The Words of In Jin Moon from 2011
The following is the sermon given by Rev. In Jin Moon at the Lovin' Life Ministries service held in Washington D.C. on January 16, 2011. "What does Washington, D.C. mean to you?" she asked. "It means let's wash the consciousness of the American people beginning with ourselves, to reclaim our spiritual heritage under the clear direction and guidance of our True Parents so that we can inspire and empower the world to connect with God as one family under God."
Good morning, brothers and sisters. Welcome to Lovin' Life. We are delighted to see all of you here in Washington, D.C., the capital of this great country of America. It's been a long time coming. I know we were scheduled to be here earlier, but thank you for being patient with us. Here we are, and it's really so wonderful to see the brothers and sisters in Washington, D.C., the Baltimore area, and neighboring towns who have come out to worship together with us this Sunday morning.
As you know, this is a brand-new year, and we have a lot of things going on at Lovin' Life. We are trying out different things to always better serve the community. Of course, our True Parents are always so concerned and interested in what is taking place in America and how the American members are doing. They delight very much in visiting us in America. Even though they are back in Korea, we know that they are constantly praying for you and your families and hoping that we can truly raise up a great generation of peace and inspire the young people here to be great Americans.
As somebody who stands in the position as your senior pastor, the greatest perk of doing what I do is getting a letter like this [refers to e-mail read aloud earlier to the congregation] from Leon. It sometimes gets difficult and tiring, and sometimes the work wears you down, but this is one of the most inspiring things I can hear from young people: a young gentleman just starting out in his new relationship, looking forward to a life where he can have the opportunity to create a beautiful family together with his Japanese spouse; but all the while he is approaching life not as a burden but with so much to look forward to, with a sense of gratitude, a sense of being so blessed to be living out this time with our True Parents.
It makes it seem like whatever we're going through as a community, we are onto a good thing when we can raise up young people to not just dream but actually want to experience and substantiate true love in their lives. To think that we can wake up not just our community but that we have an opportunity to wake up all the sons and daughters of God in America and all around the world -- that's a beautiful thing. I want to thank Leon for his beautiful letter and the thoughtfulness of his language, of incorporating some of the wisdom nuggets that he might have gleaned through his time at Lovin' Life. The tone of his letter, the warmth and love, is incredibly uplifting. Seattle, you are very lucky to have such a fine gentleman.
Just a couple of days ago I spent some time at a workshop, a wonderful opportunity with some of your children. One of the things I love to do is put a name with a face at these workshops and get to know the kids, maybe get a sense about what they've been going through and how I can better serve them. After coming back from the workshop, I had a deep moment of reflection when I thought about the words my father spoke. This quote is from his book of Peace Messages, where he defines what true love is all about: "The essence of true love is not to want to be served by others but to give to and to serve others."
Dr. Young Oon Kim, the great theologian of our community, encapsulated what True Father was trying to say when she uttered the words, "To be chosen, anointed, or blessed by God is not to think that we're somehow better than anybody else. To be chosen by God means that we are chosen to serve."
In that message of peace, Father goes on to say that true love is the love that gives and forgets. It's a love that does not tally up points about what you have done for me lately or what you did not do for me lately. Father says that in true love, you want to serve others, not for brownie points or a present at the end, but because you take great pleasure -- he uses the word pleasure -- in serving others.
When I think about Leon's letter, in his desire to serve his wife and truly take care of her with a grateful heart, he is substantiating the teachings of our True Father in his daily life. As the mother of a family with five thriving, healthy, and robust children of my own, I see a whole lot of "true rubbing" that takes place in my family. My children range in age from 14 to 24. There are different periods in their lives with the struggles, victories, and tribulations that all children go through. When Father teaches that the family is truly the textbook of true love, he ain't kidding! There's a whole lot of tears, of laughter, of loving, of "rubbing." We all struggle and we all work together in knowing that what we desire to accomplish as a team, as a family, is to create an ideal family.
Just as Leon mentioned in his letter, as he deals with his new relationship and his new life, so, too, you and I have dealt with, are dealing with, and will continue to deal with in our journey to build this ideal family.
The First Generation's time in the movement has really been that of sacrifice, giving up everything for the sake of providence. Many times that meant giving up time with our loved ones because we were in the time of the wilderness. In the time of the wilderness, the most important thing we had to remember, regardless of what we were faced with, of what obstacles stood in our path, was to be united with True Parents, to follow them as closely as a shadow.
When my children play various military strategy board games, one of the things that stands out while they're on a combat mission is to act as one body, with a clear leader and clear direction being given. The whole platoon knows that they live or die depending on the strength of their unity, the strength of their ability to work as one body. That's where we have been for the last 40 or so years of our movement.
But in this time of settlement, when we are no longer rolling around in combat zones as single men and women, almost like military groups with different missions, it is slightly different in that we have a lot of baggage to tote around. We have rent or a mortgage to consider, and making grocery lists so that our children are fed nutritiously. We are no longer single, but we have spouses, we have children, we have responsibilities to consider.
Transitioning from this tight-knit platoon to integrating into the community at large, really taking root and developing families to become successful all around the world, is going to take a little more effort and possibly a different approach to our mission. During this time when we are starting Lovin' Life, unlike in the wilderness era, when there was a great emphasis on sacrifice, what we need to think about in building families and being part of a larger community is how we can apply these principles and have them take root in our lives.
The Divine Principle needs to be more than a conceptual understanding of why our True Parents are so special. It needs to be more than a theological understanding of why our True Parents are the Lord of the Second Advent, the Messiah. The Divine Principle needs to be understood and applied in our daily lives so that we become a body where, regardless of where we are, we embody the Divine Principle itself.
When we think what our Heavenly Parent's intention or desire was in creating his first son and daughter, we realize that our Heavenly Parent didn't sit back on a throne and think about creating a couple of kids for amusement. Our Heavenly Parent didn't create them to see how miserable their lives could be. What our Heavenly Parent so desired in wanting to create sons and daughters was to experience parental love. For those of us who have children of our own, we can truly experience and understand God's love for us for the first time when we have kids and we realize that we have the kind of love making us willing to die for our children, willing to sacrifice everything for our children. In a way, we don't exist in light of what we want for our children. That's the kind of love Heavenly Parent has.
When our Heavenly Parent created children, he didn't want them to suffer. He didn't want them to be miserable. He wanted them to be fruitful, to multiply, and to have dominion. He wanted them to be successful, prosperous, fulfilled human beings. But the history of religion has emphasized sacrifice and denial because of the human Fall. Because the children fell away from God, the most important thing they needed to do was somehow connect back to God.
But once we have our True Parents here with us, we have to fulfill the true intention or desire of our Heavenly Parent. What he desires and intends for all of us is to be fulfilled, to be successful, to be prosperous sons and daughters. And when I use the word prosperous, I am not talking about just mansions and beautiful cars. What I'm talking about is internal as well as external excellence. Here we are in the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., with our True Parents.
True Father over the years has often said that there is so much in a name. He would tell every one of my brothers and sisters, "You must live to fulfill your name." He would say, "In Jin, your name means 'march of virtue,' so get to it!"
I named my boys Preston, Rexton, Truston, and Paxton. Where does the "ton" come from? If we look at the Old English, we see that ton means "from the town of." Preston means "from the town of priests." Rexton means "from the town of kings." Truston means "from the town of trust"; Paxton, "from the town of pax [peace]." I wanted the Chinese characters that Father gave to each child to be reflected in the name. Ariana is special because she's the only girl, and her name means "faith and goodness." Ariana in Greek means "holy, devout, and good." That's where her name comes from.
When we look at Washington, we see ton, "from the town of." Here is the capital of the United States and the name means "from the town of washing." I guess that's God's way of saying we have to do a little bit of laundry work, right? Heavenly Parent is saying, "We've got to start washing this beautiful country of America. There's so much soot and dirt on this beautiful country. Let's start with a cold shower condition, let's inject a little shower head into the American consciousness, and let's revive the true beautiful diamond that God put into this country." This country was founded because the Founding Fathers wanted to exercise religious freedom. They wanted to honor our Heavenly Parent, and that's why they came to this great country.
But over the years America has lost its understanding of the profundity of this spiritual heritage. Young people have forgotten God, forgotten the importance of family, and forgotten that all this blessing means not just to be served but is given in order that America serve others. It's our duty to do right, to start the laundry process from the capital of the United States, to start washing the consciousness of the American people, beginning with our community and ourselves.
God gives a little hint at the end: Washington, D.C. Of course it stands for "District of Columbia," but what it means to me when I hear the name is that it's time to start washing the American people, to awaken the great spiritual heritage that God gave this country, with a clear direction, D, given to us by True Parents. By truly uniting and being centered on the guidance of True Parents, then we can inspire and empower ourselves to connect, C, not just our young men and women but the world back to God in realizing that we belong to one family under God.
Brothers and sisters, what does Washington, D.C., mean to you? It means, "Let's wash the consciousness of the American people, starting with ourselves, to reclaim our spiritual heritage under the clear direction and guidance of our True Parents, so that we can inspire and empower the world to connect to God as one family under God.
At this time of the breaking news, when we're constantly talking about the deadline 2013, we're not talking about it as if the end of the world will take place. What we're saying is that there's a whole lot of work to be done before 2013 so that we can better prepare to launch into the next level.
I am fascinated with NASA, particularly with rockets and the exploration of outer space. Most launches take place in three stages. I think of that as an analogy in looking at our movement. The First Generation has done the hard part. It's that first grinding up from the launch pad, getting past the earth's atmosphere, with a lot of rattling and shaking going on. Our True Parents came and shook the bejesus out of our parents. But the incredible thing about our parents is that they held on for dear life, and they're still here.
What we need to do once we get out beyond the earth's atmosphere is to start soaring. The Second Generation needs to take the momentum, standing on the foundation of what the First Generation gave with a whole lot of rattling and shaking, and we need to go a little smoother, a little faster, and a little bit happier. We're going to travel to a place the First Generation has never been. But in your children, you will be traveling every step of the way. So do not feel left behind because you see a lot of new young faces coming into leadership. Encourage these young men and women; you are passing on the baton to the next phase, to go a little smoother, go a little faster, and go a little happier.
Many of us have experienced the torturous difficulty of a First Generation-type of blessing. But on 10-10-10, Father talked about how right now we are living in the direct dominion of God and for the first time because of the good foundation of sacrifice laid by our parents and by all of you, the Second Generation now has a chance to own up to who they are, not just in knowing that they are eternal sons and daughters of God, but to actually start picking their own spouse. When I heard that, I said, "Hallelujah!"
As parents, we don't want to wish upon them a whole life of rattling, shaking, and hanging on for dear life. We want them to go a little smoother, a little faster, a little happier. That's what loving life is all about. It's about understanding that we are in the age of settlement, when we're living under the direct dominion of God. This is really a chance for our children, the Second, Third, and Fourth Generations, to be grateful, to honor our parents, but then to start owning up to who we are and take it one step further.
To the Second Generation and younger in the room, we as the generation of peace have to change the culture of America, the culture of the world. The beautiful thing about our movement is that we have the horizontal and the vertical. We have the wonderful horizontal values that Western civilization has to offer, like communication and learning how to work as a team. But the East also has valuable components to offer our community -- the importance of being vertically minded, vertically united with a father and a mother. This means for the younger generation learning how to build a culture where we honor our elders, where we respect those who have come before, where we are grateful for the First Generation's suffering and sacrifice.
When I was visiting with the young men and women at the workshop, I shared with them an e-mail from my eldest son, who said that he was sharing something he was sent, and it made him think of me. It goes something like this:
Three years old: Mommy, I love you.
Ten years old: Mommy, whatever!
Fifteen: Mommy, you are so annoying!
Eighteen: I want to get the bleep out of this house; I can't stand it.
Twenty-five: I think I might have been wrong.
Thirty years old: God, I really miss my mom. I want to go back and see her and live in her house.
Fifty years old: If only I had listened to my mom a little better.
Sixty years old: I would give anything and everything just to have my mom back in my life.
When we are teenagers, fifteen years old, we're thinking, "God, our parents are so annoying!" When we're eighteen, we're thinking, "I want to get the bleep out of my house." This e-mail says that it's true for all of us. We've all been there; we've all felt it. As a community, when we're thinking about raising up a generation of young people to be honorable, we need to be mindful that this process takes place regardless of whether someone is from Africa, from the Amazon, from Seoul, or from Washington, D.C. When young people are 15, everything about their parents is annoying, and when they only associate with other 15-year-olds who think the same way, you get a group of people who all agree that their parents are annoying. How can we link them to a vertical understanding of who they are and how they should be toward their parents?
I feel that True Parents are the greatest gift to America because they bring a little bit of Asia. When I first came to this country at eight years old and started going to school, initially I didn't understand what the kids were saying. But when I could understand their words I was shocked at how freely and without second thought there was a lot of criticism of their parents. Where I come from, you just do not articulate that sort of thing or bring down your parents, talking about them in such a fashion.
When I was around eleven or twelve, there was a big girl in my class who was quite vocal in criticizing her parents. To my Asian ears (I would never dream of saying those things about my parents!), it was a wake-up call. I had to find out why she felt such a need to trash her parents all the time. I befriended her and got an earful about all her suffering, and I told her that in Asia we never talked like that. She said, "Girl, you're in America. So try a little criticism."
I replied, "I don't know if I want to. Why would I do that? Why would I trash the very place that I come from?" By trashing our parents, are we not trashing ourselves? It really shows not appreciating ourselves, that we're engulfed in self-loathing, that in not knowing how to hate myself I choose the nearest thing and hate my parents.
As I got to know this girl and her parents, I realized that her parents weren't that bad. She'd made them out to be monsters, but some of us got to know them, and they were wonderful people. But because she herself was very big for twelve years old, already 200 pounds, she was angry about life, feeling, "How dare God make me so big!" Feeling like a captive who couldn't be like other girls, she instead would totally neg out, totally hate the world, totally hate her parents.
When she finally broke down in some of our talk sessions, she was honest enough to admit to some of us that she was fat and unattractive, that people treated her like an invisible tree. The only attention she could get came in the form of sympathy when she shared about her misery.
When I heard her say that, it stuck with me, how young people always struggle for validation and attention. When they feel they're not getting enough from their parents or their peers, what they end up doing is wanting to create some kind of crisis so that they can control how people feel about them. In psychology, we call it crisis and control. Young people do that all the time.
Imagine if we can apply a little of the philosophy of living for the sake of others in our lives and help young people realize that living for the sake of others starts by understanding how incredibly blessed we are to be alive and how incredibly lucky we are to be young, healthy, and full of potential. We can inherit a little bit of the Eastern tradition of learning how to respect parents. If you have nothing good to say about your elders, don't say anything at all. That's a good exercise to practice in our daily lives. If we have nothing nice to say about our parents, don't say anything at all. Perhaps this might be an occasion to start working on ourselves.
I think a lot of the Second Generation who have seen our fathers and mothers suffer and dedicate everything to providence -- the home, car, and everything -- feel somehow as if we are entitled to complain, entitled to criticize, entitled to malign the First Generation for all the things that they have not done for us. But we need to start thinking about all the things that they have done for us. We need to realize that it is because of their suffering and sacrifice that we are here in this beautiful Unification Church community, living at this time of the breaking news, when we have the chance not just to hear about our True Parents but to actually be with them and hear their words directly: not like some people who will come hundreds of years after us, wondering what Reverend Moon or Mrs. Moon were all about and what they might have been like. They are here with us.
Starting with that, in and of itself, we have a whole lifetime for us to be grateful for our parents and for the First Generation. As we move through life, as we go through different stages, we need to interact with each other and start talking to each other. Instead of judging, maybe we should be asking questions: "How are you? How is your family? How have you been?" We need to start thanking each other. "You know what, Mom? I just want to thank you today for being my mom. Thank you for driving me to my violin lessons all those years." "Neighbor, I want to thank you for baking coffee cake whenever my wife has one of her tantrums. Thank you for listening to her and taking her off my hands for a couple of hours."
We need to start respecting each other. We need to start thanking each other. We need to start creating a culture that will reverberate down to our children. The First Generation might feel like they are failures: "I'm not Donald Trump. I'm not Albert Einstein. I'm not Beyoncé. I gave up all that for God." Maybe sometimes we feel like failures. But when I celebrated the 40th anniversary in tribute to the First Generation, on behalf of the True Family I said, "You guys are champions, not failures; champions of true love in that you accomplished what the twelve disciples of Jesus could not do. They were not there for Jesus when he died on the cross. Not one of them offered to give his life in place of Jesus Christ. But all of you stood by our True Parents and walked through the wilderness with them. All of you were willing to die and go to prison over and over and over again together with our True Parents. So you guys are the greatest champions. So you need to start feeling good about yourself. You need to start feeling how incredible you are to this whole providence that's taking place." If you start feeling wonderful, start humming along; if you start loving life, your children are going to pick up on that vibe and your spirit.
We at Headquarters want to continually support our children to be all they can be, to be great men and women of God, to not just dream on but to actually substantiate. Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, "He who observes will not sow. He who regards the clouds will not reap." This is not a time to be fence-sitters. The time of the breaking news means to get rid of our fears and start diving in, start getting on board because the train is here.
What Ecclesiastes is saying is that we've got to get off our rear ends, stop regarding and observing, and start experiencing, start substantiating, start reaping all the good sowing that has gone on for the last fifty-plus years. In this time, in this age of settlement, in this time of harvest, the single most important thing that we need to concentrate on is the spirit of gratitude to our Heavenly Parent, to our True Parents, and to each other.
We need to start being grateful for each other. We need to start actualizing and practicing love in the little things that we can do in life. It's the little ripples that travel the farthest. It's the little ripples of small things like "Thank you," "I love you," "You mean so much to me" that together as a movement and community can create a grand tsunami so the whole world can partake in the revolution of true love that is taking place.
So do not wait for the new brothers and sisters coming into our movement to remind us how precious we are, how precious our True Parents are. Let us be the agents of change. Let us remind ourselves and start affecting and changing our lives, and start affecting and inspiring other people who are near and dear to our hearts.
Brothers and sisters, as we go forward, please think about what an incredible time it is to be living now with our True Parents. Please think about the importance of Washington, D.C., and the responsibility of America to truly direct and guide the world to connect with our True Parents, starting with the heavenly washing that we are going to start. God bless, and thank you.
1: Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
2: Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
for you know not what evil may happen on earth.
3: If the clouds are full of rain,
they empty themselves on the earth;
and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
4: He who observes the wind will not sow;
and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
5: As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
6: In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
7: Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun.
8: For if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.
9: Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
10: Remove vexation from your mind, and put away pain from your body; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.