Unity

This Interfaith Devotional program focuses on the power of unity. 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! Thou hast created all humanity from the same stock. Thou hast decreed that all shall belong to the same household. In Thy Holy Presence they are all Thy servants, and all mankind are sheltered beneath Thy Tabernacle; all have gathered together at Thy Table of Bounty; all are illumined through the light of Thy Providence. O God! Thou art kind to all, Thou hast provided for all, dost shelter all, conferrest life upon all. Thou hast endowed each and all with talents and faculties, and all are submerged in the Ocean of Thy Mercy. O Thou kind Lord! Unite all. Let the religions agree and make the nations one, so that they may see each other as one family and the whole earth as one home. May they all live together in perfect harmony…

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

First Reading

Consider the family of humankind one.

Jainism, Jinasena

Let all mankind be thy sect.

Sikhism, Adi Granth

…He said that man must recognize the oneness of humanity, for all in origin belong to the same household, and all are servants of the same God. Therefore, mankind must continue in the state of fellowship and love… …They are real brothers and sisters. No distinctions of class are observed among them, and complete harmony prevails. Daily this bond of affinity is strengthening, and their spiritual fellowship continually develops.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Music

Second Reading

Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so adjusted the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Christianity: 1 Corinthians 12.12-27

Let us have concord with our own people, and concord with those who are strangers to us; between us and the strangers let there be unity of hearts. May we unite in our minds, unite in our purposes, and not fight against the divine spirit within us.

Hinduism, Atharva Veda

Hold fast, all together, to God’s rope, and be not divided among yourselves. … Let there arise out of you one community, inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong… Be not of those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations …

Islam, Qur’an

Likewise in the world of minds and souls, fellowship, which is an expression of composition, is conducive to life, whereas discord, which is an expression of decomposition, is the equivalent of death.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Music

Third Reading

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!…Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.

Judaism, Psalms133:1, 134:1

Every human creature is the servant of God. All have been created and reared by the power and favor of God; all have been blessed with the bounties of the same Sun of divine truth; all have quaffed from the fountain of the infinite mercy of God; and all in His estimation and love are equal as servants. He is beneficent and kind to all. Therefore, no one should glorify himself over another; no one should manifest pride or superiority toward another; no one should look upon another with scorn and contempt; and no one should deprive or oppress a fellow creature. All must be considered as submerged in the ocean of God’s mercy. We must associate with all humanity in gentleness and kindliness. We must love all with love of the heart.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. Whatsoever hath led the children of men to shun one another, and hath caused dissensions and divisions amongst them, hath, through the revelation of these words, been nullified and abolished. From the heaven of God’s Will, and for the purpose of ennobling the world of being and of elevating the minds and souls of men, hath been sent down that which is the most effective instrument for the education of the whole human race.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Assemble, speak together: let your minds be all of one accord, …The place is common, common the assembly, common the mind, so be their thought united. A common purpose do I lay before you, and worship with your general oblation. One and the same be your resolve, and be your minds of one accord. United be the thoughts of all that all may happily agree.

Hinduism, Rig Veda

Music

Open Prayers

Music

Fourth Reading

It behoveth every just and fair-minded person to render thanks unto God — exalted be His glory — and to arise to promote this pre-eminent Cause, that fire may turn into light, and hatred may give way to fellowship and love.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Christianity, John 13:34-35

If the learned and worldly-wise men of this age were to allow mankind to inhale the fragrance of fellowship and love, every understanding heart would apprehend the meaning of true liberty, and discover the secret of undisturbed peace and absolute composure.

Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh

Closing Prayer

O God! Raise aloft the banner of the oneness of mankind. O God! Establish the Most Great Peace. Cement Thou, O God, the hearts together. O Thou kind Father, God! Gladden our hearts through the fragrance of Thy love. Brighten our eyes through the Light of Thy Guidance. Delight our ears with the melody of Thy Word, and shelter us all in the Stronghold of Thy Providence. Thou art the Mighty and Powerful, Thou art the Forgiving and Thou art the One Who overlooketh the shortcomings of all mankind.

Bahá’í Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

 

Photo from Baha’i Media Bank, Copyright © Bahá’í International Community

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