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Following are paraphrased notes (to be completed) from a talk by an International Counselor in Haifa. Stay tuned for more. It may be said to revolve around the beloved Guardian’s statement:
Though the society which incarnates its ideals be small, and its direct and tangible benefits as yet inconsiderable, yet the potentialities with which it has been endowed, and through which it is destined to regenerate the individual and rebuild a broken world, are incalculable.
Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 53 (emphasis added)
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Rebuilding a broken world
Whenever we’re out among people, wherever we go. And when we watch the news on television or read newspapers, there is often unpleasant news, this is what we see when we look at the world. We may see signs of oppression and injustice in thousands of things, in aspects of life – in the way things are organized, in conflicts, in relations between nations, in gender relationships, in media etc.
Bahá’u’lláh states regarding this condition in the world –
Justice is, in this day, bewailing its plight, and Equity groaneth beneath the yoke of oppression. The thick clouds of tyranny have darkened the face of the earth, and enveloped its peoples. Through the movement of Our Pen of glory We have, at the bidding of the omnipotent Ordainer, breathed a new life into every human frame, and instilled into every word a fresh potency. All created things proclaim the evidences of this world-wide regeneration. This is the most great, the most joyful tidings imparted by the Pen of this Wronged One to mankind. Wherefore fear ye, O My well-beloved ones? Who is it that can dismay you? A touch of moisture sufficeth to dissolve the hardened clay out of which this perverse generation is moulded. The mere act of your gathering together is enough to scatter the forces of these vain and worthless people.
– Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets 84 (emphasis added)
He is telling us that everything has been recreated – right after talking about injustice and tyranny, He talks of “regeneration.” Where is this regeneration He is speaking of? We may have doubts sometimes when faced with present world conditions. We certainly become inspired by the vision in the writings and the messages of the Universal House of Justice, but may well ask ourselves where this “new creation” that Bahá’u’lláh speaks of may be found. But then He continues the in the same passage:
Wherefore fear ye, O my well-beloved ones? What is it that can dismay you?
Do we fear sometimes? When He says that, “The mere act of your gathering together is enough… “, how does this actually work? I don’t know how it works! Why don’t we just get together? Do things together, be together, serve together!
Bahá’u’lláh says it’s enough to “dissolve the clay” to be able to change the world!
When speaking of clusters, we hear of core activities.
Aren’t a study circle, a devotional meeting, children’s classes, junior youth groups all acts of getting together?
This goes not only for the believers, we’re asked to get everyone together, and that means everyone.
Counselor Mora visited a cluster in which there were 145 devotional meetings going on, 63 study circles, 88 children’s classes, and 15 junior youth groups, with 2500 people in total participating. On top of that there were Nineteen Day Feasts, Holy Days, deepenings, firesides etc.
If doing a core activity, it is important to know how many more people we can invite. How many contacts, friends, family members etc. Can we invite neighbors? Why is it important? Because out there there’s oppression, which is affecting people.
So let’s bring everyone to join us.
The Guardian writes:
In a world the structure of whose political and social institutions is impaired, whose vision is befogged, whose conscience is bewildered, whose religious systems have become anemic and lost their virtue, this healing Agency, this leavening Power, this cementing Force, intensely alive and all-pervasive, has been taking shape, is crystallizing into institutions, is mobilizing its forces, and is preparing for the spiritual conquest and the complete redemption of mankind. Though the society which incarnates its ideals be small, and its direct and tangible benefits as yet inconsiderable, yet the potentialities with which it has been endowed, and through which it is destined to regenerate the individual and rebuild a broken world, are incalculable.
The beloved Guardian tells us that we’re small, but at the same time he gives us a vision of this very Bahá’í community as containing “incalculable” potentialities…