The Words of In Jin Moon from 2010
The following sermon, given by Rev. In Jin Moon on July 18, 2010, focuses on the importance of our resistance to jealously in our lives. While passing down the popular Korean traditional tale of two brothers Nolbu and Hungbu, her sermon explains why we should enable ourselves to move on from jealously to harmony. Rev. Moon enlightened the congregation, "If we can allow the pangs of jealousy to disappear, liberate ourselves from the very jail cell that we have put ourselves in, and allow ourselves to experience love, beauty, and this empowerment in each other, we can be incredible individuals."
Good morning, brothers and sisters. How is everyone this morning? How many of you have come from Hoon Dok Hae at East Garden this morning? So you got to spend a little bit of time with True Parents before coming to Sunday Service.
I'm delighted to be here with you once again. It's truly a wonderful time for us because we have our True Parents back in the States with us, and we are looking toward July 24, when we will be celebrating together with them the ceremony of the substantiation of the True Parents of heaven, earth, and humanity. There's a great deal of preparation that needs to take place. We here at Headquarters have been very busy, but we are delighted to spend the summer days this way. Even though it's sweltering hot outside, here we are under the cool breeze of our Heavenly Parent and True Parents. We might feel a bit tired or a bit washed out at times, but the spirit is very strong with us. I am just so grateful to have them with us again.
So many things are taking place right now. We have summer programs going on; a lot of blessed children are at Camp Sunrise. Here at the Lovin' Life Center as well, we are still doing the different lectures and programs.
A couple of days ago I heard some news regarding an incident that took place at Camp Sunrise. A Second Generation young man was taking a swim in the lake there, swimming to the far-off post. On his way back he felt something swipe his legs in the water. To his amazement, he saw a bear. He had just a split second to decide what to do. Bears are quite strong swimmers, gliding through the water at great speed. You cannot out swim a bear. It's not smart to try. He made a split-second decision to scream out loud, and he made such a fuss that he scared the bear away.
When I first heard there was a bear incident at Camp Sunrise, my heart sank. But in the corner of my mind I thought, "True Parents are here and taking care of us." I waited patiently to hear every word about the incident and was quite amazed to hear that this young man frightened the bear away. If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is. Probably from the bear's point of view, as he was looking for a tasty morsel, he spotted this lanky young man splashing, but with not much meat on him. Maybe the bear was thinking, "I can find a fatter piece of meat." Nevertheless, the bear swiped him and to the bear's surprise the young man reacted in a way the bear did not expect.
In talking about this story with my kids I said, "I guess that would be like you and me going fishing for flounder on the Hudson. We get a bite and are reeling it in, but when the flounder lands on the boat, he screams bloody murder at us." We as the fishermen would be thinking, "What a weird piece of work this flounder is." We'd want to throw it right back. I think the bear had the same kind of reaction.
When the kids were hearing this story, some of them said, "That's amazing. It's a miracle." Others were saying, "I'm jealous. I wish I were that young man. I want to be 60 years old, sitting around a campfire and telling my grandkids how I scared the bear away from me." Hearing this made me take a step back and think about what jealousy means to a lot of people. For some of my children, the story was a fantastic experience of a lifetime and the swimmer lived to tell the tale. But for a lot of people experiencing something that dramatic, profound, and life threatening, living to be able to tell about it is something they wish they could do.
In this worldwide community we call our family, we have a lot of situations where we are living like brothers and sisters, like siblings in a family. In our attempts to become ideal families of our own, dealing with all the things one deals with to become that eternal son or daughter of God, there are a lot of things to work out. Sometimes there are wonderful times of joy and love, but there are also difficulties when we go through trials and tribulations. Many times we find ourselves dealing with pangs of jealousy.
When we're struck with pangs of jealousy as we are trying to inspire ourselves, aspiring to live lives as wonderful sons and daughters of God, how do we take this jealousy and turn it into a beautiful song of harmony? In the Korean tradition there is a famous story about two brothers, an elder brother named Nolbu and his younger brother Hungbu. It's a story of how jealousy is played out in the context of the family. The older brother is typical of the Asian tradition in that he feels entitled to inherit everything from the father. The elder brother is like the king among his brothers and sisters, the walking mouth in the family, as the Chinese character so aptly describes what the elder brother is all about.
In the story, the younger brother, Hungbu, was more the quiet sort, quite shy. He went about his business taking care of his parents and in his humble fashion always loved and served the elder brother. Even though at times the elder brother was cruel, perhaps even abusive, the younger brother always responded with love and kindness. He always responded with a heart of gratitude because he was thinking, "Perhaps if I can go through this difficult treatment from my elder brother, I can gain a nugget of wisdom along the way."
One day in the courtyard of their house the younger brother found a sparrow that had fallen from a high branch and broken its leg. Being the quiet and caring sort, Hungbu didn't tell anybody how he found the bird or what he was doing. He just quietly took the sparrow, bandaged the leg, and nursed it to good health. When it was well enough to fly again, he let the sparrow go.
Weeks went by. From time to time, Hungbu thought about the sparrow and uttered a prayer, "I hope you are much better and you could fly back to your family." One day Hungbu found the same sparrow chirping on one of the branches in the courtyard. While chirping, the sparrow dropped a package of seeds for him. Hungbu looked at this gift from the sparrow and realized what it was. With care and devotion he planted the seeds. In due time, a lush squash vine grew. He presented the gourds to the family and said, "This is the gift of the sparrow. I want to share this with my family."
When he cracked open the gourds, he saw that there were mounds and mounds of gold coins within, and he became one of the richest men in town. In his customary fashion, he was very good in taking care of his family, including his elder brother. But the elder brother, Nolbu, was struck with pangs of jealousy. The English word jealousy sounds like "jail lousy." Jealousy actually creates a lousy jail cell that we put ourselves into and we become our own prison guards. Everybody could see that Nolbu was throwing himself into a lousy jail cell where he was overcome with disappointment, envy, and bitterness. The dictionary describes jealousy as just that -- feelings of envy, apprehension, and bitterness.
Perhaps Nolbu first got a sniff of his jealousy when he experienced envy, which is the desire to possess something that you don't have. It's the feeling "I want that to be mine." It's just like a young child, playing on the playground, who has not yet learned to share -- "Mine, mine, mine. I want it now!" The elder brother became engrossed in the desire to possess something that his younger brother had, when he really should have been thinking about something my father has said, "Everything belongs to God and the universe. Nothing belongs to us." Instead the elder brother was so overcome with the desire to possess that he experienced incredible apprehension.
Why do we feel apprehension when we're jealous of something or someone? We get an anxious feeling because it chews on our own insecurities about what we are not and what we don't have. What happens is, instead of trying to love our younger brother, Hungbu, and be happy for his great fortune, we allow impure thoughts. We become impure because we find ourselves in a state of union with desire. We are then not pure in the sense of being completely free from this desire. It's this desire that leads us to the feeling of wanting to possess and the feeling of apprehension or insecurity about what we don't have and what we're not.
Instead of being grateful that perhaps his family could be rewarded -- not through him but through his younger brother -- the older brother experienced what can also happen to any of us. What ends up happening when we feast upon these feelings of apprehension is bitterness, the inability to feel happy for another person. We cannot celebrate another person's happiness, and we become resentful.
Instead of thinking, "This person is so deserving of good fortune. I should be happy," we are consumed with thinking, "Why not me? Why didn't I get that good fortune?" Instead of having happy thoughts, we start thinking about what we didn't get, and we can easily be overcome with feelings of resentment. These were the things that Nolbu was going through. He was experiencing envy. He was going through the feelings of apprehension, and he found himself a very bitter man, unable to accept that good fortune fell upon his younger brother and therefore his whole family.
Nolbu decided to force good fortune his way. He went out every morning, diligently looking for a sparrow. One day he found a sparrow singing on the branch of a tree. The sparrow was healthy and beautiful, and it sang a beautiful song for all the inhabitants of the town. But the older brother could not appreciate its song of harmony because he was struck by the pang of jealousy.
He grabbed the sparrow and broke its leg. Then he brought it back home, put a cast on its leg, bandaged it up, and threw it back into the branches of the tree. The older brother waited for days and weeks for the sparrow to come back, to bring him piles of seeds that would yield him a great fortune in gold coins. Weeks went by as he patiently waited, but the sparrow did not return. Then one day the sparrow did return and dropped in front of him a pile of seeds. Then the older brother thought, "Yes, I am making my own fortune. I am forcing my own fortune. I will make this fortune my own."
He took those seeds and planted them in the garden. When they sprouted and he saw strong vines, the beginnings of what would turn out to be huge gourds, he was overcome with joy. He said to himself, "I have made my own fortune. I am going to be a very rich man." Even before he broke open the gourds, he was already celebrating.
Finally the day came when the gourds were big enough and he felt that they were ready to be cut open. He was ready to be a wealthy man. He finally opened one and waited for rivers of gold coins to flood his life. But when he opened the gourd, rivers of gold coins did not flow out. To his surprise, something else flowed out -- rivers of goblins, each carrying a very big bat, circling around him. These goblins gave him a sound spanking before they disappeared.
It was only after Nolbu got spanked that he realized what he had done, how he had tried to force good fortune his way, how he had done something unnatural to the family setting of harmony and love that their parents had tried to teach the two brothers. It was only after a severe spanking that Nolbu realized he must truly bow down to the younger brother and be grateful that Heaven had blessed his family through his younger brother. Now Nolbu realized how he must work together in the spirit of humility and in the spirit of love, that he must become one with his brother so they could present a great team for their parents and for their Parent in heaven.
This is a wonderful story, told over and over again. Every child and every adult in Korea knows this story. It's a poignant one for us to share as we work on our movement and on our own families, trying to live together harmoniously and sing songs of harmony in the context of a family, a society, a nation, and the world. This story is an important one because it teaches us the lessons of why we should not be jealous, envious, or apprehensive, and why we should not be bitter with one another.
If we do succumb to jealousy, we are creating our own living jail cells, and lousy ones at that, making ourselves quite miserable in the process. But instead we can liberate ourselves from these pangs of jealousy and liberate ourselves from ourselves -- as sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. We can learn to take what is difficult and instead of letting it lead to envy and a desire to possess, we can turn that feeling to a desire to love. Instead of being struck with this anxious feeling and suffering from pangs of apprehension, we can learn in the context of a family to not be anxious toward each other but actually sincerely appreciate each other and the fact that God put us together. Out of all the millions of people who have come before us in this life and who will come after we are no longer here, we have this opportunity to meet, to commune with, and to experience love and life with the people in our family, with the people in our society, nation, and world.
Let us return that apprehensive feeling with a sincere appreciation instead of being overcome with bitterness, which is the end result of envy. Envy is the beginning whiff of something about to happen, the desire to possess. When we start uniting with the feeling of envy, we are actually creating impurities in ourselves; in the process, we are turning ourselves into negative nuggets of bitterness and resentment.
Instead of creating the end result of bitterness, if we can digest the pangs of jealousy that we might have once in a while and replace that bitterness with a heart of gratitude -- in the sense that although I might not have what that person has, I will be happy that that person received blessing and had good fortune -- then it invites wonderful things to happen in our lives.
The Bible tells us so clearly in Luke 22:24-26: "Do not dispute amongst yourselves who the greatest is. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves." Usually the youngest in the family tends to be more carefree and less bogged down by the sense of entitlement. "I am the eldest son, I shall inherit everything" -- that's not what the youngest son is usually engrossed in. Knowing that he has elder brothers and sisters to serve, the youngest concentrates on serving. That's why Luke tells us that the greatest among us are like the youngest. And the leaders who come, who arise among us, will be the ones who have the quality of wanting to serve others. A true leader does not want to just lead. He or she leads people by serving them, and that's what makes a great leader.
We as a movement need to be thinking about how we can better ourselves and our relationships with our siblings. This story about Hungbu and Nolbu is basically a story about two brothers, but it doesn't tell us much about their relationship with their father and mother. In a lot of instances when we're talking about sibling rivalry or colleagues fighting with each other, it's because we're so engrossed in horizontal relationships and have forgotten the vertical relationship in our lives, which is equally important.
When members of diverse religions, backgrounds, and traditions are fighting like brothers and sisters because they have differences of opinion or of theology, it's like brothers fighting each other. We really should be concentrating on the vertical aspect of where we come from. All religions aspire to honor our God, our Heavenly Parent. We might call our God different names -- Yahweh, Allah, Hananim, Kamisama -- but it's the Heavenly Parent whom we want to honor, whom we want to love in our daily living.
If we concentrate on the fact that we come from the same parent, then we realize that we are no different from fingers on a hand. We belong together, and we need to work together. All the religions of the world need to work together to help the world realize that we do belong to a common humanity, that we do belong to a common Parent. So this bitterness arising from pangs of jealousy or the feelings of hatred that result from bitterness have no place in our lives.
If we concentrate in our movement on the importance and centrality of our True Parents, then there is no need to be fighting among ourselves. If we're fighting among ourselves, it's because we're looking at only the horizontal relationship in our lives. When we remember the vertical, when we remember that the most important thing in our life is to have a clear backbone upon which we can make all the beautiful things flesh, that's when we know how important our True Parents are in our life of faith. It doesn't matter how great we are. It doesn't matter how adept we might be at the various things we are doing. We always have to remember that we come from our Heavenly Parent and that we are here because of our True Parents.
We are here living our life of faith, walking the road of discovery because we want to substantiate the ideal family that we long to be a part of. We have a chance to fulfill what Jesus could not fulfill. Jesus did not come to die. Jesus came to find a beautiful wife and to build that beautiful family that would have been the paradigm of true love for all of humanity, so we would have understood ourselves as brothers and sisters belonging to one family under God.
Because Jesus' life was cut short, we never saw the completed picture. We had to wait 2,000 years before our True Parents could make flesh the very dream that Jesus wanted so badly to accomplish centuries ago. We have the breaking news; we have the fulfillment of a man and a woman. For me, the woman component is extremely important because for the first time a woman can stand as the legitimate and proud daughter of our Heavenly Father and Mother. We no longer have to be relegated to a secondary support role. We no longer have to be questioned as to what our position and our role should be in a life of faith.
Women had no place in the life of religion because the true Eve, the bride of Jesus, never had a chance to materialize. But in our True Parents we have for the first time a man and a woman representing the original olive branch through which we can experience true love, true life, and, for the first time, true lineage.
It is the gift of the Holy Blessing that allows humanity to graft onto the true lineage of our Heavenly Parent. This is the reason our True Parents have emphasized the beauty of international blessings, of different cultures and different religions coming together. In our movement we have Jews marrying Catholics, we have Protestants marrying Muslims. We have all different backgrounds, all different races, and all different traditions coming together under the banner of one family under God because we recognize our Heavenly Parent as our common parent through the Holy Blessing ceremony.
Brothers and sisters, this is not a time to be struck with pangs of jealousy. This is not a time to be paralyzed by feelings of envy, apprehension, and bitterness. It does not matter how God works through the family. It does not matter which sibling God works through, because if God is working through your sibling, he is working in your family. And if our True Parents make it crystal clear that the spiritual head of our movement is the youngest son, it is our responsibility as a worldwide family to be grateful in knowing that God is working through the younger brother to bring great blessings into our family.
We should be brothers and sisters living in gratitude. We should be brothers and sisters desiring to give of ourselves more and more. We should be brothers and sisters appreciating each other in love, empowering each other because we recognize that we are all divine beings, that each and every one of us is a unique, eternal, unchanging, and absolute, beautiful specimen of true love. If we can allow the pangs of jealousy to disappear, liberate ourselves from the very jail cell that we have put ourselves in, and allow ourselves to experience love, beauty, and this empowerment in each other, we can be incredible individuals. We can be incredible couples and incredible families, and we can be a beautiful society, nation, and world.
That is how we will have peace on earth. It is in recognizing the eternal value of every human being. It is in understanding that life is not about entitlement, that life is not about what I can make mine. It is really about what I can give to you, how I can serve you, how I can make you better than me. If we would all start living this philosophy of living for the sake of others -- in other words, thinking about others before ourselves -- then we would allow this dynamic of true love to take place in our lives. If Nolbu can truly practice living for the sake of others by uniting with the younger brother and the blessing that is given to his family through his younger brother, and in so doing become a loving and empowering older brother, that family will be the pride of that society and of that nation.
I believe that each and every one of us has within our hands the power to transform our lives into something great, to transform our families into beautiful families, to transform our relationships into beautiful relationships. When we find ourselves immersed in a horizontal, competitive situation of brother against brother or brother against sister, it's a wonderful opportunity for us to be mindful of the importance of the vertical relationship. That means going back to the core, going back to the center, going back to where we came from -- and we come from God and our True Parents. For that we should be eternally grateful.
These pangs of jealousy are like rivers of envy, apprehension, and bitterness. It is through our love and our applying the philosophy of living for the sake of others that we will create bridges over the rivers of envy, over the rivers of apprehension, and over the rivers of bitterness as in the song the band sang this morning, "Bridge over Troubled Water." These bridges will take us to a better place, a place where we want to give, where we want to appreciate each other in love, and where we want to live in gratitude, singing the praises of our God up in heaven, and singing of the gift of a life that our Heavenly Parent gave in our care.
Brothers and sisters, on this beautiful Sunday morning let's remember once again the importance and the centrality of our Heavenly Parent, our True Parents, and of keeping this concept of one family under God in our minds -- and not just keeping it in our minds but practicing it and applying it in our daily lives by working on transforming these pangs of jealousy into songs of beautiful harmony.
God bless, and have a wonderful week. Thank you.
1: Now the feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover.
2: And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death; for they feared the people.
3: Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve;
4: he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them.
5: And they were glad, and engaged to give him money.
6: So he agreed, and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of the multitude.
7: Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed.
8: So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the passover for us, that we may eat it."
9: They said to him, "Where will you have us prepare it?"
10: He said to them, "Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters,
11: and tell the householder, `The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples?'
12: And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready."
13: And they went, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the passover.
14: And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him.
15: And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer;
16: for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
17: And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves;
18: for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
19: And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
20: And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
21: But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table.
22: For the Son of man goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!"
23: And they began to question one another, which of them it was that would do this.
24: A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.
25: And he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors.
26: But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.
27: For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves.
28: "You are those who have continued with me in my trials;
29: and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom,
30: that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
31: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
32: but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren."
33: And he said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."
34: He said, "I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know me."
35: And he said to them, "When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "Nothing."
36: He said to them, "But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one.
37: For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, `And he was reckoned with transgressors'; for what is written about me has its fulfilment."
38: And they said, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." And he said to them, "It is enough."
39: And he came out, and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him.
40: And when he came to the place he said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation."
41: And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed,
42: "Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."
45: And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow,
46: and he said to them, "Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."
47: While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him;
48: but Jesus said to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of man with a kiss?"
49: And when those who were about him saw what would follow, they said, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?"
50: And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
51: But Jesus said, "No more of this!" And he touched his ear and healed him.
52: Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs?
53: When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness."
54: Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house. Peter followed at a distance;
55: and when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.
56: Then a maid, seeing him as he sat in the light and gazing at him, said, "This man also was with him."
57: But he denied it, saying, "Woman, I do not know him."
58: And a little later some one else saw him and said, "You also are one of them." But Peter said, "Man, I am not."
59: And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, "Certainly this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean."
60: But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are saying." And immediately, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed.
61: And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times."
62: And he went out and wept bitterly.
63: Now the men who were holding Jesus mocked him and beat him;
64: they also blindfolded him and asked him, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?"
65: And they spoke many other words against him, reviling him.
66: When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes; and they led him away to their council, and they said,
67: "If you are the Christ, tell us." But he said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe;
68: and if I ask you, you will not answer.
69: But from now on the Son of man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God."
70: And they all said, "Are you the Son of God, then?" And he said to them, "You say that I am."
71: And they said, "What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips."