Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ridvan Starts Today!!!

Today on the Christian Calendar is Palm Sunday.

This is the scene of the triumphal entry of Jesus to Jerusalem riding on a donkey.
People danced and laid palm fronds in the path of Jesus as He entered the city which was soon to crucify Him.

Much of world history has since that moment, been affected by this act. Jesus died for our sins and conquered death in a stunning act of sacrifice.  He rose from the “dead” three days later to show us that the love of God transcends anything that a willful and disobedient mankind can possibly inflict in this temporal plane.

Baha’u’llah the return of Christ in the Glory of the Father wishing to make known that He is the fulfillment of all the promises of the Son in essence reenacted Palm Sunday so that the world might recognize the Son with this His New Name.

Here are just some parallels to the passion of Christ..

Baha’u’llah was loved by the people of Baghdad and when the fanatical clergy had Him exiled from this City – Baha’u’llah withdrew to the Ridvan Garden in the Tigris.

On the way to the river bank to cross to the Ridvan Garden Baha’u’llah rode a donkey.
Hasan Balyuzi states:

During all those years in Baghdad, although horses were never unavailable, Aqa Rida states that Bahá'u'lláh had always chosen to ride a donkey.

            (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 175)

A scene very reminiscent of Jesus’s entry to the religious center of His time accompanied Baha’u’llah’s withdrawal from the religious center of His time. People assembled and mourned the departure of this Great Soul from their presence.

Baha’u’llah crossed the Tigris. Jesus on the night he was betrayed crossed the river Kidron.

Baha’u’llah entered the garden of Ridvan. Jesus entered the garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus’s first teaching after being betrayed was to tell Simon Peter to put his sword as if God determined that the Cause of God needed defending that a host of angels stood ready to defend Him.  The only teaching we know for sure other than His Declaration – from Baha’u’llah in the Garden of Ridvan is that He ordered the Babi’s to sheathe their swords as they were no longer necessary

Jesus faithful to His purpose accepted to be sacrificed in the name of the coming of Kingdom of God in Gethsemane. Baha’u’llah faithful to God’s promise that the Kingdom would be established “on earth as it is in heaven”, declared His mission to be the fulfillment of all prophecy of the end times and the unfurled of the banners of the Kingdom in the garden of Ridvan..

Then in a moment of magnificent glory – which “only the malicious could deny” on the 12th Day of Ridvan – Baha’u’llah rode out of the Ridvan Garden riding the finest red roan stallion His followers could buy.  Death had been conquered. The three days in the tomb of separation had passed. The Palm Sunday crowd which hailed the arrival of the King of the Jews was seeming reassembled and throwing their children in Baha’u’llah’s path – risking life and limb to kiss his stirrups as He passed  by – witnessed the Revelation to the world of the King of Glory,  the point and purpose of all creation Baha’u’llah.

So friends – Palm Sunday is for me the start of the Ridvan Festival.

I invite you to be Moses like and catch a glimpse of the Glory of the Lord as He passes by in this the Day of Days. Like Moses you will be changed forever.  (Moses was so transformed His face glowed and He scared people who gazed upon Him. He wore a “veil” as a service to the people.)

Today Baha’u’llah has appeared, the veil has been lifted, Come be transformed.

I have always wondered if Paul was talking about spiritual maturity or waxing prophetic – or both when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

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