Summons to achieve new levels of focus and intensity
To the friends in Aotearoa
Dearly loved friends,
There is daily evidence that the destructive processes are gaining strength in a world crying out for meaning, hope, unity and peace. Every devotional gathering established is a “much-needed response to humanity’s growing estrangement from the Source of hope and bounty” that kindles the flame of love in the heart. Every meaningful conversation, carried out with aroha, and arising from your endeavour to reach out to others, is an antidote to despair, leading quickly or gradually to the stirring of spiritual susceptibilities. New patterns of individual and collective life can begin to emerge from embryonic gatherings for collective worship, whether in the home with one’s own family, or with a wider group of friends and neighbours. You are bringing into being, through your every prayer and act of service, the evidence that worship and service are inseparably connected.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s summons to us is unmistakeably clear: “Thus far ye have been untiring in your labours. Let your exertions henceforth increase a thousandfold. Summon the people in these countries, capitals, islands, assemblies and churches to enter the ‘Abhá Kingdom. The scope of your exertions must needs be extended. The wider its range, the more striking will be the evidence of divine assistance.” Between now and the end of the Plan in April 2021, the widening embrace of the community-building work in Aotearoa will inevitably extend to thousands more. Every believer’s contribution to this effort, however humble, is a valuable part of this collective spiritual enterprise.
Between now and the Twin Holy Days on 29 and 30 October, we urge each of you to think of how your efforts to build the world anew can achieve new levels of focus and intensity, whatever your circumstances. We are sharing a link to a short informal video in which a few friends from around the country share their experiences of holding devotional meetings. You will see from this that there is no set formula, no particular method. Each person is free to offer this act of service in the way that best suits their circumstances.
“O people of Bahá! Soar upon the wings of detachment into the atmosphere of the love of your Lord, the All-Merciful. Arise then to render Him victorious, as bidden in the Preserved Tablet. Beware lest ye contend with any of My servants. Bestow upon them the sweet savours of God and His holy utterances, for through their potency all men will be enabled to turn unto Him. ….Well is it with the one who, with lowliness and humility, hath set his face towards the Dayspring of the verses of his Lord.”
(Ayyám-i-Tis‘ih, pp. 45–47, Days of Remembrance)
With loving Bahá’í greetings,
NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY