The Words of In Jin Moon from 2009
How is everyone this morning? Did you enjoy the special treat this morning? Not only did we have the musical Jesus, Ben, in town, but we also had his younger brother Victor, who is visiting for a week and volunteered graciously to come and be a part of our service. It’s just so wonderful to see so much love and so much brotherly unity on stage, is it not?
I am so proud of our Lovin’ Life band because we have great singers, our lead vocalist, and many great band members. We have the tempo Nazi, Alistair, who keeps the band in check, and we have the executive vice president of HSA on bass to ground it and drive it forward. And then we have Diego in the front, always brimming with so much love. He just loves to soak up the love in this auditorium every Sunday. Then we have the lovely Laurel, who’s always encouraging us with her smile and with her beautiful spirit. We have Omar on the drums. And we have a new member of the band, Joe Young, who’s a fantastic guitar player. And we also have Kurt. Sometimes we get Billy, and sometimes we don’t. But all in all, the band is a wonderful mix of people.
Not only am I just so inspired that I can share this great music together with you, but when I look at the band, I see a collection of really, really fine people. In particular, this Sunday I am so proud of Chris Alan, one of our favorite vocalists here at Lovin’ Life. When you work in the entertainment industry like I do, whenever you’re talking about different artists, and lead vocalists in particular, you’re really talking about the management of their egos. But it was so wonderful when I called up Chris Alan and said, “We have Ben’s younger brother in town, and he’s volunteered to come and sing for our congregation. Would you be open to that?” He just immediately, with a loving older brother’s heart, said, “Yes, of course. I think that would be wonderful.”
Then I gave him a song list, and he knew that he was not going to be singing today. But as one of the lead vocalists of the band, his heart of wanting to embrace new, up-and-coming young ones and to share the stage with other stars was just so beautiful to me. I tried to make it to the rehearsal yesterday because I just wanted to give him a big hug, but I heard that even as he was coming in for rehearsal, he had a tough day, too. When he tried to buy a ticket to come into the city, there was a homeless person refusing to allow him to purchase the ticket until he bought her one also. Then when he was on the train coming in, there was a gentleman seated next to him who basically divulged all the problems of his life and his marriage. I’m sure Chris Alan was thinking, “Is this really happening to me?”
But he came to rehearsal, and he just really put in his heart and soul. Even though he’s a main lead singer, today he was the accompanist. How wonderful it is for me, as someone who works in the entertainment industry, to see, not the fighting of the great titans or the egos on stage, but truly everybody wanting to celebrate each other’s beauty and God-given talent with the rest of the room. What more beautiful band could I have than the one I have already? So could you help me give everyone a great round of applause?
Here at Lovin’ Life as we come to close the month of September, lots of things are going through my mind. In particular, the month of September calls to mind for a lot of American people, subliminally or consciously, what had happened on 9/11, the act of terrorism. When you think about terrorism, it’s really a war amongst brothers. My father has spoken time and time again that all the major religions belong to one family. All the major religions are like siblings, like brothers and sisters. When one wars against another and actually wants to kill and destroy the other, it’s probably one of the most tragic things that our Heavenly Parent, God, has had to witness time and time again.
We know that even with the first family, within the family of Adam, we saw fratricide, Cain murdering Abel, out of Cain’s inability to digest what was going on. Out of his anger and jealousy and out of pure spite, he destroyed the very thing that he needed so much -- a wonderful family. Perhaps if the foundation of faith and substance had been accomplished in Adam’s family, God could still have worked through Adam’s family, but we know that this didn’t take place. We know that the Bible tells a story in Genesis 4:1 - 26 about the murdering of Abel by his older brother.
When you read this passage, it’s quite interesting. You can take it as a literal story, or you can understand it as a metaphor for a lot of things that people of the time or in different periods of human history have had to go through. When you look at the story of Cain and Abel from the historical point of view, you can look at it as symbolizing the enmity or the rivalry between Cain, representing the sedentary farmers, and Abel, representing pastoral nomads. The Bible tells us that Cain was a tiller of the ground and Abel was a shepherd who had his own flock. When you read on, you see that in verse 5 it says that when these two brothers made an offering to God, God had no regard for Cain’s offering but had regard for the younger brother’s offering.
Then it goes on, with God asking the very question to Cain, “Why are you so angry? Why has your countenance fallen? (Meaning, why has your face fallen?) Why are you so ashamed or embarrassed or outraged that your younger brother’s blessing was received but yours was not?”
Heavenly Father goes on to talk to Cain and says in verse 7, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? Heavenly Father is not saying, “If you do well, you will be accepted.” It’s not a conditional tense, a future tense here. He is asking the question almost as if Cain knows the answer himself: that if he does well, he will be accepted. But God asks it almost rhetorically in the form of a question because he’s provoking Cain to think, “Will you not be accepted if you do well?”
Now he follows this question with almost a warning, saying, “If not (meaning, if you don’t do well), then sin is lurking at the door.” He goes on to say, “Its desire is on you, and you must master it.” God is trying to help Cain along as much as he can. As we know, God can do 95 percent, but the last five percent responsibility -- our choice, really -- is our own, and we have to choose to do good over evil.
God is almost trying to provoke Cain to remember, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” But at the same time, because Heavenly Father and Mother is our parent, he is also warning him, “If you do not, sin is lurking at the door. Its desire is on you, and you must master it.”
What were the feelings that Cain was going through when he thought about his younger brother and the fact that God had no regard for his offering but did have regard for his younger brother’s offering? Cain, as the older brother, probably felt like, “What is God doing? I am the elder son. How can God overlook me?” Cain should have known that his parents caused the Human Fall, when his mother tempted Adam and took Adam away from the proper position where he could truly mature in love and stand as a perfected man, together with Eve by his side as his bride and as a perfected woman, and thus be a perfected couple. God was going to do many incredible things, like substantiate for the first time the ideal family. This was God’s grand design.
The children of Adam and Eve would have been direct descendants, inheriting the true love of God and the true lineage of God. Thus, all their children coming thereafter would have been under the direct dominion of God. But we know that the Fall took place. So when God was thinking about restoring Adam’s family so that he could somehow still work through it, God was looking to the two sons. Through Divine Principle, we know what we need to substantiate the foundation of faith. We know that we need an object of condition. In the story of Cain and Abel, that offering was the offering made by Abel; he was the central figure. So by God having regard for Abel, the foundation of faith was laid. It was a wonderful foundation. Cain needed to understand his providential role as an older brother, in particular, that because of the Fall, God had to work through the younger brother because the younger brother represented God whereas the older brother represented evil.
Because Lucifer, an archangel, took something that did not belong to him and took Eve for himself, what had to happen in Adam’s family was the restoration of the whole process, utilizing Abel and Cain as central figures. So Cain had to truly unite with Abel, understanding that from God’s standpoint, he was in a providential and historical position to really humble down and unite with Abel because Abel was God’s chosen representative. If he could truly unite with Abel with that heart, then he would have restored what the archangel did when he committed sin with Eve.
The problem with the archangel, or Lucifer, as we call him, was that he did not see himself from God’s standpoint. He saw himself as God’s most trusted adviser, who had all of God’s love. Even though God’s love for Lucifer did not decrease at all, Lucifer was overcome with jealousy because God’s love for Adam and Eve looked like it was so much more. Instead of understanding that his job was to help raise Adam and Eve, like a teacher, protector, and nurturer, he took it upon himself to become selfish. As William Gladstone, who was a four-time prime minister of Great Britain, said over and over again, “Selfishness is probably the greatest curse of human history.”
Lucifer had the selfish desire to see himself not in terms of God’s grand plan but rather to concentrate only on himself, he himself, and his own sense of the decrease in love. This pushed him to leave his proper position as the guardian of the children of our Heavenly Parent: and not just leave his position, but reverse dominion. Adam and Eve, under Lucifer’s care and under God’s protection, should have been raised up as a beautiful son and daughter of God. They should have stood in the position of lords of this world. They were supposed to be the first true parents.
Lucifer, having really done his best to help Adam and Eve become a perfected man and woman and then become the perfected first couple of the world, should have worked under Adam and Eve as their best and finest adviser. So understanding his position and understanding that Adam and Eve were supposed to be his central figure, he would have worked together with them to multiply good, not evil.
But because Lucifer, an archangel, left his position -- and not just left his position but reversed dominion so he became lord over Adam and Eve, not the other way around -- then the world witnessed and experienced the multiplication of evil. When God was looking at Cain and Abel, he thought, “Okay, Adam and Eve were not successful, but let me try with their sons.” So Cain, the eldest son, represented satanic lineage because it was Satan who took God’s lineage away from God, and Abel represented God’s lineage. Cain should have known -- and he probably knew -- that he had an incredibly important role to play in satisfying the foundation of substance. That was really within his hands.
Had Cain really united with Abel -- had he really acknowledged Abel and seen him from God’s point of view, realizing that he was God’s representative -- then he should have loved Abel with all his heart, regardless of what he was feeling inside, regardless of his desire to say, “But, God, I want to serve you. I want to bring the world to you. I want to be the one who makes the clarion call to wake up the brothers and sisters of my time and bring them to you.” I am sure he felt like that as the eldest son. At the same time, I’m sure he felt anger: “What is the difference between my brother and me? Why should he be chosen? Why should his offering be anointed? Why should his gift be accepted? Why should whatever he does be better than my sacrifice, my offering?”
God was giving Cain an incredible opportunity to grow and to overcome the selfishness that caused the Fall, to really subdue it and master it. When you feel that something has been taken away from you, your anger and rage can sometimes turn into a desire to kill. Cain’s biggest battle was, “How do I subdue, how do I master this desire to get rid of this little pipsqueak who is my younger brother? How do I overcome this urge to kill with love?” This was what our Heavenly Parent was asking of Cain.
Because the archangel left his position and reversed dominion, what God hoped was that not only would Cain see Abel from God’s point of view, understanding that there is an opportunity here for great victory if the two brothers could unite in love, but also that Cain would not leave his position as an elder brother but would really love the younger brother, really acknowledge the younger brother as God’s mediator and representative. But like the archangel, who reversed dominion, Cain killed Abel, taking an almost God-like stand. Only God has the sovereignty to end a life. So Cain became God-like, just the way Lucifer wanted to be God-like, Eve wanted to be Godlike, and Adam wanted to be God-like in the process of the Fall.
Cain needed to understand that, even though he was the older brother, he had to really submit, not in a humiliating way but in obedience and for the purpose of unity, so that through his own sacrifice, through his own annihilation of the self, of the selfishness that has so corrupted human history, then he could stand in the position to be instrumental in bringing about the multiplication of goodness. That was what God was hoping that Cain would do.
If we take this story in Genesis as having a moral lesson, we can look at it and say, “It’s not good to kill your sibling.” Or we can say, “God was really trying to do something here.” But what the writer of Genesis was trying to do was introduce us to the two themes that recur throughout the Genesis story. Those two themes are, first, the strife amongst brothers, and second, the desire to leave your position to become something else.
When we look at Cain and Abel, we see that in verse 13, after Cain killed Abel, God said, “What have you done?” Cain comes to his own realization of what he has done. He says, “This punishment is more than I can bear.” He knows it’s more than he can bear because what he has done, which is to allow the failure for the foundation for the messiah to take place in his family, is not only going to affect him but also his posterity.
When you read the passage in Genesis 4:17 - 26, you can sense a certain level of ambiguity in the progress or advance of humankind. It’s interesting to note that God still performs his mercy by allowing Cain not to be killed by putting a mark on his head. But when Cain leaves his home, one of the first things he does is to build a city. When you read that, you have to say to yourself, somebody who can build a fine city must be someone with some kind of capability. He was no dummy. Maybe he was a very capable person, and he created a city.
But the Bible also gives us a premonition of what is to come because there is a certain feeling of ambiguity when it comes to the advance of human civilization. There’s almost a fear that the more civilization progresses, the more violent it might become. We realize that the Bible is setting up a warning when we reach Genesis 11, where it says that the ambiguity that we felt in Chapter 4 is very much a reality; the city that was built by Cain’s descendants actually becomes something that challenges the supremacy of YaHaeh in Chapter 11.
It’s a reminder to us, brothers and sisters, that as we progress forward in history and as our technology becomes more and more advanced, we have to be careful not to become isolated from God. We have to be careful not to become a fragmented society where we think the only thing we need is “Me, my laptop, and the Internet.” We need to remind ourselves that we are part of something bigger. When we start emphasizing or thinking about only ourselves, this can degenerate into an act of violence because we don’t need anybody: If somebody is better than we are, then we may act out of anger or jealousy; we may react out of an urge to kill.
The heartbreaking passage of what happened to Cain and Abel describes what has unfolded in our own history. Time and again, this historical story takes many permutations in our own individual lives. Cain doesn’t represent only the older brother. Maybe this kind of rivalry exists between the First Generation and Second Generation, between the leaders and the members, between a certain nation and another nation. This kind of sibling rivalry exists all the time.
Maybe a First Generation is confronted with the difficulty, “What do I do with the pipsqueak Second and Third Generation that are coming up behind me?” God’s love for First Generation never decreased. In fact, God’s love for the First Generation remains the same. If we cannot learn how to be happy for the generations that come after us, like the Second and Third, and have a parental heart, if we cannot learn to be happy for our children and our grandchildren, then human history is not moving forward; it’s almost at a standstill.
If the First Generation feels that it’s not being loved enough, then it needs to understand what happened in the story of Cain and Abel so that it can maintain its position. We must maintain our relationship with our Heavenly Parent, understanding what an incredible opportunity it is to be the founding building block of this great movement that we call our own. Instead of thinking, “Why can’t I be the brick that sits on the second floor,” let’s be satisfied that the second floor, the third floor, the fourth floor, and so on and so forth, as high as we can imagine, rest upon our roles, upon our sacrifice, and upon our love.
We need to maintain our positions and not reverse dominion by holding our children back, by saying, “You can never be better than me. Get behind me. Let me be the one who ushers in the new millennium; let me be the one who brings the greatest victory to God. You’re just a pipsqueak.” If the First Generation only thinks about itself, it will not stand in the position to multiply goodness, love, peace, and prosperity in our movement.
The same applies to a leader in a similar position. When you’re looking at your congregation, at the members, remember that a teacher’s role is to make the student better than you. You are a fine teacher if you can raise the men and women in your classroom to be better than you. The teacher or the leader should have a heart of wanting something better, and not being dissatisfied or angry because somebody new coming along seemingly has it easy, seemingly has all the luck, seemingly has all the prosperity. We need to understand that we are really playing a providential role in this building of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, building this incredible mansion that represents God’s love. Then each building block has its position and place. By working together, we can create something that will ultimately reach the sky and the stars.
But we must be grateful, knowing who we are. Sometimes you might find yourself in the position of Cain; other times you might find yourself in the position of Abel. But no matter what position you find yourself in, always remember that if you find that situation to be unbearably difficult and you just want to get out, be grateful for the opportunity to grow into the more profound and deeper person that God is asking you to become. Sometimes the best thing to do is have almost an out-of-body experience and learn to see our lives from a bird’s-eye view point, seeing ourselves from the standpoint of God: “What is God trying to do by putting me in this incredibly difficult situation? God is putting me in this incredibly difficult situation because he believes in me, and he’s hoping that through my sacrifice, through my love and through my desire to multiply good, he can work miracles and miracles upon this community that I call my own. Or upon the family that I call my own.”
We have a lot of siblings in the True Family. My mother gave birth to fourteen sons and daughters: seven sons and seven daughters. When you’re born into such a big family, there is a love of “tlue rub [true love]” that needs to take place. Just like the different religions, every one of us is so different. One of the first things my husband said to me when he married me and entered into my family, getting to know all the different characters, was, “I thought you guys would be a homogenous lot. I thought you guys would be very similar.” The only similarity we have is that we love God, we love True Parents, and we have very obsessive personalities, all of us. Other than that, we are so different.
My husband often said to me, “Getting to know the True Family is like meeting an Eskimo, meeting a Japanese person, and meeting an American.” It’s all different cultures represented, thrown together into this thing called the True Family, with all the different strengths and all the different weaknesses. Imagine all these titans coming together and “tlue rubbing” each other, learning to build an ideal family -- meaning that every one of us has to deal with each other and overcome the obstacles and difficulties by living for the sake of others, by practicing and applying true love in our daily lives.
“Let me be a living testament.” It is not easy. Everyone has his or her own desires. “Let me be the one, God, to bring the world to you. Let me be the one to do it this way, or do it that way.” But if we think about the Cain and Abel story and about the incredible importance of understanding who we are from God’s standpoint, we must not be mesmerized by our own desire to serve. Maybe God is calling us to serve in a different way. We must not be tempted by our desire to love by saying, “Let me be the one, the only one,” when God is asking the whole family to love and everybody to love the world as this incredible first family of true love.
We must not be confused in thinking that maybe God is asking a certain kind of responsibility from the youngest son of the family by anointing him as the spiritual head. In a way, he is like the Abel of the family. He is God’s representative in our family, but this doesn’t mean God loves any of us any less. In fact, God is giving the greater and perhaps more difficult responsibility to the elder members of the family by saying, “I know how incredibly difficult it might be for elders to humble themselves and honor, respect, and acknowledge a younger brother as the head of the family.” But if God so wills it, then it must be done.
There is no room for others in the family to say, “Let me be the one.” We must all be the one. And being the one means listening to the word of God. Our God has anointed our True Father at the age of 16 to carry out and fulfill Jesus Christ’s mission. Father has taken us thus far, and so successfully, in more than 90 years of his life. God is working his mysterious magic through our True Father and through our True Mother; for the first time in history, God is working his mysterious magic through our True Parents.
When you think about the story of Cain and Abel, also think about going into a room full of theologians. There will be a great deal of debate and back-and-forth about “Let’s get this story from this perspective, or from that angle.” One of the things that they all like to say is, “It’s a mystery why God had regard for the second son and did not have regard for the first son.” In fact, that’s the second time that this mystery occurs in the story of Genesis, the first being the strife amongst brothers, and the second being this mystery of why God keeps on picking the younger one.
But when we see Cain and Abel’s position from God’s standpoint and realize that Cain represented satanic lineage and Abel represented God’s lineage, then we begin to understand why God accepted Abel’s offering as the foundation of faith and was hoping that Cain, representing satanic lineage, could really, truly become humble and truly annihilate the self, take the self out of the equation, to say, “I am in a providential role to deny the self, to take selfishness out of the providential history, so that together in unity my younger brother and I can usher in a true world of peace and love.” This is what should have happened.
As a member of the True Family I’m always thinking, okay, this is a story about two brothers, but we know that in most families there are sisters, too. I’m thinking, where are the sisters? What about the mothers? History has been male dominated because providential history has been that of restoration, trying to create a foundation for the messiah to come, or the perfected Adam. But now that we have our True Mother, who has restored the fallen Eve’s position, stands in the position of a perfect woman, and stands together with our True Father in the position of True Parents, there is a whole lot of work to be done by us women.
God, through our True Parents, announced the dawn of the Pacific Rim era and is encouraging the daughters, mothers, and sisters of this world to come together to ring in the new millennium with a new atmosphere of love, compassion, kindness, and strength. God is hoping that the women can really play a major role in a lot of these things that we call Cain and Abel struggles.
Think about it. Here we are, each of us, like a single strand of thread. One might be the color red, one might be yellow or brown. One might be French or Belgian, maybe a little sophisticated color here. But each and every one of us is weaving together this incredible tapestry that we call the human experience. God wants to create a masterpiece, so he brought out a canvas, along with different colors on an artist’s palette or threads on a loom, and is weaving a tapestry. We are the different threads.
We may be men; we may be women. We may be girls; we may be boys. We may come from different religious backgrounds. We may come from different cultural backgrounds. But what God is hoping for is for us to continually weave each other into this human family, into this one family that he has been waiting for. Let me remind the men in the audience who might not have experience with needlepoint or weaving or knitting that it’s a laborious process. It takes a great deal of patience; it takes a great deal of application and effort in order for one to complete a needlepoint masterpiece.
Think of our lives as this masterpiece needlepoint tapestry that God wants to put up in the sky for all to enjoy. Each of us with our own eccentricities, with our own God-given talents and gifts, are just that extra spice that adds a certain highlight or a certain dimension to this incredible tapestry that God wants to create. Instead of thinking, “I am the highlight; I am the mountain but you are the valley,” instead of thinking, “I am the light; you are the darkness,” remember that it’s very difficult to see the light in the painting if there is no contrast, darkness. It’s very difficult to experience the full ecstasy of climbing up an incredibly high mountain if you have not experienced the beauty and the profundity of a deep valley.
What God has given us through our lives and through all these different things that I call growth opportunities is that he’s taking us through this journey of self-discovery and he’s throwing a little bit of pink here, a little bit of brown here, a little bit of blue here, a little bit of yellow here. Sometimes we’re thinking, “What is God doing?!” But if we can pull ourselves away and take God’s bird’s-eye view and see ourselves from God’s standpoint, we realize that each and every one of us has an incredible responsibility to play a part in this masterpiece that God is creating.
Instead of concentrating on what I didn’t get, or what I don’t have, or why do I have less, let’s see that it really needs to be about what I do have and look what God has given to me. Are we not beautiful men and women? Are we not healthy men and women? Sometimes it’s a wonderful thing to remind ourselves that we are not alone in our difficulty, our suffering, our moments of confusion. Everybody goes through it. God takes us through the slow burn in order to make us into an incredibly beautiful man or woman of God.
Instead of fighting against the slow burn, let’s welcome the slow burn by realizing that the slow burn is there for our benefit, to make us better. When Cain was experiencing the excruciating pain of this slow burn, a feeling like he’d been cast aside, was not loved, and God had no regard for him, how incredible would it have been if Cain said to himself, “I am God’s son, and I always will be. I am his eternal son,” really concentrating on who he was, what role he was meant to play as that providential older brother figure and what he could bring about by mastering his demons and his desire to kill by instead learning how to love, how to be grateful, but, most importantly, learning to accept the will of God.
We are a movement in America, an incredibly important providential country. My father has said so, time and time again. Americans pride themselves on the word diversity. There are so many different types of people in our country. But what God is asking us to do is not just celebrate our diversity but also learn to love through unity. When you think about the word unity and you realize that it comes through the Latin word unis meaning “one,” you realize that God’s desire for humanity is for all of us to live as if we belonged to one family, to one parent, as if we were brothers and sisters.
The Cain and Abel story reminds us that we must not kill our own. We must not destroy the ones whom we were meant to call brothers and sisters. But in this call for unity, Father and Mother together as the True Parents are asking the women to play a crucial part. If you really think about it, when you put males, strong testosterone figures, into a room together, they want to butt heads. Here we have the gift of mothers, the gift of sisters, the gift of daughters who did not have a voice until our True Mother could stand in the proper role of womanhood. But now that our True Mother has done so, it is an invitation in this time of the Pacific Rim era for women to have a voice, saying to our brothers who might be going through a Cain and Abel situation, “Lordy, Lord, brothers, why not just love each other? Let me be the glue between you two. Let me be the glue that binds us together into a family. Instead of thinking about our own egos, why not think about the beauty of unity?”
This is where a feminine touch can come in really handy. I grew up with seven brothers, and they were all big and strong. Many times they butted heads, and many times it was the sisters that kept them well behaved. Father and Mother sometimes jokingly said to the family, “There is a purpose and a reason why there are exactly seven sons and seven daughters. Not eight sons and six daughters, not nine sons and five daughters, but seven sons and seven daughters.” It’s like the yin and yang of the True Family. Many times it takes the feminine touch to invite the different yangs of the family to unite together.
This is a time when the sisters and the daughters can play an incredible role as unifiers, not just in the context of their own individual family but also in the context of society, the world, and the cosmos. And also in the context of our own movement here. Let’s work together and celebrate our strengths and acknowledge our weaknesses, the boys and the men realizing they have great strength but certain areas that need a little work, and the women knowing they have great strength, too, but certain areas that also need a lot of work. So let’s come together and concentrate on what is truly important, and that is the creation of unity. After all, isn’t our church the Unification Church?
Are we not here to unify the family, society, world and cosmos? Are we not here as a symbol and an example of unity? We need to remember who we are, brothers and sisters. We need to remember that we are God’s sons and daughters. When our Father established this as the Unification Church, what our Father and Mother were asking us to do is to truly open up our eyes so that we can see beyond the diversity, beyond the differences, beyond the different cultures and packages that come along with each and every one of us.
Just as the acronym of the Unification Church says, Unification Church, we need to open up our eyes and begin to see, inviting different religions of the world as our brothers and sisters. It is with our own opened eyes that we must encourage all the different religions to think of ourselves as one family and in that way usher in a new millennium of peace.
As a mother, not a day goes by without my thinking, what do I want to leave my children when it is my time to go? I want to leave a world of peace. Brothers and sisters, we can accomplish this world of peace only when we first and foremost acknowledge God as our Heavenly Parent, when we see ourselves as the eternal sons and daughters of God, and when we promise and commit to a life of living for the sake of others, just because, not out of some reward system. Let’s practice on a daily basis the meaning of the word compassion and be strong in standing up for our different liberties, understanding that we must stand up against violence of any kind, especially the violence within the home, and educate our children to be not just internally excellent but externally excellent.
This is a simple reminder that we are here not for ourselves, really, but for each other. Unlike the young men who shed their lives because they were promised an eternal life with seventy-two virgins and crashed into the Twin Towers of New York, instead of thinking of some kind of reward system that supposedly promises you a life of debauchery in the hereafter, how wonderful would it be if young men and women could be inspired to live a great life now and continue that life onward into the hereafter? There is no promise of sex with seventy-two virgins that will be used to take the precious life that God gave you and use yourselves as missiles of destruction. Once you realize that you were placed here for an incredibly important reason, which is to be the son or daughter of God and learn to live in peace and in love as members of one family, then peace is just around the corner.
Brothers and sisters, I’m hoping that as our movement goes forward through the different permutations of the Cain and Abel story, let’s please be mindful of who we are and of our need to be absolutely obedient to and united with our Heavenly Parent, God, and with our True Parents. They will not lead us astray. What they want more than anything, as it says in John 10:16, is one flock, one shepherd. That shepherd is our True Parents, brothers and sisters.
Have a great week, have a great month, and God bless you. Thank you.
1: Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD."
2: And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground.
3: In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground,
4: and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering,
5: but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
6: The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen?
7: If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it."
8: Cain said to Abel his brother, "Let us go out to the field." And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him.
9: Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?"
10: And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.
11: And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.
12: When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth."
13: Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14: Behold, thou hast driven me this day away from the ground; and from thy face I shall be hidden; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will slay me."
15: Then the LORD said to him, "Not so! If any one slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who came upon him should kill him.
16: Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
17: Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.
18: To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad was the father of Me-hu'ja-el, and Me-hu'ja-el the father of Me-thu'sha-el, and Me-thu'sha-el the father of Lamech.
19: And Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
20: Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle.
21: His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.
22: Zillah bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Na'amah.
23: Lamech said to his wives: "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, hearken to what I say: I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me.
24: If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold."
25: And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, "God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, for Cain slew him."
26: To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time men began to call upon the name of the LORD
1: Now the whole earth had one language and few words.
2: And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
3: And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
4: Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."
5: And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built.
6: And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
7: Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."
8: So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
9: Therefore its name was called Ba'bel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
10: These are the descendants of Shem. When Shem was a hundred years old, he became the father of Arpach'shad two years after the flood;
11: and Shem lived after the birth of Arpach'shad five hundred years, and had other sons and daughters.
12: When Arpach'shad had lived thirty-five years, he became the father of Shelah;
13: and Arpach'shad lived after the birth of Shelah four hundred and three years, and had other sons and daughters.
14: When Shelah had lived thirty years, he became the father of Eber;
15: and Shelah lived after the birth of Eber four hundred and three years, and had other sons and daughters.
16: When Eber had lived thirty-four years, he became the father of Peleg;
17: and Eber lived after the birth of Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and had other sons and daughters.
18: When Peleg had lived thirty years, he became the father of Re'u;
19: and Peleg lived after the birth of Re'u two hundred and nine years, and had other sons and daughters.
20: When Re'u had lived thirty-two years, he became the father of Serug;
21: and Re'u lived after the birth of Serug two hundred and seven years, and had other sons and daughters.
22: When Serug had lived thirty years, he became the father of Nahor;
23: and Serug lived after the birth of Nahor two hundred years, and had other sons and daughters.
24: When Nahor had lived twenty-nine years, he became the father of Terah;
25: and Nahor lived after the birth of Terah a hundred and nineteen years, and had other sons and daughters.
26: When Terah had lived seventy years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27: Now these are the descendants of Terah. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot.
28: Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chalde'ans.
29: And Abram and Nahor took wives; the name of Abram's wife was Sar'ai, and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah.
30: Now Sar'ai was barren; she had no child.
31: Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sar'ai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chalde'ans to go into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran, they settled there.
32: The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.
1: "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber;
2: but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3: To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4: When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
5: A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."
6: This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7: So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8: All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them.
9: I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
11: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12: He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
13: He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.
14: I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,
15: as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16: And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.
17: For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.
18: No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father."
19: There was again a division among the Jews because of these words.
20: Many of them said, "He has a demon, and he is mad; why listen to him?"
21: Others said, "These are not the sayings of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
22: It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem;
23: it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.
24: So the Jews gathered round him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
25: Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness to me;
26: but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.
27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me;
28: and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.
29: My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
30: I and the Father are one."
31: The Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32: Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?"
33: The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God."
34: Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, `I said, you are gods'?
35: If he called them gods to whom the word of God came (and scripture cannot be broken),
36: do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, `You are blaspheming,' because I said, `I am the Son of God'?
37: If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;
38: but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
39: Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
40: He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained.
41: And many came to him; and they said, "John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true."
42: And many believed in him there.