I received this in my inbox today as part of a subscription to daily snippets from the Baha’i Writings. I found this particularly thought provoking and hopeful:
Together with the crumbling of barriers separating peoples, our age is witnessing the dissolution of the once insuperable wall that the past assumed would forever separate the life of Heaven from the life of Earth. The scriptures of all religions have always taught the believer to see in service to others not only a moral duty, but an avenue for the soul’s own approach to God. Today, the progressive restructuring of society gives this familiar teaching new dimensions of meaning. As the age-old promise of a world animated by principles of justice slowly takes on the character of a realistic goal, meeting the needs of the soul and those of society will increasingly be seen as reciprocal aspects of a mature spiritual life.
The Universal House of Justice, Message To the World’s Religious Leaders (Haifa: Baha’i World Centre, 2002) p. 5 Para 21. E-text from Ocean Library, http//:www.bahai-education.org
The Bahá’í calendar is more appropriately called the “Badi” or “wonderful” calendar. It is wonderful, because one of the Prophets of the Bahá’í faith designated, for each day, each month, and even each year, an Attribute of God – providing a personal reflection for every day. In the Bahá’í understanding attributes of God are also known as “Names of God” and so have the effect of invoking the Creator of all the Worlds. Hence, besides being a personal reflection, each birthday is a personal invocation.
The Badi calendar began in 1844, and consists of 19 months of 19 days each. It adds four or five intercalary days to complete the year. The largest unit of the Badi calendar is the Kull-i-Shay – a period of 361 years – which themselves are divided into 19 year divisions, each called a Váhid (unity).
Here is Barack Obama’s birthday translated into the Baha’i Calendar: http://www.geocities.com/queentiye74/BarackObamaBahaiBirthday.pdf
A really fun story from the Washington Post:
Churches Vie to Attract the Newest First Family
The excitement astonishes presidential historians.
“I can’t recall another situation where there is this kind of interest before the president even takes office in terms of where he is going to go to church, and churches campaigning for his attendance,” said Gary Scott Smith, author of “Faith and the Presidency” and a history professor at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. “This is unique in American political history.”
The historic nature of the new First Family — as the first African Americans and the first in decades with small children — plus Obama’s high-profile difficulties with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is placing unprecedented attention on the family’s choice of a church. Normally, say historians and members of previous administrations, the selection rarely raises a ruckus.
Well, I grew up in the United Methodist Church, and whenever there is news of that church, I have a hope that they will be successful. Of course, Obama came to faith in the United Church of Christ, and I think that he will be more comfortable there. And – I have a strong desire, as part of demonstrating black culture to the wider American audience, for the Obamas to choose to worship in a black congregation.
That said, if the Obamas want to be really outside the box, perhaps they’d like to drop in on the DC Baha’i community! Ok, he couldn’t run for re-election if he became Baha’i, but there have been Baha’i political leaders here and there, so you never know! LOL!
Today is election day in the United States, but it is also the first day of the Month of Qudrat, which means “Power” in the Baha’i calendar. Qudrat always starts on the evening of the 3rd, and continues till nightfall on the 4th, but election day is just coincidentally the same day this year.
I don’t believe this says anything about the election, but it makes me reflect on power, God’s, and ours. Today the citizens of the United States are exercising the power of the vote, and conferring imminent power on their next elected leader. I pray that we do this task prayerfully, and with the thought in mind of the best use of power. From the Writings of Baha’u'llah, Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith:
The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light are these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Day-Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The One true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.
–Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, page 14