TUESDAY THE SECOND OF OCTOBER, 2018
May God have mercy on those who lead the way and those who come behind and those who fulfil their vows and those who seek to fulfil them, with his grace and bounty, his great benefits and favours. For he is the best object of petition and the noblest object of hope; and God is the best protector and the most merciful of those who show mercy, and the best of friends and the best of heirs and the best replacer of what has been consumed and provider for those devoted who sow and till the soil of good works. Amen.
( Jelaluddin Rumi, 1207-1273 )
"Who lifts up the spirit, say, who is he
who gave, in the beginning, this life to me?
"Who hooded, like a falcon's, awhile mine eyes,
but presently shall loose me to hunt my prize?"
As salt resolved in the ocean I was swallowed in God's sea,
past faith, past unbelieving, past doubt, past certainty.
Suddenly in my bosom, a star shone clear and bright;
all the suns of heaven vanished in that star's light.
Flowers every night blossom in the sky;
peace in the infinite; at peace am I.
Sighs a hundredfold from my heart arise;
my heart, dark and cold, flames with my sighs.
He that is my souls' repose round my heart encircling goes,
round my heart and soul of bliss he encircling is.
Laughing from my earthy bed like a tree I lift my head,
for the fount of living mirth washes round my earth.
If life be gone, fresh life to you God offers,
a life eternal to renew this life of death.
The fount of immorality in love is found;
then come, and in this boundless sea of love be drowned.
( Jelaluddin Rumi, 1207-1273 )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Rumi: mystic, seeker of God’s love
(transferred from Sunday)
Jalal al-Din Rumi was a thirteenth-century Sunni Muslim theologian, mystic, and poet whose vision of God transcended his own faith tradition and spoke and continues to speak to seekers after truth, seekers after God, of many religious traditions.
Each religious tradition has saints who managed to see the unity of God in the midst of many religious traditions. One may think of Mohandas Ghandi, the Hindu, or Francis of Assisi, a near contemporary of Rumi who travelled to Egypt to meet with the sultan, al-Kamil.
Rumi was born in Afghanistan on the twentieth of September, 1207. His father was a noted Muslim theologian and Rumi was raised to be a scholar and teacher. After being sent to Aleppo and Damascus to finish his religious training, he took over his father’s post in Konya. He made fast friends with mystic Shams al-Din Tabrizi who introduced him to poetry and to mysticism. His friendship with Shams affected him and turned his life toward writing poetry, chanting and performing dance, in particular, the circling dances set to music that became known as the whirling dervish. He quickly gained a reputation as an ecstatic visionary and devoted the rest of his life to writing and worship.
He said, “Whosoever knows the power of the dance, dwells in God.”
His fame during his own lifetime was notable and his death was widely mourned. He remains one of the world’s most popular poets. His resonance with contemporary readers can be traced in part to his vivid, simple imagery, his use of the second person and insistence on direct address, and to his optimism of the attainment of union with God.
His mystical vision of God led him to the practice of Sufism, that mystical movement within Islam which suggested that mortals could attain a direct experience of God through the practice of remembering prayer (dhikr) and the whirling dance.
Some quotes from Rumi that will help you get a feel for his religious faith:
“What you seek, is seeking you.”
“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
“If all you can do is crawl, start crawling!”
“Love is the endless ocean of God.”
Scripture. In the "Second Book of Samuel," chapter six, verses fourteen and fifteen we read:
David danced before the LORD with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
... for peace in the world.
... that solutions to all humankind's disputes, whether between individuals, groups or nations, may be settled without any threat or use of violence. DETAILS
... for peace and mutual understanding between all seekers after the God of love and mercy.
... for poets, singers and dancers, who use their crafts to lead people into the presence of God.
... for the adherents of the Sufi expression of Islam, that their song of love may conquer all songs of hatred.
... for the seventeen million people in the world who live with cerebral palsy; pray for the family members and friends and for all who care for them; pray for those who are seeking treatments and a cure for the condition. DETAILS
... for ballet dancers and all involved in the performance of dance. DETAILS
... for the people of Guinea who celebrate their national day today.
... for married couples.
... for the survivors of the Indonesian tsunami, that they may receive the help they need; for all working to provide that help.
... for the women of Iraq who are being murdered or threatened with murder because they have become successful or offended fundamentalists in their country. DETAILS
... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From "God Laughs And Plays" by David James Duncan:
In reclaiming a word like “evangelical" from those who think they own it, we risk making some people mad. But there are reasons to take this risk. Fundamentalist Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews are armed, so they each believe, with the One True Book. But they are four different books, and the four faiths are also each armed with nuclear weapons. No form of fundamentalism from the Ayatollahs' to John Paul II's can defuse this fatal impasse, because every fundamentalism believes it owns the One Book, One God, and sole faith. At the same time, no secular philosophy addresses the fact that we're born alone and die alone, and naturally seek the solace of divine truth amid our mortal suffering. Though the faith traditions offer this solace, I would argue that they are able to do so only quietly, and only humbly - and the recent fusion of fundamentalism and politics is destroying this quiet humility. This is why I feel the great religious traditions stand in need not of a secular turning away, but of a compassion rebellion against the “certainties" of cocksure zealots claiming to own each tradition. The fundamentalists of every faith remain blind to the truth that ”the sigh within the prayer is the same in the heart of the Christian, the Muhammadan, and the Jew." I have seen this unity with my eyes, heard it with my ears, felt it with all my being. Let those who haven't grumble, if they so choose. The world's major faiths are nor identical, but they are alike enough in ultimate aim that those striving to love, emulate, and honour Jesus, Muhammad, Rama, Shakyamuni, and Abraham have, in many times and places, proven themselves able to live side by side in peace. I consider it evangelical and Christian, in the gospel-born sense of these words, to serve this fragile peace.
Almighty God, you are the lord of all, you love all people and all creation worships you. We bless you today for the witness of Rumi, who found you in the dance and understood your lordship over all the earth. Help us, in these days, to be open to your presence as it manifests itself in all the religions of the world and help us, as followers of Jesus, to welcome all who seek your favour, through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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