The Words of In Jin Moon from 2009

Follow Me

In Jin Moon
September 13, 2009
Lovin' Life Ministry
Tarrytown NY

Good morning, brothers and sisters. Did you all have a lovely week? It's nice to be out of the city every once in a while. I'm delighted to see all of you again, and so close to where I grew up at East Garden. We had a lot of memories as we were driving here today.

Last weekend was truly an incredible weekend. We were celebrating the 21st anniversary of Pal Jeong Shik, as well as also celebrating and honoring my younger brother, the Reverend Hyung Jin Moon, who just completed his 21,000-bow condition. I don't get to see much of my younger brother because he is based in Korea. In addition, at the Lovin' Life Ministries we celebrated the end of our 21st week.

But I was especially honored and privileged to have the presence of our True Parents here in the United States. I felt that their presence foreshadows a great fortune that we're about to harvest here. At True Parents' direction, I had a chance to tour the United States together with my younger brother, which set a wonderful foundation for our work this year and beyond.

One of the things that my younger brother and I have been emphasizing and encouraging the members to do is to take this call to unity very seriously. This comes from God, our Heavenly Parent, and also from our True Parents. They're giving us an opportunity to use this time to come together in heart and spirit, in heart and soul, to realize our value as sons and daughters of God. Instead of concentrating on our differences "the different cultures or the different types of baggage that we bring to the table that we call our community" we have a chance to really concentrate on the common denominator that binds us together into this incredible community that we have here.

As I was thinking about the weeks to come and of the great gift from our Heavenly Parent to go forth in our second 21 weeks, I found myself meditating a bit, reading the Gospel of Matthew. The Gospel of Matthew is really a church-affirming literature. I was reading the passage in which Jesus stills the storm, in Chapter 8:23-27. That unit is preceded by a unit, titled would-be disciples, in which Jesus comes across a scribe and a potential disciple.

The scribe says to him, I want to follow you, and Jesus acknowledges what he says. And then another would-be disciple comes up to him and says, Just give me a minute while I go bury my father. Jesus tells this potential disciple, Follow me, in Matthew 8:22, and let the dead bury the dead.

This phrase, Follow me, is a very important one because it ties this unit, would-be disciples, together with the next unit, which is the account of Jesus stilling the storm. The next passage begins by stating that the disciples followed him into the boat. So this repetition of the word follow links these two passages together and gives us a sense of what the story is going to be about.

Then the followers, the disciples, follow Jesus into a little boat; many times in Scripture a boat symbolizes the community, what would become the church. This is really a story about Matthew's community and the different kinds of tribulations it was facing. The author is asking us to think about how we keep the community together, how we keep the community strong, how we keep the community focused on the important thing, which is our faith in our Heavenly Parent and in Jesus Christ.

In this unit we learn that after the disciples followed Jesus onto the ship and faced the open sea, they were met with an incredible storm, a really violent storm. For any of you First Generation or Second Generation in the audience who have had the experience of Ocean Challenge, I am sure you understand how scary it is when you cannot see the horizon or the sky and the waves are something like 25 feet tall, crashing down on your boat. You feel like a little mosquito in the middle of a bathtub, wondering, where is my lifesaver, who is going to save me?

For the disciples in this tiny boat, which symbolized the church of Matthew's community, this is exactly how they felt. The storm represents a lot of things, but in this particular passage it symbolizes all the tribulations that Matthew's community was dealing with: for instance, their expulsion from synagogues, the trauma of actually allowing Gentiles into their community, or persecution by the Roman authorities. Each and every one of these things was a huge obstacle for the community as it was trying to stay together. A relentless storm was crashing down on the boat.

I remember when I was 12 years old my father, the crew of the New Hope, and I were stuck in one of the worst storms of the season. Usually my father took me out fishing because I happened to be the lucky child in the family or unlucky one, depending on which way you look at it the one who didn't get seasick. My father used to drag me out at 4:30 in the morning, and off we went, usually to Northwest Corners, which took us, on a good day, more than 30 minutes' travel and, on a really bad day, sometimes more than an hour. I knew that this day in particular was going to be really bad because the rain looked like sleet.

As we were driving to the New Hope, we could barely see. But for some reason my father was really determined to go out that day. The driver said, Father, today is really not a good day. It's quite dangerous. And Father said, "Drive." Another leader sitting in the front said, Father, "There's a storm warning up." Father said, "Don't stop." So off we went, and I felt like I was being pulled into something in which I didn't know what was going to happen. It was quite frightening.

When you leave at 4:30 in the morning, its pitch black, and you can barely see anything. We finally made our way onto the boat, the captain started the engine, and off we went. From the get-go, the waves were relentless. The boat was literally bucking up and down and side to side. For a girl who never got seasick, I started to get scared. We kept on steamrolling right ahead into the open sea. When we got to the open sea, I could not tell the difference between the sky and the ocean. The only thing I felt was being jostled from left to right. All the contents of the cupboards started falling out. I felt like I was stuck in the middle of a hurricane.

At that time my father was sitting very quietly on the sofa, looking out the window in his usual way. He had a really serious expression on his face. I said to him, "Appa, I'm scared."

He didn't say anything and just looked at me. He said, "I'm here."

So I said, "Appa, I think you didn't hear me. I'm really scared."

Then my father said, "I'm here."

Then I said, "Appa, I want to go home!"

Then my father said, "Come here," and that was the end of our conversation.

But, see, on that day the waves were so huge. They looked like the skyscrapers that you see in New York City. I really didn't know if I would make it out of this movie alive. For the first time in my life I started feeling queasy. I was never seasick before, but this time it was really, really difficult. I started feeling a little blue and woozy. I couldn't focus anymore. That was the first time that I got really sick. I was literally lying on the sofa with my security blanket that I didn't go anywhere without, thinking to myself, Okay, if I go, at least I have my security blanket here with me, and also I'm here with my father. Maybe I will be all right.

The interesting thing about that day was, even though we could barely stand, my father managed to catch one of the biggest tunas of that season. After fighting the fish for a couple of hours, he was able to haul it in the boat, and we were finally able to go home. I've never been so happy to see land as when I arrived. I think I literally mowed my mother down because I was so happy to see her.

The things that I was feeling and going through on the boat are exactly what we go through when we're confronted with a difficulty or an obstacle many times in life: We feel like we're just being thrown left and right. It's like mayhem; we wonder what's going to happen to us, and we're overcome by fear.

In Matthew 8:25, it says that Jesus was sleeping on the boat. Can you imagine Jesus Christ sleeping through all of this? While the disciples were scared out of their minds, probably screaming bloody murder, "Get me off this boat," Jesus Christ was asleep. Maybe he was thinking about all those wonderful promises that God had in store for him and for his brothers and sisters. Maybe he was reveling in all the things that he could share with his future family. But then his disciples woke him up and said, "Lord, Lord, save us."

It's interesting that the author of the Gospel of Matthew (which is a church-affirming literature), instead of calling Jesus Christ master, meaning teacher, consistently used words like Lord in reference to Jesus, which was a title of majesty in the church, again to emphasize the ship as a church. His disciples say, "Please, please save us, Lord, from perishing." The first thing that Jesus does when he is being pushed by his disciples to save them is to ask them, "Why are you so afraid? Why do you have such little faith?"

Jesus is imploring them to think about the situation at hand. Why are we always afraid of dying? Why are we always afraid of an obstacle or a difficulty that's placed right in front of us? Why do we have such little faith? As a student of Scripture, when I read this passage I said to myself, Well, at least in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus does say that his disciples have little faith, whereas in the gospel of Mark, Jesus referred to his disciples as people who do not have any faith at all. I felt, we're doing a little better here. But little faith or puny faith is what Jesus has to work with.

I've always wondered at how incredible our Heavenly Parent and True Parents are because they are willing to work with us and work through us, regardless of how puny or how big our faith might be; as small as the faith shown in this passage was, it gave Jesus Christ a starting point to work on when it came to his disciples. I think that during the storm my father was probably thinking, Why does this girl want to go home; why does my daughter have such puny faith in me? She might be scared out of her mind, but couldn't she just believe because I am here? What my father was trying to say to me was exactly what Jesus Christ was trying to say to his disciples. Why are you afraid, my disciples? Why are you afraid, my daughter?

President Franklin Roosevelt said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. When we're afraid, it's because somehow we've lost our sense of direction or something that grounds us. But if you really think about why Jesus was asleep in the middle of this incredible storm, it's because he did not allow the tribulations of life or the difficulties of politics, social problems, economic problems, or religious problems to affect his time with God or his time of peace.

Jesus was secure in knowing that he was the Son of God. He was secure in knowing that God, our Heavenly Parent, is our anchor. He knew that whatever might come, it was what was meant to happen, and he would find ways, no matter how difficult it was, to be grateful for whatever our Heavenly Parent put in his path.

When Jesus said to his disciples, Why do you have little faith? it was almost like he was waking up from his slumber, looking at this vision of his disciples being scared out of their minds because they thought they were going to die even though they were in the boat with the Son of God. You have to wonder, couldn't they at least have believed that as long as they were with the Son of God, maybe they'd be okay? But his disciples were scared.

Jesus was basically asking that question to diagnose the situation. When we see a doctor, the first thing he or she does is take a look at our vital signs and gives a diagnosis on what our ailment is. At that moment, when Jesus said, Why do you have such little faith? he was giving his disciples a diagnosis: Why are you afraid? Why do you not have faith?

What's the next thing Jesus did? In verse 26 it says he immediately stood up, and not only that, he rebuked the wind and the sea. Not only did he stand strong as the Son of God, but he actually took control of his situation by fighting back, by standing up for what he believed in.

My younger brother was so overwhelmed last Sunday by the Tithe Rap that he asked me, Do you think I could get those three guys to do the Tithe Rap in Korean, and could I have them in Korea just to remind our community of the importance of tithing? I said, Well, maybe, but you might have to get them inspired. So before my brother left he gave the kosher bling-bling of the Unification symbol to my eldest son, who is proudly wearing it today.

I said to my husband before walking in, I tried my best, home schooling the kids and sending them to the best schools to keep them rap free. And here at Lovin' Life Ministries, not only is my eldest son singing Tithe Rap, but he's wearing the bling-bling. God works in mysterious ways.

But back to our story of Jesus stilling the storm. So Jesus stood up, just the way we should and we will stand as proud Unificationists. Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea, just like the way we can start fighting back, not in an offensive way but defending ourselves as the decent community that we are the minute we are confident and comfortable in our own skin, realizing that we have this incredible opportunity from our Heavenly Parent to become true sons and daughters of God and to establish ideal families.

What happened when Jesus Christ rebuked the wind and the sea? His environment became still and calm. It's almost as if the environment, with all the tribulations, difficulties, and suffering, is like a massive satanic force trying to swamp us, trying to drown us. But the minute that we stand strong in knowing who we are, all those things will die away. The disciples witnessed this calming of the storm. Then the disciples realized, as we read in verse 27, Who is this man whom the wind and the sea obey? Is this man not a man worth following? Is this not a man worth obeying? Is this not a man worth uniting with, to try to create a beautiful community and a world and a cosmos?

This unit in which Jesus stills the storm ends with a question, which is actually preparing the reader for an answer that is to come. In the second crossing of the sea, the answer is given at the end. Who is this kind of man? This man is God's son (14:33).

When we listen to the story, yes, we can understand it as a really exciting event that took place on a boat with Jesus Christ and his disciples, who had puny faith. But if we understand the boat as symbolizing the church that was Matthew's community, then we can see that the boat may symbolize our community here in this huge and blessed country of America.

I have five children, and they're well on their way. My youngest, being 12, is ready to enter the door of adolescence. When he was much younger, my oldest used to have a little plastic steamroller. Every time he took a bath, he would take his rubber ducky and his plastic steamroller. The only way I could coax my son into the tub was to put those things in there first. Then he would dive into the water. Being a mother but also someone trying to learn from different situations, I used to watch my children to see what they would do. My son would get in the tub and play with his rubber ducky and his plastic steamroller. Then he would start creating waves in the tub, pushing the water this way and that way, causing the water in the tub to almost turn into a violent storm on the open sea.

Then he would try his best to dunk the ducky and the plastic steamroller. The minute he let the ducky go, it would pop out of the water. He kept trying his best to saturate this plastic steamroller with water so it would start sinking. But it was quite tenacious, so it took him quite a bit of time to get it to sink. When he was not successful, he got frustrated and realized that all the waves he made in the tub weren't doing the job. Then he would suddenly stand up and sit down on the steamroller. Then I would hear the water splash, and then hear his little voice, Gotcha!

When I was reading this story of Jesus and the storm in the Gospel of Matthew, I was reminded of that kind of visual experience from when my child was much younger. Our church, which has experienced the backlash to our own success, probably felt like that plastic steamroller, and this huge Godzilla of a monster, like my son, was constantly trying to sink it.

Unless the Godzilla of a monster is big enough to stand up, sit down, and smash our community, I think we're going to do all right. But more than that, just as the journey across the sea is a parable of the journey of the disciples, and we fast-forward 2,000 years to the time of our True Parents, we realize that this is our journey, our chance not just to be disciples of Jesus Christ, not just to be disciples of our True Parents, but to really be sons and daughters of our True Parents. This is the time when we are given this incredible opportunity to take a journey as God's sons and daughters and as the sons and daughters of our precious True Parents.

That's why I've often said at Lovin' Life Ministries, Jesus Christ brought us the good news, but our True Parents brought us the breaking news. I was on the phone with a good friend of mine who reminded me, Did you know that last week somebody won $350 million on Wall Street? He and I were having this little conversation. I said, The odds of winning are like 1 in 200 million, right?

What are the odds of being born at a time when our True Parents are here with us? If you really think about the hundreds and thousands of people who have come before and who will come after our True Parents are no longer here with us on earth, everybody in this room looks like a lottery winner of the finest kind.

So the only things we need to concentrate on is having a heart of gratitude and exercising our faith just like the way my boys loved to exercise their biceps with barbells, every morning and every night. We need to exercise our faith as well so that, while we might start out scrawny and skinny, if we exercise, practice, and live our faith every day, we can become the Arnold Schwarzenegger's of faith. Not that he's my model, but we can be just as strong, just as magnificent by our own effort.

I always say that there's nothing more satisfying than a job well done. Why a job well done? If something is just given to you, it doesn't really have the heart behind it. I would much rather receive a little scrap of a card that my children have made with all their heart and all their prayer and all their effort, wishing me a happy birthday, than for somebody to buy me the biggest house. Buying something is easy to do, but when you do something out of the goodness of your heart because you truly love and care about someone, that's special.

When I'm grateful at the end of a job well done, it's usually because the job was quite difficult. I'm hoping that at the end of my life, when I can retire and finally be the cafe / bakery owner that I wanted to be so badly, I can feel like my time here at HSA was, although very difficult, rewarding and satisfying as well.

We are in a time of transition, as I call it, from First Generation to Second Generation and to the Third. Now the Fourth Generation has arrived. My younger brother Hyun Jin's son's couple just gave birth to their first son a couple of days ago. So now we have the Fourth Generation in the True Family. With the True Children really understanding the importance of this providential time frame and deciding to work together as a family to realize God's dream, in understanding that God has taken so much to raise us up all these years, really loving and investing in us, its high time that we all as children become the kind of sons and daughters who are grateful for everything that we have received, grateful for the opportunity that's right here within our hands, and grateful to be a part of a community that is absolutely phenomenal.

Father and Mother are calling us to unite. Just as Jesus was able to sleep and be at peace in the middle of the storm because he knew who he was, because he knew who his anchor was, Father and Mother are asking us to remember who our anchor is in this time of transition. They are asking us to remind ourselves who our North Star is. Our North Star, our anchor, is our God and our True Parents.

So as children who really need to honor our parents in our daily lives and in everything that we do, the only thing we need to remember is to love God, love True Parents; follow God, follow our True Parents; obey God, obey True Parents. We do not need to ask ourselves the question any longer, as the disciples did in Matthew 8:27. We don't need to ask what kind of man our Father is or what kind of woman our Mother is. They are our True Parents.

In them and in our Heavenly Parent, there is no room for fear. In fact, I John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love. We have the certainty in knowing who we are." So do not be tempted, do not be swayed, and do not be jostled just because you hear different things in the wind. Do not listen to people who say my father is old, my father is incoherent, or he doesn't know what he's doing. My father is the Son of God. He has carried this movement this far along. Shouldn't we give the man a round of applause? [Applause]

My father might be 90 years old, but he still has a spirit of that 16-year-old boy who was anointed by Jesus Christ to fulfill and carry on his message. We must honor the teacher who has kept us together all these years. We must not listen to people who are saying this and that, just like the winds howling in the storm. If our True Father says that the youngest son is the spiritual head of the movement, then it is the youngest son who is the spiritual head of the movement. The only thing we need to do, brothers and sisters, is to come together.

Now when my youngest brother is living and practicing as the spiritual head of the True Family, he's not saying, Look at me! I'm so awesome! I'm wearing the word pride with the letter I emblazoned on my chest. That is not what he is doing. He is saying, I may be the head, but without the body of my family, I am nothing. And he understands that.

Just as importantly, as a student of religion, he understands the importance of women in the life of a religious vocation. He is somebody who knows that it takes time to restore 6,000 years of the misunderstanding in the proper role of women in the context of family, society, and world. I have great hope that we have as the spiritual head of our movement somebody who understands that women's proper role needs to be restored and needs to be worked toward. I see it as a huge step forward and we will just continually keep on building: When you want to go to the second floor, you have to take that first step before you take the second, third, and fourth.

My father always says that if the first seven generations of our movement can truly come together, inheriting the spirit of true love and uniting in understanding how precious each and every one is how precious each and every one of our siblings are, and I am so honored to have my eldest sister [Ye Jin Moon] here sitting in the audience and not be overcome by fear, suffering, or tribulations along the way, then there is nothing that we cannot do; there is nothing that we cannot be. Just as the old proverb says, good sailors are not made on kind seas. In fact, the best sailors are made on tough seas. God has placed us on tough seas, but that's because God knows that we're going to be the best darned sailors around, brothers and sisters.

So take pride in who you are. Take pride in our community. Second Generation, honor your parents like no other. They are the people who allowed you to exist by the blessing of our True Parents. And the First Generation, be kind to the Second Generation. Be supportive. Help them. Empower them with your love.

If we can come together as a community to realize how special each and every one of us is, then the world is our oyster, and we're going to reap many great blessings and harvests.

God bless, and have a wonderful week.

Matthew 8: 18-27

18: Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side.

19: And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."

20: And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head."

21: Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."

22: But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead."

23: And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.

24: And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.

25: And they went and woke him, saying, "Save, Lord; we are perishing."

26: And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

27: And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"

Matthew 14:22-33

22: Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.

23: And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,

24: but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them.

25: And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.

26: But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.

27: But immediately he spoke to them, saying, "Take heart, it is I; have no fear."

28: And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water."

29: He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus;

30: but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me."

31: Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"

32: And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

33: And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Mark 4:36-41

36: And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.

37: And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.

38: But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care if we perish?"

39: And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40: He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?"

41: And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?"  

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