The lamps of God

God always provides the timeliest answers. As if to address my hesitation from a day ago about the pros and cons of having a blog, a new friend who had hoped to come to the Prayer Station tonight emailed me saying:

“I noticed your  email address name — do you have a blog with this name “befriended stranger”? I’ve seen this before.”

So, befriended strangers,welcome back 🙂

Tonight the Prayer Station was selfishly tuned to the theme of the Saints because it is my name’s day, but Wil, the kind gentleman who has been attending my devotional gathering every other week, asked me if the reason was the approaching All Saints’ Day. We ended up talking about what sainthood means and Wil was surprised to discover that the Apostles were indeed called Saints in the Bible. Funny how traditions become such ingrained habits that we tend to not even notice their meaning — Wil grew up the son of a Lutheran priest and is currently alternating this Christian denomination with Universalist Unitarian church but was first introduced to the Baha’i Faith in 1968.

We talked about the prospective of one day being in the company of the soul of saints in the next world:

Grant, then, O my God, that Thy servant may consort with Thy chosen ones, Thy saints and Thy Messengers in heavenly places that the pen cannot tell nor the tongue recount.
(Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, p. 42)

But we also reflected that as we turn to God, even in this world we can join the saints:

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
(Christianity, King James Bible, Ephesians, 2:19)

I shared with Wil about the suffering of Baha’u’llah and that of His followers even today in Iran, then we listened to MANA‘s song “They Suffered”:

…they suffered the most grievous difficulties and severe ordeals. They withstood the tests with wonderful power and sublime heroism. Thousands were cast into prison, punished, persecuted and martyred. Their homes were pillaged and destroyed, their possessions confiscated. They sacrificed their lives most willingly and remained unshaken in their faith to the very end. Those wonderful souls are the lamps of God, the stars of sanctity shining gloriously from the eternal horizon of the will of God.
(Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 138)

lamps-of-godThen we shared prayers and Wil read a couple of Baha’i prayers, commenting how beautiful they were…

Prayers as guiding lights; Saints as lamps of God.

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