One Religion

This Interfaith Devotional program focuses on the oneness of religion, one unfolding Faith—God’s continuing guidance to humanity on our journey toward peace and prosperity. 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

We testify, O my God, that Thou art God, and that there is no God besides Thee. From eternity Thou hast existed with none to equal or rival Thee, and wilt abide for ever the same. I beseech Thee, by the eyes which see Thee stablished upon the throne of unity and the seat of oneness, to aid all them that love Thee by Thy Most Great Name, and to lift them up into such heights that they will testify with their own beings and with their tongues that Thou art God alone, the Incomparable, the One, the Ever-Abiding. Thou hast had at no time any peer or partner. Thou, in truth, art the All-Glorious, the Almighty, Whose help is implored by all men.

All praise and glory be to Thee, Thou of Whom all things have testified that Thou art One and there is none other God but Thee, Who hast been from everlasting exalted above all peer or likeness and to everlasting shalt remain the same. All kings are but Thy servants and all beings, visible and invisible, as naught before Thee. There is none other God but Thee, the Gracious, The Powerful, The Most High.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

First Reading

Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.

Judaism, Deuteronomy 6.4

The sage clasps the Primal Unity, Testing by it everything under heaven.

Taoism, Tao Te Ching 22

God is one; the effulgence of God is one; and humanity constitutes the servants of that One God. God is kind to all. He creates and provides for all; and all are under His care and protection. The Sun of Truth, the Word of God shines upon all mankind; the divine cloud pours down its precious rain; the gentle zephyrs of His mercy blow and all humanity is submerged in the ocean of His eternal justice and loving-kindness.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Music

Second Reading

God is One: To Him surrender.Islam,

Qur’an 22:34

He is the one God, hidden in all beings, all-pervading, the Self within all beings, watching over all works, dwelling in all beings, the witness, the perceiver, the only one.

Hinduism, Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.11

… through the zeal and ardour of the pure of heart, the darkness of hatred and difference will be entirely abolished, and the light of love and unity shall shine; this world shall become a new world; things material shall become the mirror of the divine; human hearts shall meet and embrace each other; the whole world become as a man’s native country and the different races be counted as one race. Then disputes and differences will vanish, and the Divine Beloved be revealed on this earth.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

“The mystics speak in a hundred different ways, but if God is One and the Way is One, how could their meaning be other than One? What appears as difference is one essence; a variety of forms, but a unity of substance.”

Rumi

The obstacle to human happiness is racial or religious prejudice, the competitive struggle for existence and inhumanity toward each other. Your eyes have been illumined, your ears are attentive, your hearts knowing. You must be free from prejudice and fanaticism, beholding no differences between the races and religions. You must look to God, for He is the real Shepherd, and all humanity are His sheep. He loves them and loves them equally… …all nations and peoples must consider themselves brethren. …It is racial, patriotic, religious and class prejudice, that has been the cause of the destruction of Humanity

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

What a marvel! That a being Colorless displays a hundred thousands hues! What a wonder! That a being void of form enrobes in forms beyond all numbering. In the name of that Which is the changeless One amidst the changing many, and within whose Oneness all this many is confined, may we begin our work of peace.

Sufi

Music

Third Reading

One of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Christianity, Mark 12:28-30

The Jews say: “The Christians have naught to stand upon!” And the Christians say: “The Jews have naught to stand upon.” Yet they profess to study the same Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; To God belong the East and the West: Whithersoever ye turn, there is the presence of God. For God is all-Pervading, all-Knowing.

Islam, Quran 2:113,114

The divine Manifestations since the day of Adam have striven to unite humanity so that all may be accounted as one soul. The function and purpose of a shepherd is to gather and not disperse his flock. The prophets of God have been divine shepherds of humanity. They have established a bond of love and unity among mankind, made scattered peoples one nation and wandering tribes a mighty kingdom. They have laid the foundation of the oneness of God and summoned all to universal peace. All these holy divine Manifestations are one. They have served one God, promulgated the same truth, founded the same institutions and reflected the same light. Their appearances have been successive and correlated; each one has announced and extolled the one who was to follow and all laid the foundation of reality. They summoned and invited the people to love and made the human world a mirror of the Word of God. Therefore the divine religions they established have one foundation; their teachings, proofs and evidences are one; in name and form they differ but in reality they agree and are the same.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

He is the Sole Supreme Being of eternal manifestation; Creator, Immanent Reality; by the grace of the Holy Preceptor.

Sikhism, Adi Granth

Music

Open Prayers

Music

Closing Prayer

O Thou kind Lord! O Thou Who art generous and merciful! We are servants of Thy threshold and are gathered beneath the sheltering shadow of Thy divine unity. The sun of Thy mercy is shining upon all, and the clouds of Thy bounty shower upon all. Thy gifts encompass all, Thy loving providence sustains all, Thy protection overshadows all, and the glances of Thy favor are cast upon all. O Lord! Grant Thine infinite bestowals, and let the light of Thy guidance shine. Illumine the eyes, gladden the hearts with abiding joy. Confer a new spirit upon all people and bestow upon them eternal life. Unlock the gates of true understanding and let the light of faith shine resplendent. Gather all people beneath the shadow of Thy bounty and cause them to unite in harmony, so that they may become as the rays of one sun, as the waves of one ocean, and as the fruit of one tree. May they drink from the same fountain. May they be refreshed by the same breeze. May they receive illumination from the same source of light. Thou art the Giver, the Merciful, the Omnipotent.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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