The Words of In Jin Moon from 2009
Good morning, everybody. Did everyone have a lovely Christmas? We here at Lovin' Life Ministries felt that we should celebrate this Sunday together with our congregation and keep the spirit of Merry Christmas going on to the New Year. We prepared a Christmas celebration for all of you.
As Dave Hunter said earlier, this is the fortieth week of Lovin' Life, and I feel that our Heavenly Parent has truly guided us throughout this last year and allowed us to complete forty weeks so that we can be well poised for a brand-new year with all of the wonderful victories and surprises that we can look forward to.
In retrospect, this year has not been the easiest one. There have been a lot of changes along the way and a lot of different obstacles. But we know that our True Parents and our Heavenly Parent have always been with us, always encouraging us. So despite all the trials and tribulations that we've had to go through, I feel that we as a family have grown stronger and that heartistically the country is really united together with our True Parents.
Recently in Las Vegas there were more than 1,100 people gathered to receive our True Parents, and in True Parents' mind the Las Vegas event was a very important one -- not only because Father wants to inject a little bit of Heaven in what is known as Sin City and turn that Sin City into the Shining City on a hill. But he also wants to usher in a whole new era of the Global Peace Festival, together with the new chairman, Dr. Hyung Jin Moon.
We've done good work under the banner of the Family Federation and of different types of organizations such as the Global Peace Festival and the Universal Peace Federation. Sometimes along the way our identity as a faith-based organization has been lost. True Parents are really leading the way in reemphasizing our identity and at the same time encouraging all of us to work together with other faiths and look at them as siblings so that we can truly create the world peace that we're all longing for and live on earth peacefully as one family under God. It was wonderful to see the ministers wholeheartedly embracing our True Parents.
As is my father's custom, he had a prepared text that was supposed to be a ten-minute speech. But because he sees himself as the grandparent and the True Parent of humanity, my father feels like he wants to share so much of his heart in a very short amount of time. So whenever I see my father, he's almost desperate to convey his heart to the people because he doesn't know when he will see them again. So he gave a lot of love. I think Father was very pleased that the message that True Parents are here -- the breaking news, as I call it -- was really taken to heart by a lot of brothers and sisters who were there and also by a lot of clergy and luminaries in religion. They really looked at Father not just as a great man, and not just as somebody who has tirelessly worked for peace, but they looked with their spiritual eyes, seeing our True Parents as the messiah that they are, the Lord of the Second Advent.
In my line of work I meet a lot of entertainers, business people, and pastors and ministers. Sometimes they come up to me and ask, "Do you really believe that Rev. Sun Myung Moon is the messiah? Do you really believe that he is the Lord of the Second Advent? Do you really believe that he has come to fulfill Jesus' mission?" I very clearly respond, "Yes, I do. He is absolutely the messiah."
When we come together and celebrate Christmas, it is really a day when we should reflect about Jesus' life, when we should pray about Jesus' life, and when we should think about who Jesus was. Jesus has a very special place in my heart because he never had a chance to have a family of his own. Of course, when he came to earth as the Son of God, it was really our Heavenly Parent's intention for him to perfect himself as the great man that he was, to find that special someone whom he could call his eternal partner and wife, and together establish the first true family of humankind.
But because Jesus' life was cut short and he was crucified, he never had the chance to find a wife. Thus, he never had a chance to have that family. So when you look at the history of Christianity, the most prominent idea is the concept of the Trinity: God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. You have God as the Heavenly Parent, and you have Jesus Christ representing men of the world. But then you have the Holy Spirit, who was supposed to be manifested by the perfected Eve who should have been Jesus' bride. But because Jesus never had the chance to find a bride, all we've had was the grace of the Holy Spirit. We didn't have a person whom we could look to and say, "That is the True Mother, the true Eve, and together with our True Father, True Adam, they represent the True Parents of humanity."
If Jesus really had a chance to find a wife, then he would have probably done what our True Parents did. When my father first got blessed to my mother in holy matrimony in 1960, they immediately stood as the True Parents of humankind, and they blessed 36 couples, 72 couples, and so on. They started to bless the children of the world. If Jesus could have stood in the position of True Parents 2,000 years ago, he would have done the same. He would have started blessing many people, encouraging them and guiding them to build ideal families, the kind of families that would raise really awesome children. He would probably have encouraged the women to play an active role, not just in the education of children and in the home but probably in the life of faith as well. He would probably have worked hard together with his wife to show what true partnership was all about.
If there had been that true Eve 2,000 years ago, then the history of religion would not have been antagonistic toward women. It would not have been the kind of tradition that relegated women to be second-class citizens. It would have seen women not as taking part in the Human Fall and actually making Adam fall but as true sisters, true wives, and true mothers, having a position of honor and respect. History would have followed accordingly.
As a student of religion myself, I've often marveled at how incredible our True Parents are. Jesus never had a chance to do what he should have done 2,000 years ago. The lives of a lot of women have been very difficult in the context of a religious life because we didn't have the true mother or the true Eve role. But the great thing about True Parents is that, unlike the Christian tradition and the concept of the Trinity, God brings us home with the four-position foundation that our True Parents' teaching talks about. We have God, we have a man and a woman, and then it's an invitation to have children. Therefore, you have a four-position foundation at work, and all humanity is represented: Men are represented, women are represented, and children -- sons and daughters -- are represented. For the first time in history, it's no longer men above women and women being second-class citizens. Because of our True Mother's victory, women now have the dignity and the right to stand proud as daughters of God. For me, the fact that my mother can stand in such a position is a hope for my life and, I believe, hope for humanity.
For children, Christmas means a beautiful Christmas tree and many boxes of gifts waiting for them underneath that tree. But when I think about Jesus and when I think about my father and the kind of life that he's led for the past 90 years, I realize that Jesus was such a lonely man. There are biblical references to his having had a very difficult childhood. He did not have the best relationship with his parents. In fact, there was a big question mark regarding the nature of his birth.
Imagine Jesus Christ growing up in an environment where everybody was looking at him with many questions in their eyes. It must have been incredibly difficult. Then even after he completed his wandering years and started his ministry, he was trying to preach about love, forgiveness, and having compassion for each other, truly practicing love in his daily life, encouraging his disciples and everyone else to see themselves as brothers and sisters. When Jesus laid down to sleep at the end of the day, he must have been a very lonely man, hoping to find that wonderful wife whom he could call his own.
Many of us here, looking at our lives -- children, careers, and different responsibilities -- might feel weary. But sometimes when I'm feeling that so much of the world is on my shoulders, I simply think about how lonely Jesus Christ must have been without a family. But I do have a family -- not only Father and Mother, but five beautiful children that I can call my own as well as my brothers and sisters and all of you. When I think about all the things that I do have, then I realize that my life needs to be a life of gratitude.
When we start thinking about all the things that God has put in our care, if we start mentally making a list of everything that has been given to us, and how God blessed us over the years, despite the difficulty, despite the hardships, we cannot help but sing and praise God's name and be grateful. Psalms 34:1 says that we should praise God every day of our lives and we should praise his name continuously by articulating our gratitude. So when I think about what Jesus did not have and what I do have, I realize that no matter how difficult a situation might be, we have to go back to the basics of our understanding of God as our Heavenly Parent and of ourselves being children of our True Parents.
The fact that all of us are blessed means we have been given an opportunity to graft onto the original olive tree, which many people have been waiting for. I've often wondered, if people 2,000 years ago really understood the value of Jesus Christ and saw him as the Son of God, the King of Kings, as the messiah, as the Lord, then they would have understood how incredibly lucky they were. They would have understood that out of all the people in human history, they were the lucky ones to have the opportunity to experience Jesus in the flesh, to hear his words with their own ears, and to feel his words with all their hearts.
If those people really could understand who Jesus was, they must have felt that they were the luckiest people on earth. Of course, if they fully understood the mission of Jesus Christ, then they would have looked forward to the blessing and to the time when they themselves would have a beautiful spouse and a chance to build an ideal family.
But just as some people felt that Jesus was so precious and so special, there were a lot of people in his day who did not understand who he was. I'm sure there were hundreds of people who just simply didn't care who he was. Maybe they saw him as a troublemaker because crowds followed him wherever he went. Maybe they saw him as a poor preacher talking about love all the time, hanging out with his disciples. Maybe some of the career politicians looked at him and said, "Why doesn't he do something valuable with his life?" Maybe some people looked at Jesus like that. And we know that some people simply did not like Jesus because he was proudly proclaiming that he was the Son of God.
I often say that when God sends his representative, God is not sending his prophet to us to make us feel comfortable. God is not sending prophets and great teachers just to tell us that what we are doing is great. Of course, they might do that along the way, but they're here to tell us what God wants us to hear. And when Jesus was alive, God wanted people to understand that the good news was here, that the Son of Man was here, and they needed to wake up to the fact that he was going to share with them words of truth that were going to cleanse their souls, give new meaning to their lives, and substantiate the true love of God by helping them build ideal families of their own.
This was the message that God wanted to give to Jesus' people in his time. The ones who were open spiritually, the ones who could see Jesus as something more than a man and understand him as a gift from Heaven to this world were the ones who could appreciate his value. But many people never knew how precious he was. He came and he went, without these people -- who were born in the luckiest time back then. They were a hand's distance from Jesus, but he came and went, and they did not know who he was.
So we know that Jesus had to come again. The Bible promises that the Lord of the Second Advent will come again. Why was this promised? This was promised because Jesus didn't have the chance to fulfill his mission; he didn't have a chance to build a family.
Fast-forward 2,000 years, and here we are. We are living in a time when the messiah is here, when the Lord of the Second Advent is here. So we are the luckiest people because our Father did not come and go without finding a wife, without having the opportunity to build an ideal family, a true family. For the first time in history, our True Father, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, found our True Mother, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon, and together they could be the True Parents.
Imagine the people who were there at the time of Jesus, the unbelievers as well as the believers, now up in heaven, looking at all of us, saying: "These people are the luckiest people in history. I thought I was lucky 2,000 years ago, but I did not have a chance to be blessed. I did not have a chance to graft onto the original olive tree and substantiate the true love of God by inheriting God's love and having children that we can call our own." Those people are looking at all of us, saying, "These people are so incredibly lucky, luckier than all of us, because not only are they simply being cleansed by the truth, being given new life by the words of our True Parents, but they're actually being blessed. They're being grafted onto this original olive tree, and they're exercising the opportunity to substantiate something in this world that they can call their own."
So if we really think about it, we are so blessed, brothers and sisters. We are really, truly the lucky ones. So what should we, the lucky ones, do with so much blessing? If we just revel in our own blessing, the fact that we're living at a time when the Lord of the Second Advent is here, if we're reveling in how lucky we are that we got the blessing, and if we're just giddy because we have blessed children, we need to ask ourselves: What about the rest of the world? What about the nonbelievers? What about the people who do not know? Are we going to let the rest of humanity come and go when our True Parents are here with us, when God is asking the world to experience the breaking news, to see ourselves as children of God, to become one family under God through cross-cultural, international marriages that my father has been officiating for many years?
This blessing is so beautiful in that we're not talking about just Koreans marrying Koreans. We're not talking about just Europeans marrying Europeans. We're not talking about Jews marrying Jews, or Christians marrying Christians. This is an invitation where it doesn't matter what heritage or cultural background we come from. By understanding that we are sons and daughters of God, we are looking at each other as someone with eternal value, someone divine and therefore uniquely beautiful and incredibly special.
When we can come together in holy matrimony by recognizing God as our Heavenly Parent, then we're doing something that goes beyond ourselves and our own happiness. We are actually pledging ourselves to our Heavenly Parent and to humanity, our brothers and sisters, before we think about ourselves. In so doing, we are living for the sake of others -- practicing, not just talking; not just believing.
Those of us who have been blessed for quite some time know that blessing is not an easy thing. I always used to chuckle in French class: the infinitive blesser means to strike or hit. I felt like the day I got blessed I got smacked by Heavenly Father. Many times that's what it feels like. But let's concentrate on the significance of what is taking place, that we have a chance to not just experience true love, but a chance to substantiate true lineage. It's an incredible opportunity that we should encourage other brothers and sisters all around the world to participate in.
When we have this added blessing of understanding who our True Parents are and really seeing them for who they are, then we need to encourage the rest of the world to open up their spiritual eyes. Sometimes it's the people who are the closest to Jesus or the closest to our True Parents who forget how special they are. It's the area right underneath the lamp that's the darkest.
I've often thought about Judas. He must have been moved, and he must have been inspired. He must have been touched by Jesus Christ to want to be his disciple. Why did he sell Jesus out? How can you love somebody as a great teacher, see somebody as a messianic figure, and then one day decide to sell the Son of God for a chunk of change?
Judas probably started feeling too familiar with Jesus and maybe started looking at him more as a man, forgetting his providential position or why God sent him to all of us. I think his spiritual eyes started to close. Maybe Jesus was not your average pastor. He did things to shock people; he spent time with the untouchables. And maybe Judas, looking at that, had questions in his heart and started to judge Jesus as a man with a weakness when he got so angry at the temple and threw things across the room. Perhaps he saw Jesus as being out of control.
These are some of the ways that we start looking with our physical eyes and forget that we need to remind ourselves that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that our True Parents are the True Parents of humankind. When we look at my father physically, he is an old man. He's past 90 years of age, and he needs help to come onstage. But when we look at our True Father with spiritual eyes, we realize that he is not like a 90-year-old man. He is a shining figure, and he is truly the new light that we've been waiting for.
If we concentrate on the physical things of what our True Parents are doing and we compare them with society's norms or the physical world norms, we can easily end up just like Judas, not realizing that we have to keep our spiritual eyes open each and every day of our lives to fully understand what True Parents are all about.
We who have the blessing to truly come close might be tempted with all these questions because we start looking with our physical eyes, not our spiritual eyes. We may become that dark area underneath the lamp, not realizing that the lamp has always shone brilliantly above us.
Whenever we are going through difficult times, brothers and sisters, we must tap into our own divinity and our own relationship with Heavenly Parent. We must clearly know that there is only one True Parents and there will always be one True Parents. Our True Parents will be eternal, and the True Children's job is to inherit their love and to be great sons and daughters of God, our Heavenly Parent.
So we need to be joyful, we need to be grateful, and we need to rejoice in the fact that we have our True Parents here with us. It doesn't matter where they are or where they go. A lot of people are saying, "When Father ascends to spirit world, then what will happen?" Anybody who believes in the spirit world knows that when Father ascends to the spirit world, he will probably be more with us than he is now, becoming more accessible to each and every one of us. All you have to do is simply pray, meditate, commune with the divinity within, and our Father will be with you every step of the way.
As our church is transitioning into a new chapter and now into a new year, thinking about the year that has come to a close, I feel that this is a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect about everything that has taken place and be grateful because at the end of the day, when we go through suffering, as long as we can come out of it with a grateful heart, then we learn some of the most valuable lessons because they come in the midst of suffering and hardship, in the midst of trials and tribulations. Whenever we are confronted with difficulty, the only thing we need to do is concentrate on True Parents. The only thing we need to do is to remind ourselves of True Parents, and how incredibly blessed we are to have them in our lives now. Understanding how valuable they are, we have the job and responsibility to go forth and reach out to the other brothers and sisters who are waiting for the opportunity to know True Parents in their lifetime.
So do not be shy about who you are. We all need to be confident Unificationists. That's the only way our children will be confident Unificationists. We have to have a grateful heart for the blessings that we have been given.
When I think about Psalms 34:1, it's a great reminder about the importance of speech. I have often talked about words as vehicles of emotion. When we're trying to raise ideal families, in a husband–wife relationship many times words can get in the way of creating a wonderful environment for the children. So at the close of the year, looking forward to a brand-new year, to a wonderful time with our kids, we have a wonderful opportunity to think about how we are going to use our words to create that beautiful and loving environment so that our children will be inspired to be proud Unificationists and true sons and daughters of God. If the vehicles of emotion are being hurled between husband and wife, between siblings, between parent and child, we cannot create a harmonious environment.
This might be a good time to encourage parents to please work it out quietly and respectfully with the children in the house. This might be a good opportunity for the children to think about how you're going to communicate effectively with your parents, with respect and with honor, and giving them the dignity of who they are as your parents. This might be a great opportunity for the siblings to look at each other and say, "Maybe this new year can be a year of growth when we can help each other become better people. Maybe our words of encouragement could help us achieve things that we never thought possible."
I know when I was growing up and my sister said, "Sister, you did that so well," it gave me an incredible boost. Or I looked at my sister and said, "Dear Sister, you did that so well. Your essay on Homer was absolutely profound. You are such an incredible writer." We can have more encouraging words between siblings, more empowering words between husband and wife.
When my father is talking about Pacific Rim being the era of women, that is not an invitation for women to mistreat or abuse our husbands. If we have a chance to play an active role in the family and in our homes, we need to treat each other with dignity. If we cannot use and exercise this vehicle of emotion in the proper context of respect and honor to each other, how can we call ourselves adults worthy of taking care of and raising our younger ones to be great people?
This might be a great time to look at your spouse and say to each other, "If we truly understand the divinity within, there is no room for violence in our relationship. There is no room for abuse within our relationship. But yes, there is room for love for understanding, and for growth." If both spouses can adhere to that, there is nothing that this couple cannot accomplish in their lifetime. But it has to be a two-way street.
Now that we're coming to the end of the year, let's all take stock of where we have been and where we are, and think and pray about where we want to go. I feel that with our True Parents there is only one way to go, and that is preparing a home where we can proudly invite God into our daily lives every day.
I look forward to being the kind of family where God can come and dwell whenever he or she would like to spend time with me. I would think that all of you would want the same. So understanding how incredibly lucky and blessed we are, I am hoping that we can close this year with a grateful heart, truly articulating our thanks with our words of thanksgiving to our Heavenly Parent and to our True Parents, who have truly been the guiding light in all of our lives.
To see my father continually teaching, continually sharing, continually digressing because he has so much that he wants to share -- I don't know about you, but I cannot help but be moved by this man. I cannot help but be moved by this woman whom I call my mother. They are truly extraordinary human beings. Many of us know them just in public, but for those of us who know them intimately and privately, we realize how incredible they are because we can see all the things they have to overcome and all the mountains that they've had to climb, but still never giving up. And our Mother is still always smiling, always giving, and always embracing.
We have been given True Parents as gifts to the world by our Heavenly Parent. I cannot think of anyone who is more worthy of our respect and love. So let us look forward to the new year with a grateful heart. I am terribly thankful for all of your support during the 40 weeks that we've shared together. I'm hoping that, just as I've come to know you a little bit more, some of you have gotten a taste of how incredible our True Parents are through some of the stories that I could share.
Please continue, please stay on track, and please know that you are the luckiest people in history. God bless. Thank you.
0: A Psalm of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.
1: I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2: My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and be glad.
3: O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
4: I sought the LORD, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
5: Look to him, and be radiant;
so your faces shall never be ashamed.
6: This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him,
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7: The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8: O taste and see that the LORD is good!
Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!
9: O fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no want!
10: The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11: Come, O sons, listen to me,
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12: What man is there who desires life,
and covets many days, that he may enjoy good?
13: Keep your tongue from evil,
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14: Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it.
15: The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous,
and his ears toward their cry.
16: The face of the LORD is against evildoers,
to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17: When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears,
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18: The LORD is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
19: Many are the afflictions of the righteous;
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20: He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21: Evil shall slay the wicked;
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22: The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.