2, 4-6; Isaiah 40:8

… These holy ones have, moreover, announced that when He Who is the Day Spring of the manifold grace of God manifesteth Himself, all the Prophets and Messengers … will gather together beneath the shadow of the sacred Standard which the Promised One will raise. That hour is now come. The world is illumined with the effulgent glory of His countenance…. The seal of the choice Wine of His Revelation hath, in this Day and in His Name, the Self-Sufficing, been broken. Its grace is being poured out upon men. Fill thy cup, and drink in, in His Name, the Most Holy, the All-Praised…

Baha’i Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Closing Prayer

O my Lord! O my Lord
This is a lamp lighted by the fire of Thy love and ablaze with the flame which is ignited in the tree of Thy mercy. O my Lord! Increase his enkindlement, heat and flame, with the fire which is kindled in the Sinai of Thy Manifestation. Verily, Thou art the Confirmer, the Assister, the Powerful, the Generous, the Loving!

Baha’i Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Photo by Blake Richard Verdoorn on Unsplash

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