The Words of In Jin Moon from 2010

Happiness For Comes From The Decision To Be Happy

In Jin Moon
August 15, 2010
Lovin' Life Ministries

Good morning, brothers and sisters. How is everyone? I'm so glad to see all of you here again. It's a beautiful Sunday morning, and I'm delighted to be here.

We had a lot of exciting festivities going on this last week. I'm sure you are well aware that we had our Blessed Culture and Sports Festival at the Unification Theological Seminary. I had an opportunity to go up there to see what was happening. I was very much impressed and entertained by the talent show that was held at the sports festival.

It was a wonderful opportunity to get a taste, or almost a snapshot, of the various types of talent that we have in our community. We had great dancers. We had one hula dancer, and a fantastic break dancer, Takashi. We had dancers from Ohio. We had bands from Maryland area, including the Gupta band, which has a fantastic guitarist. We had also a band from the New Jersey area, and one of the musicians is the son of our HSA accountant. I was delighted to see the Second and Third Generation taking part in the festival. There's so much to look forward to as the years move on; I wonder what these young men and women will be, a decade or two from now.

Whenever I think about the importance of celebrating our culture through different media such as the Youth Concerts for World Peace or sports festivals like the one that we just had, I realize that it's a wonderful opportunity to reinforce to the up-and-coming generation the importance of mind over body, the importance of discipline.

I remember taking my boys to one of the best tennis camps, run by Nick Bollettieri, who has a camp in Florida. His students include Maria Sharapova and many other famous tennis stars. He also has a camp in Manchester, New Hampshire, so I took my boys there for their tennis lessons. I was quite impressed with the program, not just because it was teaching the children fantastic technique but also because it stressed the importance of mental conditioning, having the right frame of mind in preparation to face an opponent.

It was a wonderful way to train my kids in the importance of mind over body. The Bollettieri program teaches that you must be a winner in your own head before you step on the court: You are prepared to win, even before you throw your first serve.

Where your mind is, what you are thinking about, and how you perceive yourself are very much what you end up becoming. This is not just taught in our community, but it is reinforced in programs like Bollettieri's again and again. As important as it is to condition the physical body to be strong and have endurance, to be persistent and be focused, good programs stress the sharpness of the mind, namely, the ability of the mind to focus, regardless of what you face.

The training process takes you through many obstacles that you have to overcome, not just physically but mentally. I find that it's an important lesson to have in life, regardless of what you do.

What we think is what we become. If we have the view of ourselves as that winner, as that successful man or woman, as that incredible son or daughter with divine value, with the purpose of manifesting our beauty to the world, then we realize that we are precious, that we have meaning, purpose, and direction in life.

When we are entering the court, if you will, every day of our lives, we have to play that good tennis game. But if our minds are confused, then it's very difficult to become successful, to become that winner in life that we all were meant to be.

There's a certain level of expertise that a lot of our young people have, in soccer, Frisbee, or whatever they're playing. I'm hoping that these sports festivals will be not just an occasion to have fun but perhaps a catalyst for young people to say to themselves, "It's great to have a good time, but it's also wonderful to try our best in whatever we're doing."

If we're passionate about soccer, why not be Beckham? If we're incredible in swimming, why not be Phelps? If we're good in basketball, why not be Jordan? So these sports festivals are not just social gatherings or opportunities to have fun with each other but should also be occasions to remind ourselves that we can really be the best. If it can be the catalyst for future great athletes coming out of our community, then I think that the sports festival is an event that will serve us well.

As we celebrate the beauty in our community through the arts, sports, and academics, I'm hoping that our children can grow up to understand and be empowered by the concepts of internal excellence, external excellence, and the importance of having the proper way of thinking because these attitudes determine what kind of people we're going to be in the future.

Mark 4:24 says, "Pay attention to what you hear." Depending on the different translations, it's either "Pay attention" or "Be careful of what you hear." The first part of this verse is an admonition, a warning. Is what we hear positive or negative? Is it something conducive to our life of faith or something that takes away from our life of faith? Is it something that emboldens us to try harder, or is it something that enervates us, causing us to not care about our lives?

The Scripture starts out with an admonition, warning us to pay attention and to be careful of what we hear because what we hear and what we allow ourselves to hear in our own minds determines our thinking process, which will have a direct consequence on the kind of people that we become.

The Bible goes on to say, "The measure of what you give is the measure of what you get." It's a reminder to live for the sake of others, a reminder for us to invest, to try our best in everything that we do, knowing that it will come back to us in equal measure. But the Bible doesn't just leave us with a statement that the measure of what we give is what we get. It goes on to promise us that still more will be given if we hear, meaning if we allow ourselves to hear correctly, if we can truly hear what is positive and conducive to our life of faith, and what emboldens us to become a better person, we are promised more and more.

When we meditate on this Scripture verse, we realize that what our Heavenly Parent is reminding us is, "I want you, my children, my eternal sons and daughters, to be powerful men and women of God. You can be powerful men and women of God if you pay attention to what you listen to, to what you hear, and to what you allow your mind to say to you about what you will become."

Our True Parents want us to be successful men and women. The Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words translates the Greek work dunamis to mean power. Power is something that we all seek to possess, to exercise in our life. We want to be powerful in what we do. We want to exercise power correctly.

But the same Greek word in different parts of the Bible is translated as virtue or ability. If we truly can pay attention to the right things that are being spoken to our minds, then we realize that what God is asking us to do, in being a son or daughter of God, is to practice virtue.

The idea of a virtuous life is a simple one, but it's extremely difficult to achieve mind and body unity and apply virtue in our lives. When we seek to be that virtuous athlete or that virtuous student of the arts, what we need to do is exercise discipline in our lives. At sports camp, you get up early in the morning, do your stretches, eat the right breakfast, and it's an all-day discipline -- not just physical conditioning but also mental conditioning.

It's no different if you want to be the best in the arts. Discipline is required. Persistence is required. You have to set aside a certain amount of hours each day to perfect your craft in order to become that masterful artist that you so long to be.

A virtuous person in the context of sports or art is someone who practices discipline in his or her life. Again, the measure of what you put in, of what you give, is the measure by which you get. The more that you put into your art, the more you invest in your sport, the better artist or athlete you will become.

It's no different in our life of faith. If we're truly to be that powerful eternal son or daughter, that virtuous son or daughter, discipline is required: mind over body, practicing the things we want to excel in, taking one step at a time, making small accomplishments and building upon them day after day. One by one, one at a time, slowly, with persistence and consistency, we can become that virtuous person that we all were meant to be.

To become a powerful person in our life of faith, in the arts, or in sports, it doesn't matter which culture we come from. We all have different versions of ability. You may have an ability, a proclivity toward something -- you prefer soccer as opposed to football, you prefer piano instead of violin, you prefer guitar over the bass. But we want to make ourselves the best that we can be; we have to exercise our abilities in order to truly be artists and athletes who can stand in the position of masters in each field.

To encourage us to do that, each culture has its own little wisdom nugget, as I call it. In English you have grandparents telling the grandchildren, "Practice makes perfect." Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy. Certainly if you want to be the best athlete or the best artist, achieving that best status does not come easily. It requires certain things of us, like discipline. But also putting that discipline into motion by practicing every day is required if we want to be the best in our field.

Yesterday I was talking with my daughter. She had just come back from a day of riding with her elder brother, Preston, and her two younger brothers. We were just talking about their day. When they walked into the room, they came in with a birthday cake for me, but they looked so tired. I said, "Munchies, what happened?" Then Preston walked in with his hand behind his back, like a grandpa. I asked, "What happened? Why is everybody so wiped out?" As they told me the story, I found out what happened.

My parents love the equestrian sports, so two of my younger siblings were Olympic equestrian athletes [Hyun Jin Moon and Un Jin Moon], but I raised my kids apart from New York, up in Boston, so they never really had a chance to ride horseback. This one day was set aside so they could really enjoy the horse trails in upstate New York. It was their first time in a long while to go riding.

A couple of them decided to go on a trail with a guide and some other people. Ariana was in front of Preston. Preston got a big black horse, and Ariana got one of the younger ones. They set off on the trail. These four or five people started out together, with what seemed like an equal opportunity. They all had horses, they all had reins, they were sitting on saddles, so it really looked good for everybody. They were thinking, "This is going to be a wonderful ride. We can take in the beauty of nature and enjoy the trail. It's going to be wonderful."

But when they set off, very quickly Preston realized that his horse was quite old, 20 years old, meaning in human terms a grandpa of a horse. It was a very big horse. He was given simple instructions on how to get it to walk, to stop, to trot. As the team went down the trail, two people were ahead of Ariana, and Preston was behind. While all the other horses walked briskly, the grandpa horse lagged behind. The grandpa horse did not really like that fact that somebody was sitting on top of him.

The horse started looking around, pulling on the reins in another direction. Ariana kept on hearing behind her, "Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Okay, okay." A little bit later on, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Okay, okay." So when she turned and saw what was going on, she realized that this huge black horse really did not want to take this walk. It kept on pulling on the reins, even though Preston tried to maintain control. It kept heading for the bushes at the side of the trail because it wanted to eat, and it kept lagging farther and farther behind the rest of them.

Preston was thinking, "I have this horse that's not really interested in following the others but wants to eat." Occasionally Ariana would hear, "Ari, its pooping!" So it was working hard at both ends, while Preston was trying to get it focused on the trail to follow the others. But the horse wasn't in the mood.

To get the horse to trot, you squeeze with your inner thigh and pull down your ankles so the horse knows you want it to go faster. But this horse did not want anything to do with that idea. Preston kept squeezing harder and harder, but it wouldn't respond. After a while he started almost kicking it, harder and harder. Basically the horse had had it, and this time the "whoa, whoa, whoa" was not "okay, okay, okay." Ariana looked back and saw that now the grandpa horse was trying to buck Preston off.

Preston tried to gain control and make it trot, but the horse got angry. Instead of trotting, it bucked again and Preston fell off. The horse basically had to be teased back to the barn by offering it some grass. It was the only way to make him move. This horse was determined that if anyone was going to ruin its eating time, it was going to make a grandpa of whoever sat on his back. That's why Preston was walking like a grandpa when I saw him.

When I heard this story, I was thinking to myself that many times life is like trying to ride a grandpa of a horse. You're set on a horse that you did not choose. You don't choose to be born into a particular family, or have a particular set of siblings, nor even have particular in-laws. When we're on this trail that we're supposed to enjoy, life pushes us to do many different things. Sometimes it throws us into the bushes, even though we don't want to be in the bushes. It tries to push us onto the pavement, even though we don't want to go there. Life has a way of bucking us off, putting many obstacles in our path. It's almost watching us, almost playing with us to see how we will recover, how we will lead the horse back to the barn.

Listening to this story, I said, "You know, now that I'm responsible for the whole movement, for the Second and Third Generation education, I think I'll make horseback riding a part of the required course." Young people are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about everything in life except their parents. They don't really realize what parents go through. Many times we as parents think we're sitting on this horse, called our children, that wants to do all these different things. It's a very difficult thing for us to guide them correctly, to keep them focused on the trail.

Children don't understand what their parents have to go through because they were never given the opportunity to be in the parents' position or in a position of responsibility. Horseback riding is wonderful because a horse is not a mechanical ride: A horse is a breathing, feeling, and powerful animal. It knows a particular language. It operates with a set of rules, but it has feelings and desires. It has its own passions. Dealing with a horse is like dealing with another person.

Learning to ride is a wonderful opportunity for a young person to realize that working with another living, breathing thing is not the easiest thing to do. Maybe a new appreciation of parents might come out of such an experience. Perhaps an appreciation of working with different siblings in the context of family life might emerge.

This riding lesson, as painful as it was for Preston, is a wonderful reminder to all of us that we are on this trail called life. After being bucked off the horse, Preston could have had two different reactions. Though he was extremely tired, he was still a happy camper, chuckling to himself that it was a wonderful experience that taught him a lot about how stubborn an animal can be, about how he needs to be more patient. He learned a lot about perhaps doing things differently the next time around.

I was very pleased as a mother to see that my eldest son, coming away from being thrown off a horse, still managed to have a very positive attitude about the experience. That reminds me that happiness is not something that's out there, that just needs to be reeled in. Happiness is something we already hold in our hands, and we just have to decide to exercise it. We have to apply it in our virtuous living, and that's what will make us powerful sons and daughters of God.

In essence, happiness is the decision to practice being happy every day. When we decide to be happy, we are already taking that first step in owning who we are and what our thinking processes are, thereby defining ourselves to be successful, powerful, eternal sons and daughters of God who have infinite value, who have a rich reservoir of love to share with the world, and who are blessed with so many talents from our Heavenly Parent.

Our life is really an opportunity, a beautiful canvas. God prepared the canvas and gave us a palette of colors to play around with. The only thing we need to do is to decide to pick up that paintbrush, to be responsible and grateful for the canvas that has been given to us, and exercise our beautiful individual creativity that is uniquely ours. Each painting that we create will be a unique masterpiece that we can share with the world, that we can give back to our Heavenly Father and Mother in the form of a beautiful life.

Many times in the context of a difficult situation in our lives, we see ourselves in the state of a miserable situation, or perhaps we think that misery is our best friend. It's interesting in an international community like ours that misery is a word understood in one context in English. I have heard Japanese sisters, or sometimes Korean sisters express to me, "In Jin Nim, watashino, I miserable. Misery. Misery." They were talking about their difficult relationships with their children, or their spouse, and the word that came to mind was misery. But in the mouths of these Asian sisters, it sounded like "me-sorry." It's like, "I am feeling really sorry about myself." "I me-sorry too much. I too much me-sorry."

When they said this, I replied, "You said it, sister. You sorry. That's the problem." In a sense, we are so engulfed in our own misery that we want to blame everybody else for our problems. We are so much me-sorry because of our spouse, because of our rebellious, ungrateful children, because of our miserable in-laws.

We want to tell ourselves that we would not be so miserable if these things didn't exist or these types of people didn't exist. But happiness comes from the decision to be happy each day. When we decide in our miserable process, "I me-sorry so much," we have already lost before we've entered the court to start the game. We have already told ourselves that we are defeated because we are so sorry for ourselves. We feel like a victim. We have already lost before making our first serve.

When we decide to blame other people for our "me-sorry," it's not doing us any good. It's deflecting our responsibility to decide for ourselves to be happy. When we say to ourselves, "I am so me-sorr-able," it sounds like "me-saw-rubble." When we are miserable, we literally saw ourselves into miserable rubble, something that could be as brilliant, as majestic, and as powerful as the Empire State Building. Each and every one of us is like the Empire State Building, but when we decide in our minds to be "me-saw-rubble," what we are doing is sawing ourselves off into tiny little pieces. We forget what we are; we forget who we are. We forget what we must be and what we need to do.

When these sisters were trying to convey their heart, "I so me-sorry," "I so me-saw-rubble," I told them, "Maybe you're not as miserable as you think you are. Perhaps we can start making thankful lists. Yes, life is difficult. Yes, there are difficult times when we so desperately want to blame others for our problems. But one of the things we need to realize is that it's very difficult to change other people. The only person that you can change today is yourself. Once we change ourselves, it's amazing how everyone around us starts to change and starts to look better."

What these Japanese sisters want more than anything is "wonderful husbands, wonderful in-laws, wonderful children." Perhaps as they're articulating what they want as a wonderful life they could be reminded of Mark 4:24: "Pay attention. Be careful what you hear. Pay attention to what you are saying, what you are allowing your mind to say to you."

The word wonderful sounds like one, meaning God, our Heavenly Parent. The way these Japanese sisters say "won-der-ful," "der" sounds like "door." God has the key to open the doors to our hearts. If we can truly listen with our hearts, listen to the right, the positive kind of message, the empowering message, the message that emboldens us to do great things, then we can have a full and satisfying life.

We can have a wonderful life. We can truly be unified with God and understand that in unifying and in listening to God it's almost mandatory that we open up our hearts, to really listen to what God is saying. When we truly listen and absolutely unite with what God is saying to us in many miraculous ways, we realize that indeed we do have a full life.

Many times one's greatest obstacle is oneself. We need to realize that if we want a wonderful life, we are only one step away from opening the door to an endless possibility of the fulfilled life that we so yearn for. Again, for us the mind-set is so important, just as it is for athletes. Before the bell rings, before the game starts, before they leave the locker room, they must know they are a winner. That's how you prepare to win.

Likewise, before we start our day, before we enter the arena of life, we need to know clearly in our minds that we are winners, that we are the precious, eternal sons and daughters of God, that we have a purpose, and that we are here to do great things. Let's truly contemplate and meditate on this idea that the way we think determines what we become. As well, let's take a look at Luke 1:47. There the Good Book says, "Hear and rejoice in God, our Savior."

The happiness that we so yearn for comes from decision to be happy every day. In essence, it's that decision to be grateful every day. When we go about our lives, as Preston endeavored to fix the horse to stay on the trail, many times we have a lot of static. The horse had different static to deal with -- the bush to the left, the bush to the right, a lovely patch of grass right in front. If we can remain focused, and if we can remain grateful, then there is no end to our own possibilities of what we can become if we apply our passions and our efforts in a disciplined way. We can become anything we aspire to be. We can become anything that we dream about becoming. We can be that satisfied and fulfilled human being that we all desire to be.

Brothers and sisters, I hope that this Sunday you can think about the importance of the thinking process and the importance of paying attention to what we hear. Scripture and God promise us that the measure of what we give is the measure of what we get, and still more is promised.

If we can truly listen, then we will be eternal sons and daughters and more. Our life is a precious gift. At this time, before I bid you farewell for the day, I would like all of you to say a little prayer. There was an incident in Europe: A group of blessed children were doing a service project and there was a car accident. One brother passed away: His name is Tony Yuen. Please say a prayer for him and his family. There is another sister in France sitting in intensive care, fighting for her life. I hope that you can say a little prayer for Tiffany as well.

For all of us who have made it here safely, and I hope go back safely to whatever we're doing, hopefully we'll have a wonderful week. Please be mindful of the sister who is struggling for her life. At the same time, also be grateful for the constant guidance of our Heavenly Parent as well as the embrace of love and the care with which he and she take care of us each and every day.

So God bless, and have a great week. Thank you.


Mark, chapter 4

1: Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.

2: And he taught them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:

3: "Listen! A sower went out to sow.

4: And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.

5: Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it had not much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil;

6: and when the sun rose it was scorched, and since it had no root it withered away.

7: Other seed fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.

8: And other seeds fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."

9: And he said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

10: And when he was alone, those who were about him with the twelve asked him concerning the parables.

11: And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables;

12: so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven."

13: And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?

14: The sower sows the word.

15: And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown; when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which is sown in them.

16: And these in like manner are the ones sown upon rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;

17: and they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.

18: And others are the ones sown among thorns; they are those who hear the word,

19: but the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

20: But those that were sown upon the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."

21: And he said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on a stand?

22: For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret, except to come to light.

23: If any man has ears to hear, let him hear."

24: And he said to them, "Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.

25: For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

26: And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground,

27: and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how.

28: The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.

29: But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

30: And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?

31: It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;

32: yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."

33: With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it;

34: he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

35: On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side."

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke, chapter 1

1: Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us,

2: just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word,

3: it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent The-oph'ilus,

4: that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed.

5: In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechari'ah, of the division of Abi'jah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

6: And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7: But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

8: Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty,

9: according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.

10: And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.

11: And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

12: And Zechari'ah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.

13: But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechari'ah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

14: And you will have joy and gladness,
and many will rejoice at his birth;

15: for he will be great before the Lord,
and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink,
and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit,
even from his mother's womb.

16: And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God,

17: and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Eli'jah,
to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,
and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."

18: And Zechari'ah said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years."

19: And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news.

20: And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time."

21: And the people were waiting for Zechari'ah, and they wondered at his delay in the temple.

22: And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb.

23: And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

24: After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying,

25: "Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men."

26: In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,

27: to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

28: And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"

29: But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.

30: And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

31: And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

32: He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,

33: and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end."

34: And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"

35: And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
the Son of God.

36: And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.

37: For with God nothing will be impossible."

38: And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

39: In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,

40: and she entered the house of Zechari'ah and greeted Elizabeth.

41: And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit

42: and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

43: And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

44: For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.

45: And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

46: And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,

47: and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48: for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;

49: for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.

50: And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.

51: He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,

52: he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;

53: he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.

54: He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,

55: as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."

56: And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.

57: Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son.

58: And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

59: And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechari'ah after his father,

60: but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John."

61: And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name."

62: And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called.

63: And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled.

64: And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.

65: And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea;

66: and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.

67: And his father Zechari'ah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,

68: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people,

69: and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,

70: as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

71: that we should be saved from our enemies,
and from the hand of all who hate us;

72: to perform the mercy promised to our fathers,
and to remember his holy covenant,

73: the oath which he swore to our father Abraham,

74: to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,

75: in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.

76: And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

77: to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,

78: through the tender mercy of our God,
when the day shall dawn upon us from on high

79: to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of
to guide our feet into the way of peace."

80: And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.  

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