The Words of the Selle Family
Standing In The Gap
September 17, 2006
New Hope Family and Community
Good morning, family,
Last week America commemorated the 9/11-suicide attack on the Twin Towers in New York. It seemed unthinkable, impossible. It paralyzed all of us. As I was watching the ceremonies and commentaries on television, many were people still expressed that they could not understand why such a thing could happen. How could people do this? It changed America forever.
Why did it happen? My answer to this is:"resentment and anger that has not been addressed. Who can address this? President Bush? The Pope? I donít think so, in fact the Pope was getting attacked just recently as well from the Muslim community because of a remark he made.
What we need is reconciliation and healing on a deeper level, someone who can help facilitate this process not in words or on paper, but in substance. There is only one who can bring true peace and healing, one who is anointed, appointed and approved by God, who comes in the authority of God as a person. We call this person: the Messiah. What does the word messiah mean?
In wikipedia it says: in Judaism, the Messiah (Standard Hebrew Maöía; Arabic: Al-Masih, Tiberian Hebrew Maöî, Aramaic) initially meant any person who was anointed by a prophet of God.
I was taught in my Catholic church in Sunday school that the Messiah is a mediator between God and man. Humanity who fell away from God and lives in sin, war and conflict, and God our creator. The Messiah works on behalf of God and has humanityís situation at heart. His mission is to reconcile us back to God. He is the anointed one who comes with the authority of God and the mission to reconcile mankind back to him. In other words he is the one who stands in the gap. Thatís my title for todayís sermon.
Jesus came 2000 years ago as the Messiah, the mediator, Godís only son, standing in the gap between mankind and God bringing the word the Gospel words from God, explaining what is the will of God and how we should live. He gave instructions in the Sermon on the Mount, which were clear instructions for creating peace on earth. And he also practiced those words to give us an example.
But Jesus could not do this work by himself, he needed co-workers, friends, people who could not only share the same vision with him and follow him, but people who would also live by the message and take ownership of it. And impact on others the way he did. He told his disciples that they shall do greater works than him. If that spirit and commitment and practice of the message of love and loving your enemy would have been practiced to this day, we would not have seen any crusades, or 9/11.
Unbeknownst to many about 30 years ago on this very day, a man from Korea gave a profound message from God to this country, calling on America to live according to Godís will, reminding it of its Christian foundation and heritage and pleading with the American people to hear Godís message for this time and age. He also said: "The new hope for mankind is the MessiahÖHe is your hope, my hope, and the only hope for America and this world. If we fail to see him, then Christianity will have no hope. It will decline. Its spiritual fire will be extinguished. Her churches will become the tombs of the old legacyÖAnd that "great and terrible day of the Lord is at hand! It is up to you whether that day will be great or terrible. If you meet the Messiah, for you that day will be great. But if you fail to meet him, then for you that day will indeed be terrible."
We all know that this man was and is Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the founder of our church/movement rather. He received the direct commission from Jesus at the age of 16 to do the greater works on a world level and complete Jesus mission.
He then agonized about especially the question of how to end wars and liberate humanity from their suffering. And in the process he discovered that in fact God Himself is suffering, that He is a God of tears and that He needed to be liberated and moreover that we stand in a position to liberate him, that we have a part to play in history. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus, living and practicing the word of Jesus in an absolute and uncompromising way, he received deeper insights into the Bible upon his questions to God, which are written down and called the Divine Principle, the philosophy of peace for this age. It is the key that unlocks the secrets of the Bible and helps us understand the cause of evil and how to dominate it.
He is the one who stands in the gap today between God and humanity at this time in history. As he began his ministry about 50 years ago, God sent him also people to work with, disciples and co-worker, and that is most of us here in this room. Therefore inspired by God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, this is not an ordinary church, but rather a movement that seeks to fulfill Godís will and dream on the earth and make peace a reality.
Rev. Moon invested his love, wisdom, training and passion, some 34 years in America and in the American membership, and about 17 years ago in 1989 he surprised all of us by bequeathing the mantle of messiah ship to all of us, asking us to now also stand in the gap between God and humanity. And now he is expanding it to the world asking people to become a tribal messiah or ambassador for peace. It means for us that we are anointed people Ė anointed by the Messiah himself and asked to be a messiah ourselves to others.
So what does it finally mean to stand in the gap, to be a messiah to others? Letís get real.
What does and should a messiah do in this era of the Kingdom of Heaven, the CIG? Many things. Just to mention a few:
1.) A Messiah takes ownership of Godís will, making Godís business his own business and sacrifices himself for others. One important prerequisite is knowing Godís word intimately and applying it him/herself in daily life. Only based on that can he or she be a representative of God, an ambassador for Christ. Our theme this month is "the power of the word", which we have to own ourselves first and then talk about it from experience and practice. It is then that others can see God in us and become motivated and stimulated to change their wicked ways. No one is interested to hear my personal opinion about anything, but rather hear the word from God and how it can be applied.
Anyone who is strongly connected to God can become a life-giving object, even though that life is not visible to the human eye. You may not become a sun, but you can at least become a lighthouse in the dark. Therefore a messiah must be strongly rooted in God.
Everyone needs a Messiah, a person who reminds them to follow their conscience rather than what others say or what feels comfortable. Father matched many of us for this higher purpose, saying that our spouses can help us to live in a more godly way. Especially women hold a very important role in the family in this matter.
Father Moon said that our spouse is in fact a second messiah and our children the third messiah. They are supposed to remind us to live in Godís way.
Unfortunately many times fallen nature takes over in the messiah person, and he or she begins to judge rather than save. Point two
2.) A Messiah comes to save people, not to judge them! Thatís what Jesus said in the gospel of John 12:47 "And if anyone hears my sayings, and does not keep them; I do not judge him, for I did not come to judge the world, but to save it."
Jesus said that he did not come to judge but to save people. Jesus had like a motherís heart caring for and protecting his sheep.
The heart of God is to save every single human being. He puts his life on the line voluntarily, going out on a limb to help others. 99 sheep and the one lost one.
The word of God is to be given and used to build others up not to kill them, and then their conscience will be the judge. That is an art. Many times parents use Godís word to punish or instill fear. Even churches and denominations have done that over the centuries. But a messiah embraces everyone with the heart of a parent. The word judges but true love saves
At this point I would like to call forward Jim Boothby to give a brief testimony about one precious sister in our community who embodies many of the qualities we are talking about. Of course, we have many others here in this room, many testimonies, but today we want to honor and appreciate Maria and Ted AgresÖ (Jim B. explains how Maria and Ted helped so many families over the years and most recently also his own family who is undergoing great trials and tribulations. He shared how she did Laundry for them prepared food, took out his children to lunch, with a loving non-judgmental heart, always reminding Him that he is Godís and that He loves him etc. [added later])
I want to ad that Maria is a person who humbly would just come up to me and ask: Can I help you? She has a very deep heart for others and in her non-assuming way serves without having a position. I am very moved by that. People of God are humble not arrogant and into position and power. In fact position when doing the will of God and being His instrument position is not important, only love is.
3) Interceding on behalf of someone else either through prayer or even repentance and tears and forgiveness. God cannot just forgive a sin unless the person repents and turns around. Story of the prodigal son. Sometimes that person cannot do it by himself or herself, they need help. So a messiah intercedes with God on behalf of that person and repents for him or her. I have done it many times for others, including for my own husband and children. I would say: God, I am speaking to you today on behalf of so-and-so ÖI know one sister who always prays for others in tears, Mary Holden. The Messiah sheds tears behind the scenes not for himself, but for others. We know that Father Moon himself is a champion of tears!
I know from my own experience that intercessory prayers and tears can change others
4.) A messiah takes responsibility and ownership of the good, the bad and the ugly, especially the ugly. Doesnít shy away from getting his hands dirty. "Go through hell for a heavenly war" He/she doesnít shy away from taking responsibility for all the bad things that happen. Your problem is also my problem, letís solve it together. Itís the exact opposite of what Adam and Eve did in the Garden when they blamed each other and Lucifer.
5) Brings people together in harmony. Initiate Reconciliation through Love and forgiveness. Messiah loves unconditionally in the position of a parent not taking sides, seeking and reinforcing Godís point of view into the situation. This is not easy; we like to take sides, who is right and who is wrong. But in order to truly heal a conflict, someone needs to mediate, like I did with my parents a month ago. I helped them to forgive each other, and then they were very relieved. I prepared each one of them separately over many years to let go of their resentment, and at our last visit to Germany the miracle happened. After 33 years they did forgive each other!( More details in a previous sermon: "From Hell to Heaven")
As a Messiah itís about practicing and teaching forgiveness and loving the enemy. That is the most critical message Christ taught and which we all are called to teach and live as extensions of Christ, as we stand in the gap. And most importantly, a messiah always keeps going, never gives up, no matter what the situation may be. When you live with the heart of reunion, with the heart of God and the heart of parents, constructive and creative power is generated. By having this nation as our center and all coming together as one, we can truly become dynamos to create a new world culture.
God needs people who can think creatively on His behalf how to solve a problem or resolve a bad relationship. A lot of prayer is needed and only with the help of spirit world can we sometimes see what needs to be done. We need to acquire a heart and mind of love that is very strong so we can say to anybody: "No matter what you do to me I will love you!"
6.) A messiah knows who he or she is. Battling against the dark forces inside oneself, we need to know our strong and weak points and learn to use them all for the sake of God.
From todayís reading:
You must have the faith and conviction that you are lighthouse lighting a dark world. The lighthouse will shine forth even in the worst kind of weather because that is the time ships need the lighthouse most. When you are surrounded by the thickest fog you must shine forth all the more. The more adversity, the greater must be your light. John the Baptist didnít know who Jesus was but more importantly he didnít know who he was and what his responsibility was.
In conclusion. We live at the time of the Messiah, and we have all been called and chosen (entrusted) to be small messiahs in the sense as we described today. We are called today to stand in the gap between God and humanity having been trained by the Messiah and been given the authority and all the tools plus some 30 years of experience to bring light into all the world. All areas of human life need to be transformed and brought back to God. God is longing to be involved with His children in their families and homes, schools etc. Therefore we need Messiahs in politics, business, education, in the churches (to bring them together) agriculture, and very much art and culture to bring godly values and God Himself back into our lives. The good news is that this movement is expanding quickly through ambassadors for peace all over the world as mother Moon in todayís reading:
With such families [centered upon God's love], the symptoms of our decaying society will vanish. As confident children of God, we will no longer be enslaved by the temptations of alcohol and drug abuse. Moreover, by understanding the holiness of love between a husband and a wife, we will possess the moral strength to stand strong against infidelity and promiscuity. Finally, we will work as a whole to eliminate war, racial prejudices, and world hunger. We need to work together on this; one person alone cannot do it. God needs all of us. And with everyoneís help instead of a terrible day it will be a glorious day for the world!
Celebrate and commemorate today and tomorrow (September 17 and 1 with one other family, read the speeches given and spread that word to others.
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