Seize Thy Chance

This Interfaith Devotional program focuses on our responsibility to recognize God’s Messengers when They appear. 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 my God! O my God!
Unite the hearts of Thy servants, and reveal to them Thy great purpose. May they follow Thy commandments and abide in Thy law. Help them, O God, in their endeavor, and grant them strength to serve Thee. O God! Leave them not to themselves, but guide their steps by the light of Thy knowledge, and cheer their hearts by Thy love. Verily, Thou art their Helper and their Lord.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

First Reading

Attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. … Hear me now … and depart not from the words of my mouth. … And thou mourn at the last… And say, How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

Hear instruction; Be wise and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors … For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul.

Judaism, Proverbs 5:1- 13, 8:33-36

Music

Second Reading

O Dwellers of My Paradise!
With the hands of loving-kindness I have planted in the holy garden of paradise the young tree of your love and friendship, and have watered it with the goodly showers of My tender grace; now that the hour of its fruiting is come, strive that it may be protected, and be not consumed with the flame of desire and passion.

O My Servant!
Free thyself from the fetters of this world, and loose thy soul from the prison of self. Seize thy chance, for it will come to thee no more.

O Moving Form of Dust!
I desire communion with thee, but thou wouldst put no trust in Me. The sword of thy rebellion hath felled the tree of thy hope. At all times I am near unto thee, but thou art ever far from Me. Imperishable glory I have chosen for thee, yet boundless shame thou hast chosen for thyself. While there is yet time, return and lose not thy chance.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

How can ye reject the faith in Allah? Seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.

It is He who hath created for you all things that are on earth; moreover His design comprehended the heavens, for He gave order and perfection to the seven firmaments; and of all things he hath perfect knowledge.

Islam, Quran, Surih 2:28-29

Darkened by ignorance, tossed to and fro with projects, tricked, and bound in net of black delusion, lost in lusts, conceited, stubborn and proud, dead-drunken with the wine of wealth, and reckless, all their offerings have but a show of reverence, being not made in piety of ancient faith, all beguiled… ‘Till they find and worship Me, tread they that Nether Road.

Hinduism, Bhagavad-Gita

Music

Third Reading

Withhold not yourselves from that which hath been revealed through His grace. Seize ye the living waters of immortality in the name of your Lord, the Lord of all names, and drink ye in the remembrance of Him, Who is the Mighty, the Peerless.”

Seize the time, therefore, ere the glory of the divine springtime hath spent itself, and the Bird of Eternity ceased to warble its melody, that thy inner hearing may not be deprived of hearkening unto its call. This is My counsel unto thee and unto the beloved of God. Whosoever wisheth, let him turn thereunto; whosoever wisheth, let him turn away.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Say: “O my Servants, turn ye to our Lord and bow to His Will, and follow the best of the courses revealed to you from your Lord, before the Penalty comes on you of a sudden while ye perceive not! Lest the soul should then say: ‘Ah! Woe is me in that I neglected my duty towards God, and was but among those who mocked!’ Or lest ye should say: ‘If only God had guided me, I should certainly have been among the righteous!’ Or lest ye should say ‘If only I had another chance, I should certainly be among those who do good!’ The reply will be: ‘Nay, but there came to thee my Signs, and thou didst reject them: thou wast Haughty, and became one of those who reject faith!’ God is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth: and those who reject the Signs of God,- it is they who will be in loss.

Islam, Quran, Surih 39:53-63

O ye loved ones of the Lord!
Praise be to Him, the unseen, welling bounties of the Sun of Truth encompass you on every side, and from every direction the portals of His mercy stand ajar. Now is the time to take advantage of these bestowals, and benefit therefrom. Know ye the value of this time, let not this chance escape you. Stay ye entirely clear of this dark world’s concerns, and become ye known by the attributes of those essences that make their home in the Kingdom. Then shall ye see how intense is the glory of the heavenly Day-Star, and how blinding bright are the tokens of bounty coming out of the invisible realm.

Bahá’í Faith, `Abdu’l-Bahá

Music

Open Prayers

Music

Fourth Reading

O Son of Earth! Wouldst thou have Me, seek none other than Me; and wouldst thou gaze upon My beauty, close thine eyes to the world and all that is therein; for My will and the will of another than Me, even as fire and water, cannot dwell together in one heart.

Enter thou My presence, that thou mayest behold what the eye of the universe hath never beheld, and hear that which the ear of the whole creation hath never heard, that haply thou mayest free thyself from the mire of vague fancies, and set thy face towards the Most Sublime Station, wherein this Wronged One calleth aloud: “The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the All-Praised!” We fain would hope that through thine exertions the wings of men may be sanctified from the mire of self and desire, and be made worthy to soar in the atmosphere of God’s love.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Closing Prayer

I beseech Thee, O my Lord, by Thy mercy that hath surpassed the entire creation, and Thy generosity that hath embraced all created things, to cause me to turn my face wholly towards Thee, and to seek Thy shelter, and to be steadfast in my love for Thee. Write down, then, for me what Thou didst ordain for them who love Thee. Powerful art Thou to do what Thou pleasest. No God is there beside Thee, the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Bountiful.

Praised be God, the Lord of the worlds!

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

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