The Words of the Yakawich Family
My last sermon was on “The Journey of the Watchful”. In that sermon I spoke on the value and importance of staying watchful, focused, alert and ready for the calling. In the Holy Bible we read of the dynamics of the people relating to Jesus. People prepared to receive the Messiah then meet Jesus and reject him. Philosophies and scriptures that lead directly to Jesus were misinterpreted and convinced themselves that Jesus was not the Messiah since he did things so un-orthodox and to them so unbiblical.
Therefore, we must not repeat the mistakes of the past. As Jesus said, in St. Luke 18:8 “Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?” He does not say this lightly, he was very serious. Like the man who comes in the middle of the night and (St. Mat 24:44) “for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes” or the virgins (Matt 25) not prepared and cannot enter.
We must be those prepared, diligent and watchful for the Lord’s return. What have you found in your own walk with God in these past weeks?
Before I go any further, I realize how much the economy may be on your minds. I do not wish to distract you from my sermon. However, I did read how the economy is really affecting the banks in Japan. Readers Digest reported, “Japanese banks have been hit almost as hard as American banks. The Origami Bank has folded, and we hear the Sumo Bank has gone belly-up too.
Bonsai Bank plans to cut some of its branches. Karaoke Bank is for sale and is going for a song. Meanwhile, staff at Karate Bank got the chop, and analysts reports that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where workers fear they may get a raw deal.”
Today, my sermon passes on from now watchful and alert, after you find the Lord, what should you do next? Do you walk away and go back to your normal routine, ignore the revelations or dreams you have and think of it as mere coincidence or accident? NO! Once you discover due to you diligence, you must act. As I look at our young people, I cannot help but encourage them to see who they are is God’s gift to them. However, who they become will be their gift to God. Maturity and character development takes time. What your parents are teaching you now is important for the future. They are training you to become great men and great women.
Even the action heroes had to go through some tough times in order to be worthy, able and willing to save others lives. Therefore, are your actions speaking louder than your words?
What is a Hero? I know by giving blood you can be a hero. Webster’s Dictionary states a hero, “A person of great strength and courage, any person for their exploits, bravery, valor, achievements, qualities and regarded as an ideal or model.” It is in volunteering for your church. Also, it can be volunteering and joining other groups in the community who could use your help. Visiting people in the hospital or a rest home is also a wonderful way of feeding and giving to others.
As Covette Robert commented, “Three billion people on the face of the earth go to bed hungry every night, but four billion people go to bed every night hungry for a simple word of encouragement and recognition.” If we can inherit the heart of Jesus, to inspire both in words and in deeds, we truly will be people who feed others. Jesus encouraged St. Peter to be just that.
In this chapter, John 21, Jesus is already crucified and now appears for the third time to the disciples. They are fishing and he instructs them to cast out their nets. Peter is so excited that he cast himself into the sea and swam to Jesus.
When they all arrived they sat with Jesus over a fire and ate fish and bread. After dinner, Jesus gives them specific instructions. Jesus said to Peter (1) to feed, (2) to love, (3) to follow and later in this chapter he went on to say (4) to forgive. The disciples were all called not only to watch for Jesus, but to take on their missions after Jesus departed. In short, he asked the disciples to put their faith into action.
Become a neighborhood hero! I think about this in a simple way that I call the “Four Position Neighborhood Foundation.” Do we know our neighbor on all sides of us? Do we know them well enough to know their names and have their phone numbers as to call them in case of an emergency? Do we talk with them; share our garden, our goods with each other? Have we, over time, ate with them and invited them, even given them the church bulletin or newsletter? Talked with them about your faith? Yes, witnessing is feeding (faith) in action.
Ask you youth about Xbox and other video games that they play. Call To Duty, Oblivion, Fall Out, these too are examples of the super heroes fighting evil. And if you notice, who is the super hero in these? You the player is. There are other heroes you may have such as sports heroes, movie heroes, and or spiritual heroes. My grandma, my parents, my spiritual parents, my wife are some of my heroes. There are two great spiritual heroes in my life. They are Jesus and Father Moon. Jesus brought me much closer to Heavenly Father. Father Moon brought me to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, my faith, my responsibility and profound relationship with God.
Father Moon explains, “Think ‘I’ am the one responsible for the Unification Movement,” and “You need to emphasize responsibly more than love and freedom to your children.” And "If you accomplish your responsibly, freedom will naturally come to you.” I am sure that Elvis Presley and Father Moon will have much wonderful conversation in heaven. For all his faults, Elvis was a man of shear energy and when he performed he gave of himself. He said once, “Ambition is a dream with a V-8 engine.” We need such power in our lives don’t we? In all my times being around Father Moon, he has exemplified this love for God with the energy of a race car. I fished with him in Alaska for one week where even I in my 30’s could not keep pace with him in his 70’s.
Have you ever played Su Doku? It is a number-placing puzzle that started in Japan and became famous here in the United Stated through the New York Post. Once you are in the groove, it is actually easier to solve. Logic will lead you to a single solution. As the book states, “If, in time, you can shake yourself free of written pencil marks, you will see the Su Doku puzzle for what it is, a thing of beauty!” stated Wayne Gould. Faith in Action is very similar. When serving others becomes second nature, it is a thing of beauty. You become a hero without knowing it.
When I read the Divine Principle, it inspires me to the heart of the Dispensation of the life of Jesus. He was a doer. He walked the walk. And why is he so well remembered, because he willingly went the way of the cross. Now imagine this for a moment, he did not have to go the way of the cross. There was no gun pointed at him. Yet, he loved God, the Jewish people and all people so much that he went this way. He was a real life, super Action hero.
I think this is why so many action heroes have become so popular lately. They remind us of Jesus, the Lord of the Second Advent. Rocket man, Iron man, Spiderman, Batman, Bat woman, and so many others are similar to the heart of Jesus defending the world against evil. They put their life on the line. They defend the world from all evil. We recently saw the Transformers. Here again good is battling against evil. I saw the new version of the Fantastic Four and they too had to face many personal challenges, mature and grow in order to see their own purpose and way to serve the community. I read in a recent publication called True Family Gateway to Heaven about how we each take time and even go through personal stages of maturation.
A boy does not become a man overnight. A lady does not become a mother in a day.” We must realize that only when we greet spring for the first time will the flowers bloom. We must not become pitiful souls who have never done so. Just as a Flower goes through summer and autumn before blooming and bearing fruit, we too are to undergo a similar process to bear fruit.” There is so much we can learn from Creation. Walking in the mountains yesterday, praying and appreciating Mother Nature, I could see how all things take time and effort. An aspen tree takes many years and many seasons to become such a wonder along the river bank. It is in the effort, the toil and the diligence that we too become people of action and heroes in our own right.
What about in our own lives. Are we heroes in our home? Are we defending evil in the community? Do we put ourselves on the line or do we lock our doors and forget about the world? The journey of the action here is the journey of Jesus and each of us to feed, to love, to follow and to forgive. When Jesus said become perfect as your father in heaven is perfect, I believe he was giving us the mandate to take action…to put our faith into action.
I will end with a brief story from Billy Graham. It indicates to me that we must always put our faith into action. If we do not, it will be very hard to inspire and lead others. “Reverend Billy Graham tells of a time early in his ministry when he arrived in a small town to preach a sermon. Wanting to mail a letter, he asked a young boy where the post office was? When the boy had told him, Dr. Graham thanked him and said, “If you’ll come to the Baptist Church this evening, you can hear me telling everyone how to get to Heaven.” “I don’t think I’ll be there,” the boy said. “You don’t even know your way to the Post Office.” Let us be people who lead by example. Whether we are seen by others as Super Heroes or not, let us be people who cannot be heard because our actions are speaking louder than words.