Make Me a Servant

This Interfaith Devotional program focuses on service and the true happiness that comes from serving our fellow human beings. 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 give praise to Thee, O my God, that the fragrance of Thy loving-kindness hath enraptured me, and the gentle winds of Thy mercy have inclined me in the direction of Thy bountiful favors. Make me to quaff, O my Lord, from the fingers of Thy bounteousness the living waters which have enabled every one that hath partaken of them to rid himself of all attachment to any one save Thee, and to soar into the atmosphere of detachment from all Thy creatures, and to fix his gaze upon Thy loving providence and Thy manifold gifts. Make me ready, in all circumstances, O my Lord, to serve Thee and to set myself towards the adored sanctuary of Thy Revelation and of Thy Beauty. If it be Thy pleasure, make me to grow as a tender herb in the meadows of Thy grace, that the gentle winds of Thy will may stir me up and bend me into conformity with Thy pleasure, in such wise that my movement and my stillness may be wholly directed by Thee.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

First Reading

Not from sacrifice, nor penance, nor gift-giving, nor with prayer shall any behold Me. Only by fullest service, perfect faith, and uttermost surrender am I known and seen, and entered into! Who doeth all for Me; who findeth Me In all; adoreth always; loveth all which I have made, and loveth Me, for Love’s sole end: That man, unto Me doth wend.

Hinduism, Bhagavad-Gita

With hearts set aglow by the fire of the love of God and spirits refreshed by the food of the heavenly spirit you must go forth as the disciples … years ago, quickening the hearts of men by the call of glad tidings, the light of God in your faces, severed from everything save God. Therefore, order your lives in accordance with the first principle of the divine teaching, which is love. Service to humanity is service to God. Let the love and light of the Kingdom radiate through you until all who look upon you shall be illumined by its reflection. Be as stars, brilliant and sparkling in the loftiness of their heavenly station.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Music

Second Reading

Those that turn to Allah in repentance; that serve Him, and praise Him; that wander in devotion to the cause of God, that bow down and prostrate themselves in prayer; that enjoin good and forbid evil; and observe the limit set by God; These do rejoice. So proclaim the glad tidings to the Believers.

Qur’an, Surih 9:112

Jesus Christ said `Ye must be born again’ so that divine Life may spring anew within you. Be kind to all around and serve one another; love to be just and true in all your dealings; pray always and so live your life that sorrow cannot touch you. Look upon the people of your own race and those of other races as members of one organism; sons of the same Father; let it be known by your behaviour that you are indeed the people of God.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

… Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no other.

Judaism, Isaiah 41:9-10; 43:10-11

O My Brother! A pure heart is as a mirror; cleanse it with the burnish of love and severance from all save God, that the true sun may shine within it and the eternal morning dawn. Then wilt thou clearly see the meaning of “Neither doth My earth nor My heaven contain Me, but the heart of My faithful servant containeth Me.”

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Music

Third Reading

Thou didst write: “How can I serve Thee?” The greatest service is thine own firmness and steadfastness and thy withstanding severe trials when they come. Through firmness thou wilt perceive the opening of the doors of grace.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. So likewise, whosoever of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple.

Christianity, Luke 14:27-30, 33

O My servants! It behoveth you to refresh and revive your souls through the gracious favors which, in this Divine, this soul-stirring Springtime, are being showered upon you. The Day Star of His great glory hath shed its radiance upon you, and the clouds of His limitless grace have overshadowed you. How high the reward of him that hath not deprived himself of so great a bounty, nor failed to recognize the beauty of his Best-Beloved in this, His new attire.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

… by love serve one another. All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Christianity, Galatians 5:13-14

Music

Open Prayers

Music

Closing Prayer

O my Lord! Cause me to speak Thy praise, illumine my sight through the light of Thy knowledge, cause me to hear Thy Call, and quicken me with the spirit of Thy grace. Make me rejoiced at the melodies of the birds of Thy holiness, and make me a servant to Thy maid-servants. Cause my soul to be tranquilized, my heart attached, and my mind drawn to the light of thy guidance, which is shining unto all regions; so that I may walk in the path of Thy good pleasure, yield to Thy decree and be rejoiced at the most violent calamities, and that my breast may become dilated during every tribulation, even though the suffering is beyond endurance. Verily, thou art the Holy, the Pure, the Potent, the Powerful, the Exalted, the Great!

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Photo by Yair Mejía on Unsplash

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