The Words of the Schanker Family
Good morning, brothers and sisters. Good morning, family across America. Thank you. Please be seated. I love you, too. And, you know, I don't deserve that. Believe me, I am as surprised as any of you that I am the person standing in front of you this morning.
I'm grateful for the wonderful foundation made by the band today. What did you think? I'm from Motown. [Mowtown is a nickname for Detroit Michigan.] Go, Lions! [Detroit Lions football team] And so when the strains of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?" began, I was moved. And then the beautiful "Songbird," it just led me right into prayer. But then I was trying to pray, and when "Just the Two of Us" was sung, I had to stand up and start dancing right backstage. I know you were dancing inside as well. Those songs are woven around a theme that our senior pastor asked me to talk about today.
Before I share that message, let me just share a little miracle that's happened in my life. Some of you might have heard, and maybe you can see that I'm now half the man I used to be. [Laughter.] I've shed about 45 pounds this year, and about 60 since I came to work with In Jin Nim and Lovin' Life Ministries. The point is that as a result many things have happened that have dramatically changed my life. I had a hiatal hernia, a stomach problem, that disappeared. I had sleep apnea – which means you could suffocate at night – and that is gone. My roommates at conferences tell me I don't even snore anymore. My wife would have wished to experience that!
And even though I've had four operations on my legs and I have artificial hips, I can run, I can walk, and I'm planning to be around a long time for my grandchildren and my descendants – not to mention for True Parents and providence also.
Some of the keys, just so you can know. Number one, I drink Vemma for vitamin, antioxidants, and so many other good things. Number two, I've been eating healthy. Number three, I exercise. I walk and I swim. But the fourth and most important ingredient is loving life. Amen, Aju. And I don't mean the cereal that Reverend Cotter introduced. I mean the heart, the attitude, the spirit that our senior pastor has created at Headquarters and is preaching about every single week across America. So I'm grateful to In Jin Nim for the renewed life that I'm experiencing.
Atletico Sorocaba Soccer Team
She called and asked that the message this morning be about creating unity and breaking down barriers. Perhaps that's on her mind because she is preparing to be in North Korea, at an international friendship soccer tournament where one of Father's teams – Sorocaba, from Brazil – is participating. She will be there as an ambassador for True Parents, an Ambassador for Peace, and a representative of True Family.
North Korea is the last front line on the face of the earth, the place of the most complicated struggle and difficulty to break down barriers and create unity, so it's kind of like what Marvin Gaye sang about in "What's Going On?" with all the challenges in the world. This song really represents those challenges, so perhaps that's why it was on her mind.
I would like to address the theme starting from right where we live: creating unity and breaking down barriers on every single level, starting with myself, and then in our relationships, our families, our community, and the world. Is that okay?
Actually the Scriptures that were shared this morning, Paul's message to the Philippians (Phil. 2:3) about the heart and the attitude that we need to create harmony in a community – humility, no selfish ambitions, and giving more honor and respect to others more than ourselves – that kind of says it all. And Father's words that we don't accomplish by love; we create unity first. Unity comes by investment and give and take; that's what the Principle teaches, right? When unity is realized, to the extent of our unity divine love comes from beyond us and enters and fills and can be manifested there.
Really I should stop right now, right? But those of you who know me know that's not going to happen. Before I share the message, let me give you a little bit of an idea of what allows me to be here as part of this community and stand here. I joined our movement 39 years ago, in 1972, at the age of 18. Thank God. I joined because I saw a vision of a unified and harmonious world, but not just in the ideals. I saw a community that was realizing and practicing a path for spiritual growth. And in the Principle I found the spiritual tools of attitude, heart, and investment that would allow me to realize that unity in myself, in my relationships, and in my environment.
I grew up in a typical post-World War II baby-boomer family. I'm the youngest of four children, and my parents after World War II bought into the American dream that material success – a house, a two-car garage, a chicken in every pot, and the finer things of life – would be the source of happiness. They invested wholeheartedly in that, but my parents were not happy. And the generation that they were part of was not satisfied by material success.
My parents struggled deeply in their marriage. They loved each other, but their love was like a chain. They were bound to each other. It was a torture, sometimes negative and struggling, and typical of relationships that they couldn't find a way to resolve themselves. My parents never divorced, but I will tell you I used to beg them to because of the impact their struggle had on my siblings. My three older siblings are wonderful, intelligent people of character and capacity, but if you look at their lives, none of them –they all fled our home at the earliest possible moment – is married, no one has children, and the story of their lives includes divorces, abortion, drug addiction, alcoholism, and many other struggles.
I don't say that to denigrate my siblings. I am no smarter than they are. I am not a stronger person than my elders. I'm not wiser; I'm not better in any way. The only difference is that I was able to receive the values, the vision, the meaning, and the support of True Parents and the Principle.
I grew up in the Unitarian faith, which is a liberal Christian denomination with very little or no doctrine at all. I grew up with all of the questions and none of the answers, and so I became a searcher. I was searching for the answers. The first big question that I remember came when I was 11 or 12 years old. There were race riots in my city of Detroit. There were children in Biafra dying of starvation in Africa. There was the Vietnam War. There was the racism I faced every single day. And my question was, "Why is the world not just and fair?"
I wasn't complaining. I wanted to know, "Why is my life so fortunate and blessed? Why do I have opportunity when someone no less worthy than me can't even have three meals, or may not live until they're five?" No one could answer that question. No intellectual answer from my parents, my pastor, my teachers, or my elders could satisfy me. That was the first of a number of big questions.
Three of my close friends died tragically during my high school years, and at their joint funeral I experienced their presence. Though I wasn't religious or spiritual by nature, it suddenly occurred to me that the essence of who we are doesn't end with the death of our flesh. I learned that lesson even more deeply, and many other lessons, in nature. I spent a lot of time in nature. Starting out partying with my friends in campgrounds, I would draw away and reflect and look more deeply, and I came to understand that the essence of who I am is not just brainwaves and electrochemical functions, and when I die I'm more than a piece of meat. I learned many other lessons there as well.
I discovered great philosophy and learned about absolutes: about absolute values, about ideals, and about morality, and I began to try to understand their meaning. I searched in religion. I visited many churches. I read about Buddhism. But instead of finding answers to my big questions, I came out with – guess what? More questions.
If God is good and God is all-powerful, then why does evil dominate? And why do good people suffer? If I am morally depraved and I could never live up to my own conscience, but only through the sacrifice of Jesus, what am I supposed to be? Where is my goal? What am I supposed to do? And I had many other questions about my place in the universe, about eternity, about why we're here.
Perhaps my biggest question was about love, because while my siblings struggled, I never lost my dream of true, lasting love. But I was divided because there was a part of me that wanted to be liked, that wanted to be accepted, that wanted to be popular – following that part, I got into some trouble. But there was another part of me that wanted to know and live the truth and live a life of value.
So I was divided and struggling, and the only reason I decided not to have sex at that age was not because of my moral values but because every relationship that I tried to pursue I knew was false. It wasn't genuine; it didn't feel right; it wasn't an honest, true, and genuine relationship. I could feel that. And I was afraid that if I went all the way and found that my ideal, my dream of love, was empty, that it wasn't really ever possible to be truly one with another person, I would lose that hope and lose that vision.
Near the end of my high school years I remember reading "The Road Not Taken," by Robert Frost. Do you know the poem? It talked about the wide, easy path that everyone follows, but another road diverges in the midst of the woods and goes up over a mountain, and it's difficult. Frost ends the poem, "I took the road less traveled by, and it has made all the difference." I decided that I wasn't going to accept the world as it was and live a normal life; I didn't want to live in an unjust world. That was actually one of my biggest questions – to find justice and fairness, believing that good should be able to be substantial and real.
So I determined that I didn't want to just decide my life based on my career, my job choice, the city I lived in, or the people I chose to live with. I wanted to know my place in the universe. So like many young people in 1972, with my hair down to my shoulders, my backpack on my back, I hitchhiked, talking a semester off. My college was set, my career was set, I had a future in Detroit city government, I had a mentor, I had everything set in front of me.
But hitchhiking across America, through the lessons that I learned, I joyously found a higher center to the universe. I suddenly understood, I am not the center of this whole thing, and I began to pursue that center, even though I didn't trust organized religion.
Are you still with me? Am I making sense? I hope so.
I also learned that all human beings have a common enemy. We're all struggling with the same things. We are not really each other's enemies, even though we sometimes act like that. And I found a relationship with Jesus Christ and set my feet on the path of trying to know him, though I could not digest that he came for the purpose of dying on the cross. Socrates and other teachers of truth had been put to death because they spoke the truth, gathered young people, and confronted society. And I thought Jesus was the same.
The lessons I learned on that trip are a whole other sermon, and so we'll save it for that. But near the end of that trip I visited what I thought was a hippie commune in Booneville, California, to visit some high school friends. I come from a long line from Detroit, Michigan, that came through Booneville and the Oakland church. To put it simply, I heard the Divine Principle. And I just have to tell you, I heard the most simple, elegant and profound insights that actually addressed every single one of my big questions.
The ideal of the three blessings gave me a simple framework for understanding what it means to be a human being. The internal nature of our soul and spirit – that was a topic I had never heard explained so practically and clearly. I received so many profound insights: human responsibility; our dynamic relationship of trust with God; the fact that good and evil have the same starting point and merely go in different directions, etc., etc. – also, understanding the contradiction in myself. It was the beginning of an incredible path of learning, discovery, and growth.
But, as I said, I also found a community of practice that was practicing the Principle. I found the tools to work on the contradiction in myself, to develop genuine relationships. And I found the ideal of the Blessing, my dream.
Two years into my path of living the Principle, I met God personally, directly, and powerfully. I found God present deep within my innermost self, and I came to recognize the presence of our Heavenly Parent in everything around me. I also came finally to understand True Parents as my parents, the ones who taught me what it means to be a man, what it means to live on this earth, what my life should be aiming toward, and how I should live.
Since that time, I've taught the Principle on five continents; I've shared it with five races; I've taught political leaders, religious leaders, educational leaders, leaders of nations, and people of all different backgrounds. And I have yet to find anything so clear, even though we know how to make it complicated, right? The Principle is simple, elegant, and clear, and as In Jin Nim delivers it every Sunday, I'm reminded of the simple, practical applications of that truth.
And more importantly, the Principle has worked for me. My life is far from perfect. There are many challenges and difficulties, but I've seen my family grow. I have four amazing children: no more amazing than your children, or you as children, but to me so precious, especially coming from where I came from, experiencing what I did. And though my children have their own challenges and trials, somehow they have an idea of who they are and some sense of what it means to love.
Now following the path of the Principle didn't prevent me from contracting cancer when I was 40 years old and being told that I should prepare to die. Following the Principle didn't protect me from losing my life partner from this earth when we were both 53 years old. Following the path of the Principle provides no guarantee of the challenges we may face or what may be around the next corner, but the Principle and True Parents have given me the tools, the attitude, the heart – as I said, the things that In Jin Nim is preaching and sharing every single week – to digest every challenge and find meaning, growth, and personal development in every difficulty.
It was four years ago almost to the day at the ascension and farewell ceremony of our beloved Omma, my wife, that my two elder siblings came to tell me they suddenly, finally understood – after thinking for so long that my religion was a crutch and a psychological need. They came to see that there was real strength, real value, and real meaning in the life and the faith that I have. My older brother, who had been one of my strongest critics, said, "Well, I can't argue with success." That's what he told me.
So how do we create unity on every level? That's been my goal, that's what drew me here, and that's what I feel we are called to do. Our Father has envisioned for us Cheon Il Guk. We're living in an age of creating Cheon Il Guk. In Korean, it literally means, what? Cheon means heaven, Il means one, and Guk means nation or sovereignty: one heavenly sovereignty. It's simply equivalent to the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus taught us to pray for and work for. Father said that its essence is when two become one. When two become one in myself – my own mind and body – then to that extent Cheon Il Guk can reside in me. When husband and wife become one, then Cheon Il Guk can reside in that family. The Kingdom, the realm where God can dwell, where goodness can rule, can be established in me.
Father said that we have the name Unification Church because our goal is to create unification on every single level. Father's life process – his course to become the Messiah, raise a bride, establish the model of True Parents, show the standard, open the gate to the Kingdom for everyone, and lead us there – has been based on creating unity on every single level. He started first within himself, within his own mind and body, then raising Mother and creating a true God-centered love relationship and family, and then expanding that unity to a clan and a tribe. He was creating the conditions to pave the way for unification on every single level, even the spiritual and physical worlds, until ultimately being able to give it all back to our Heavenly Parent, to give it all back to God. Father even was reconciling the disunity that God has experienced because the world he created was stolen from him. To give that stolen world back to God has been True Parents' course.
And our way of life is to, what? It is to in our own small way follow that path and realize our own heaven. Father said, "Heaven is not what we're given, it's what we must create within ourselves, in our relationships, our family, and our life. That's the path we're walking."
So how do we do that first on the individual level? How do we bring our mind and body together? Before Father founded this movement or wrote down the Principle, his own personal motto as a young man was "Before I conquer the universe, let me master myself. Let me get control over myself." And Father has taught us that that is the most difficult and challenging thing in the universe: to become a person of integrity.
Integrity comes from the same root word as integrate, which means to bring two things into one, to remove the separation, to remove the barrier. To become a person of integrity means to bring together our mind and our body, our words and our actions, our values and our lifestyle. And it's challenging. It's not a simple thing.
To become a person of integrity and bring our mind and body together is also about maturity, which has been defined as the capacity for self-control – to be able to delay, if necessary, the things that I want for my own gratification when there's something else more important.
And as Father said, as we quoted this morning, when we realize this within ourselves, then God's love can dwell within us to that extent. Also, we can hear, feel, and connect to God's will through our own pure, clear conscience. God can speak to us through our conscience when we realize that level of unity, but it's not easy. It's daunting, right? It's a little overwhelming. We use the term perfection. How many of you are a little intimidated by the concept of perfection? My hand is up, by the way.
Do we really want a static life that is absolute and perfect, with nothing wrong and everything working? It almost sounds boring to some people. But Hyung Jin Nim taught us that we actually have mistranslated that term from the Korean. It's more about completion and fulfillment than it is about being in some kind of perfect state of doing everything right all the time, showing the best. It's more about completing and fulfilling. In fact, when Jesus said in Matthew [5:48] to be perfect as our Heavenly Parent is perfect, the original Greek of that Scripture quotes Jesus with the word telos for perfect, which means mature and complete. Mature yourself. Become complete. Is that a little bit less intimidating?
And in fact, many of us start to suspect along the way that it's as much or more about the journey, about the investment, about the attitude and heart, as it is about reaching a static, final goal. Are you with me? It's about the life we live and the heart with which we live that life.
There was a time in my life, brothers and sisters, when I lost hope in my own perfection. I lost hope in my own capacity to reach that goal. No matter how good people thought I was – the fact that I was a leader and I could teach the Principle – or no matter how eloquently I might speak about the ideals, I knew the gap between what I was saying and how I was living. I knew the contradictions in myself. I knew the dirty secrets, the hidden things, and the struggles I was facing that others didn't know.
And so my life became less and less about my own spiritual growth and more and more about completing my mission, fulfilling my job, helping the church reach its goals, reaching the numbers in this or that providence. It was in the hills of Korea, in a 40-day workshop in Chung Pyung, that I realized I was wrong, and God showed me something deeper. I read the Principle eight times during those 40 days, and one statement from the Principle of Creation, about the first blessing and individual completion, jumped out at me. It said that a perfect or complete person resonates with the heart of God so that this person could not sin, could not act against God because it would hurt too much to violate God's heart.
Suddenly I realized that it's not just about getting up at 4:30 a.m. It's not just about disciplining myself and doing everything to a "T" and living up to some external rules. It's about cultivating a heart for God. And I asked myself, "Could I become that person? Could I become a person who loves God so much that I couldn't hurt him?" And you know what I found? "Yes. I can. I have hope in becoming such a person."
And then God spoke to me in prayer in those hills and I felt God saying to me (and that doesn't happen to me often – I don't use those words easily), "Phillip, it's not just about perfecting the world or realizing the goals and the ideals in the movement. It's about you becoming the person that I created you to be, realizing the potential I placed in you. That's what it's about."
It's about God dwelling in me and coming through me as me. Isn't that who True Father is? Isn't that what True Parents are proclaiming and embodying? Is that only for them, or is that everyone's goal? That's the path on which we're headed.
So on that foundation, then, the next level of unification, of unity, the next barrier that needs to be broken down is between whom? Man and woman, husbands and wives. Does that make sense? And it's not easy. Father said that it's the second most difficult thing to accomplish in the universe after uniting our mind and body, because men and women are designed to be not the same but different. We're designed to be different. Some call it a cosmic joke. We love differently. We're wired differently. Our brain chemistry is ruled by different hormones that raise different priorities and sensibilities. We love differently, and we need to be loved differently.
My partner needs to experience love differently than I know how to love. I need to go beyond myself. It takes wisdom, maturity, patience, self-reflection, humility, sacrifice, and the capacity to forgive to make a relationship work.
Some of you have experienced international or intercultural marriage. Who out there has an international or intercultural marriage? It's not so easy to bring two cultures or two nations together, is it? But which is more different, two nations or two planets? Two planets, right? And after all, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Believe me, there is so much truth to that statement. If you've never had the opportunity, it can be so mind-opening and liberating to learn about the differences between the way men and women are designed.
There's no time to go into that this morning, but here's just a few things to understand. Women need to be heard, brothers, for their feelings and their emotions – not necessarily for their problems to be solved all the time, but to be validated and understood. And if a woman shares how she feels, it's not necessarily complaining, even though it feels like it to you.
Women's brains, the right side for feeling and aesthetics and the left side for linear thinking, are 40 percent more interconnected than men's are. And while men can only operate in one side at a time, both sides for women are on all the time. It's true. Hallelujah. And so women can multitask, think, and feel at the same time, which most men don't know how to do. Women bond and connect through sharing, and need to feel connected in heart in order to open up to physical and sexual intimacy.
Men, on the other hand, need to be respected. And in case you haven't noticed, sisters, we don't respond too well to criticism. That doesn't really work. It might make you feel good to get it out, but it won't accomplish the result you're after. And we can't process easily more than one thing at a time. And we tend to bond by doing things together rather than by talking. Talking is not necessarily a stress reliever for us. And men can often use physical closeness and sexual intimacy in order to feel emotionally connected. Now that's a cosmic joke if I ever heard one!
So we need to go beyond ourselves to understand our partner. I just wanted you to understand that. Just like God said to me in the hills of Korea, if you ask God about your marriage, I'm sure our Heavenly Parent would say to you, "It's not about looking good in church. It's not about covering up your problems or living separate lives, or keeping your commitment because of obligation or duty. It's about becoming the embodiment of love that I brought you together to be."
Why do you think our senior pastor has so often preached about the challenges in blessed families – even extreme, difficult situations, and even severe problems like sexual abuse? Was it to demonize any group or person? No. Was it to shock or upset? No. It's to underscore for you and me that the way of becoming an ideal family is to deal with whatever challenges are inherent in realizing that family, whatever baggage or challenges are there from our personal, emotional, or ancestral past. That's the path.
It is so classic that couples will hide their struggles until it's almost too late. I work with the Blessed Family Ministry here in the United States and often we don't know about the challenges that are going on, the difficulties that people face until they're almost over. Or often we are not aware of the struggles going on in our neighbors' lives or our friends' lives. Or we don't want to know. Or we make excuses, or live in separate places, or seek comfort outside of our marital relationship. All of these are not the way to heal and grow, and it's not what our Heavenly Parent wants us to do. In Jin Nim is seeking to create a culture in which our families deal with the challenges that we face.
Before I was blessed, I was engaged in 1978 to a Korean sister. We corresponded as pen pals for a year and a half before she came to the United States, and I was in the clouds. We would send these beautiful, long letters in different languages that had to be translated. My wife would draw a beautiful H for Hyeshik in a little heart, and a beautiful P for Phillip in another heart, and the ribbons would go down the side of the page and wrap around each other at the bottom of the page. It was so romantic, so ideal.
I wrote her 25 letters during that time, and she wrote me 40. But somehow, when we got together and started our married life, I don't know where the romance went. My wife was a single-minded, mission-focused, get-'er-done kind of person. And she came to bed every night with three or four layers of underwear and clothing. I don't know where the romance went. I came to a point in my marriage when I lost hope. Not losing hope to be married, because I was committed, but I had no hope to be happy, for heaven's sake, because we were so different. She was a single-minded, focused, self-reliant and independent kind of person. And I was a broad, complicated, emotional, needy, sensitive person. Not anymore! [Laughter.]
So it became more difficult to understand each other. I like to sleep with the windows open, in cold air, and snuggle up. She likes the windows closed and burning hot. I like to shower in the morning, as I was raised to do. She showers at night. She didn't like me coming to bed filthy. We slept at different times. Our schedules were different, and it became challenging and complicated.
My culture taught me that the deepest things need to be expressed verbally and talked through. Her culture taught her that the deepest things should never be spoken or they become silly, cheap, and immature. And so I looked like a silly, cheap, immature guy when I wanted to talk about things.
I won't tell you the rest of the story. Our relationship got better and better and better, but the point that I want to share that transformed our relationship was when we each decided to love the person we were married to for who they are, not for what we thought or expected them to become. Do you hear me? That was the transformation point, and I hope you don't take as many years to get to that as we did. We were only in kindergarten when she left this earth. Our relationship had just begun.
But I will tell you, when my wife stopped trying to change me to become the person that she could then love, and when I let go of the silent complaint that I kept inside because she wasn't giving me what I wanted or needed and we started to just love the person we were married to, then we began to change. Then my wife transformed in the things I'd already given up on, and I hope I did the same.
My wife never told me this story, but others shared it with me, that once when she was serving True Parents right around this time of our transformational realization, Father asked her, "How is your husband?" My wife put her tray down, bowed to the floor in the traditional Korean style, as children bow to parents, and she wept and said, "Father, I'm so sorry that I never understood the value of the man you gave me. But now I'm so grateful to have him."
So although unfortunately my children saw us struggle many times, they also saw in the last seven years of our life the peace, the harmony, the companionship – even though it was kindergarten. I hope you don't delay coming to that place.
Father said, unity first. Unity comes by what? By give and take, by relationship. To the extent of our unity, God's love comes from outside. When I realize that in myself, God's love can come into me and come through me to others. When I realize that in a relationship, then a dimension of love that's beyond our own capacity of heart can enter and lift us up, and our perspective can be transformed.
Now if unity or communication breaks down, what do we do? That's the time when it's overwhelming and beyond what we can do. That's the time to seek help. Mediation. Someone who can stand in between, understand each one, and help each one understand the other. That's not horizontal Western psychology. That's Divine Principle, brothers and sisters. That's the application of the Principle.
In the next few months our Blessed Family Ministry will be working with the Ministry department at Lovin' Life and Headquarters to roll out "Blessed Life," a renewed ministry to support our families. We have been poor in the past, and we have a long way to go, but we are going to be introducing new resources, a new curriculum that can be used locally for all of our blessing education, ministries, and counseling. We have been poor. But thanks to In Jin Nim's emphasis, support, and encouragement, we are moving in a direction to be able to support our families and our young people more effectively.
Even now many of us are not aware of the network of Unification counselors that is there at our Blessed Family Ministry website. Many are not aware of the 350-person directory around the country of marriage-friendly, commitment-affirming counselors who are available near where you live. Many are not aware of the 15 ministries – some long established and others brand-new – or many of the other resources at the Blessed Family Ministry website. And we'll be rolling out more in the coming months.
So I want to wrap up. There are many other levels of unity that we should talk about, but time doesn't permit for that investigation. Simply let me say, our True Parents have paved the way, starting from the individual and family level, to create every single level of unity, to lead humanity toward realizing the Kingdom of Heaven. This is not a jeweled city that drops down from the clouds and if you're in the right denomination you get chosen to go in there, but a practical process of realizing the Kingdom within ourselves and in our relationships.
We need to be expanding the foundation of the Blessing, investing in and raising our members, and building a clan and a tribe through blessed families. Yet, in Korea and America True Parents have faced prejudice, persecution, misunderstanding, and hatred, and responded only with love. I saw with my own eyes how Father responded when he was unjustly convicted and sent to Danbury prison. When the verdict was read, Father jumped out of his seat and went straight to the prosecutor – the person who had denied Father a trial by tax judges, who knew the situation and demanded a jury so he could inflame prejudice, who… there are many other stories that I don't have time to tell you. Father went straight to the prosecutor with his hand out and sought even to embrace him. The man stumbled backwards and exited out a side door.
Even more, I know that Father went to Danbury in America not simply because of religious persecution and prejudice, which even the Senate Judiciary Committee and the National Council of Churches saw and acknowledged. Father went because of mistakes that were made by those of us who managed the accounts, who made the legal decisions. We should have done many things differently, but Father never blamed, judged, or accused. He went to Danbury embracing it all, and said, "God is sending me there."
That's the real substance of Father's heart, and that's why in Danbury prison dozens of prisoners who expected an arrogant religious leader found a genuine friend, a real person, a humble and serving man.
Father has lived a life of embracing his enemy – ultimately even Kim Il Sung, the dictator of North Korea, who spent time, energy, money, and resources to destroy him.
We are a movement of unification, uniting races, religions, and cultures. But brothers and sisters, it's not going to be done simply by conferences, campaigns, and ceremonies, however historical and profound they may be. We also have the responsibility to live a lifestyle that creates the Kingdom in ourselves and our relationships. Have I made that point abundantly clear? I hope so. And that's the path that we need to go.
In Jin Nim's consistent emphasis is that if we become that kind of community, if we live a lifestyle that breaks down barriers, creating harmony within ourselves, within our marriages and families with our children, and in our community, then, as we accomplish that, our friends, our neighbors, our nation, and the world will want to be a part of that community. They'll naturally be drawn.
How do we realize it? In the Scripture we read this morning, St. Paul told the Philippians very clearly. He said, "I want you to fulfill my joy. I want you to become of one accord, of one mind and having the same love." But he didn't say that we accomplish that by thinking alike, living the same way, doing all the same things, or even believing the same things. He said to lose selfish ambition. Lose conceit. Practice lowliness of mind, which means humility. Become humble. And learn to give value to others more than you seek value for yourself. And look out not only for your own interests but for the interests of others.
Paul in his letter to Corinthians – please write it down and go read it when you go home, I Corinthians 12:19-27 – said that our beloved community is like the body of Christ and every member is valuable. He said, "What if we were all heads or hands or feet? Where would that leave the body? Our diversity is our strength." And he said that the head can't say to the feet, we don't need you. The eyes can't say to the butt, we don't need you. It's not only the parts that everybody can see, the parts that are beautiful and exposed. But our weakest parts are some of the most important and we must value the weakest parts. He said that the parts that we consider worthy to be covered up or dirty are actually vital and crucial, and everything needs to be valued equally.
This is the spirit that In Jin Nim has preached. This is the heart of embracing that In Jin Nim has sought to teach us, and it is the way for us to realize that unity and that kingdom.
Brothers and sisters, when we consider the challenges in our own movement in this time, I can only say that these issues and divisions are arising because they're there to be healed. They're there to be resolved. And we are at the final frontier, the final challenge to establish the foundation for True Parents' victory. And we also can understand the heart we need to practice in order to realize that foundation and bring joy, victory, and liberation to our True Parents.
I want to close with some reflection on intergenerational unity – our elders and our youngers. Those of us in the first generation experienced things like what I shared with you. We fought for, and we struggled to find and realize this faith, and so it's precious to us. Our children and our children's children grew up in the faith. It's a different path, as you know, and sometimes it's a struggle for them to find their own faith.
So our children don't see this faith and don't see True Parents and don't see our tradition exactly in the same way that we do. And you know what? Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be. Maybe they're meant to carry this faith to a new level, to broaden, to deepen, to go places that you and I could not imagine. Not to repeat what we have done. Not to live it exactly as we might expect them to. We drop them off at summer camp, we bring them to Sunday school, and think, "Of course they're getting it, just like I get it." And then you find out it doesn't work that way. Have you noticed? If you haven't noticed, your children are too young. You'll figure it out soon.
And for our elders – let me call us elders. Although we shared our faith with the world, although we networked and reached out, doing a lot of outreach work, many of us have our closest relationships only with people within our community. Many of us have lives that are too insular, too isolated, too distant, and too unfamiliar. We've had our own language, our own culture, our own way of doing things.
One pastor of thousands heard the Divine Principle and said, "This is the most amazing truth. It's transformational. It's more important than the Reformation of Martin Luther. But you know, Americans will never join this movement as it is (this was several years ago) because you're too strange!"
All of that is changing because of True Children creating a standard. They are attending True Parents absolutely. Are they not? At the same time, they are creating a relevant and renewed community and faith that our children can identify with and relate to. Let's hear it for that. I'm with you.
Our sons and daughters grew up differently. They grew up in the midst of this society, faced by the differences between their own value system and how they were raised and those of others. They struggled in different ways, and their path to find their faith is not an easy one.
So how do we protect True Parents' tradition and value while at the same time embracing the diversity and the inevitable choices that many families and youths in our community are going to make? Brothers and sisters, my answer is, we have to do both. Father said, "In these days tradition is more important than lineage, for if we lose tradition then we'll lose the value of our lineage." But if we only narrowly protect tradition, we'll become an isolated movement of a few and alienate many others. On the other hand, if we just become an open and embracing organization in which anything goes, we will lose tradition, won't we?
So I myself am inspired by the examples that Hyung Jin Nim, our international president, and our senior pastor are setting: attending True Parents, respecting the tradition absolutely, while at the same time embracing the diversity that's developing in our community. Can we do both? Can we affirm what we stand for and still embrace the choices of others? I think we have to do it, brothers and sisters: not hide from it, not push it out of our community, not deny it.
Then what about when our children lose their way? What about when they struggle and go through difficulty? How can we affirm the values that we've raised them with and clarify our expectations and still love them unconditionally, no matter who they are and what they do? Brothers and sisters, we have to do both, do we not? We have to find a way to do both. That is parenting. That's what our Heavenly Parent had to experience. That's what Father had to go through, and he embraced his eldest son in his darkest time. Just as Father's youngest son, Hyung Jin Nim, testified, when he was struggling over the death of his older brother and he told Father, "I want to follow Buddhism," then instead of judging him as Hyung Jin Nim expected, Father embraced and supported that path and guided him through that back to the way of a blessed child.
I've heard from every one of the True Children that I've spoken with about their confidence in the root identity of each of our blessed children, who they are, and how they will live up to and live out and express that inherent value.
The leadership of True Children is vital, and that's the point I want to leave you with. Last August at the Original Substance of Divine Principle workshop, I heard Reverend Yu share these words. He said, "You know, our elders were trained by True Father. He taught us how to do everything. Father ran the service, led the songs, led the prayer, gave the sermon, did everything, and we got used to doing it a certain way. So when we suddenly see meditation and gongs and incense, or rock music and excitement, it's difficult for us to understand at first." Reverend Yu said this to the elders of our movement: "We need to learn, as Father has taught us, to not continue coming to True Parents directly on our own foundation but to come to True Parents through True Children."
Brothers and sisters, if we can accomplish that, our future is in great hands. It's a complicated and confusing time of transition, but I am so inspired by the leadership of In Jin Nim that I'd like to give another sermon about her.
Thank you so much for the time this morning. Please have a wonderful week, and God be with you.
1: So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
2: complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
3: Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.
4: Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
6: who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7: but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
8: And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
9: Ther4efore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,
10: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11: and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12: Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
13: for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14: Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
15: that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
16: holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
17: Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
18: Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
19: I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you.
20: I have no one like him, who will be genuinely anxious for your welfare.
21: They all look after their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
22: But Timothy's worth you know, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.
23: I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me;
24: and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself shall come also.
25: I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphrodi'tus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need,
26: for he has been longing for you all, and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill.
27: Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28: I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious.
29: So receive him in the Lord with all joy; and honor such men,
30: for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete your service to me.
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today - Ya
We don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today
Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what's going on
What's going on
Ya, what's going on
Ah, what's going on
In the mean time
Right on, baby
Father, father, everybody thinks we're wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply because our hair is long
Oh, you know we've got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today
Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me
So you can see
What's going on
Ya, what's going on
Tell me what's going on
I'll tell you what's going on – Uh
Right on baby
Right on baby
For you there'll be no crying
For you the sun will be shining
And I feel that when I'm with you
It's alright, I know it's right
To you, I would give the world
To you, I'd never be cold
'Cause I feel that when I'm with you
It's alright, I know it's right
And the songbirds keep singing
Like they know the score
And I love you, I love you, I love you
Like never before.
And I wish you all the love in the world,
But most of all, I wish it for myself.
And the songbirds keep singing
Like they know the score
And I love you, I love you, I love you
Like never before.
I see the crystal raindrops fall
And see the beauty of it all
Is when the sun comes shining through
To make those rainbows in my mind
When I think of you some time
And I want to spend some time with you
Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I
We look for love, no time for tears
Wasted water's all that is
And it don't make no flowers grow
Good things might come to those who wait
Not to those who wait too late
We got to go for all we know
Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I
I hear the crystal raindrops fall
On the window down the hall
And it becomes the morning dew
Darling, when the morning comes
And I see the morning sun
I want to be the one with you
Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
Just the two of us
Building big castles way on high
Just the two of us
You and I
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
1: Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed.
2: You know that when you were heathen, you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved.
3: Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit.
4: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
5: and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
6: and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.
7: To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
8: To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
9: to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10: to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
11: All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
12: For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
13: For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free -- and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14: For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
15: If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
16: And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
17: If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?
18: But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
19: If all were a single organ, where would the body be?
20: As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21: The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
22: On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23: and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
24: which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part,
25: that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
26: If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27: Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
28: And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues.
29: Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
30: Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
31: But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
Which comes first unity or love, you can love yourself when your mind and body are in harmony with each other. If you love yourself when your desires and actions are going in different directions then your love has little meaning. When your mind and body are united as one then your love will be eternally protected by God.
Unity is the beginning point of love, the point where love can come to abide. This is God's ideal. Unless God can find persons whose quality is in accordance with His ideal He cannot be happy at all, He has no one He can love. Since this principle is the core, we in our movement seek unity first and then we talk about heart and love. Only then can our ideals be realized. Before the ideal can be realized there must be unity and then love.
1: Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.
2: And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11: "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12: Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13: "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.
14: "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.
15: Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
17: "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.
18: For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
19: Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20: For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
21: "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.'
22: But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.
23: So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24: leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25: Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison;
26: truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
27: "You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.'
28: But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29: If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
30: And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
31: "It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'
32: But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33: "Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.'
34: But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35: or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
36: And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
37: Let what you say be simply `Yes' or `No'; anything more than this comes from evil.
38: "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'
39: But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;
40: and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well;
41: and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
42: Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.
43: "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44: But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45: so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46: For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47: And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48: You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.