The Words of In Jin Moon from 2011
"What should Costa Rica truly be rich in?" Rev. In Jin Moon asked the 750 congregants of the Lovin Life Ministry service in Costa Rica, on January 23, 2011. She responded, "The answer is: 'Costa Rica should be rich in heart.' In her sermon, Rev. Moon encouraged the people of Costa Rica to "Take Courage" and strive for what each of them are capable of through being God's son and daughter.
Hola, Costa Rica. I'm delighted to be here with all of you on this beautiful Sunday morning. It's a real treat for the Lovin' Life Band and my ministry to travel to your beautiful country to spend this time of worship. As I woke up this morning, I looked outside and, unlike the usual vision of high rises and buildings spiraling up to heaven that strikes me when I wake up in the city, I saw green mountain ranges. The beauty of your country struck me, and I realized why this is called Costa Rica, the "rich coast."
I thought about how blessed your country is and what God must have been thinking about when he created it, what God has imagined or desired for Costa Rica to be. As we know, when Europeans first settled these regions, they came in pursuit of riches, of gold. But when we ask ourselves, "What should Costa Rica truly be rich in?" the answer is, "Costa Rica should be rich in heart." What God so desired for Costa Rica is for each of our hearts to glow brightly like gold: the heart of love, the heart of forgiveness, the heart that embraces, the heart that empowers. This is what God envisioned for the people of Costa Rica: being rich in God's love, experiencing the richness of every divine man and woman as the handiwork of God.
For this country to be headed by a woman president at this time when our True Parents have declared the Pacific Rim era in which women are to usher in the new millennium of peace, I think, bodes extremely well for your country. The key will be for you to inherit the true love of God and the breaking news that our Heavenly Parent wants to share through our True Parents that the gift of true life, true love, and true lineage is waiting for your heart to receive it, if you just open your eyes and hearts to receive the blessing that God wants to give.
Last night I had the privilege of meeting such distinguished women and friends -- Ambassadors for Peace and brothers and sisters -- at the beautiful gala. It was a celebration of motherhood, sisterhood, and daughterhood. We as women come together not to say that just because history has been unkind to women, we're going to come together and do the same for our brothers, our fathers, and our sons. We come together as dignified men and women because we want to honor each other.
Instead of abusing our brothers, we want to uplift them. Instead of disempowering our fathers, we want to empower them. Instead of telling our sons they've been no good to us throughout all these years, we want to inspire them with our love and with our encouragement. I looked out into the audience and watched all these beautiful women from all over the world dancing together. They came from Asia, Korea, America, and the Islamic world -- like brightly colored butterflies, descending from the heavens in celebration of our lives and of how beautiful we are to each other. We were glorifying God, honoring each other. It was almost like watching a planetarium show of all these beautiful stars from heaven coming down. If that's not the Kingdom of Heaven, I don't know what is.
Usually when I wake up in the morning and meditate, thinking about what I would like to share with my brothers and sisters, God speaks to me in many different ways. This morning when I opened my eyes and lifted my head from prayer, there was a brochure of the Women's Federation for World Peace to my right. It was designed by Sean Kim, the son of our regional leader here. On the cover there was a flurry of beautiful butterflies. The interesting thing was that the curtains in my hotel room were arranged in such a way that when the sun struck them, it caused the shadows to make an outline like a monarch butterfly.
I sat there and felt God's love by looking at this beautiful shadow of a butterfly on top of the Women's Federation for World Peace brochure. I felt God's love, God's presence, and I realized once again how remarkable is God's vision for not just Costa Rica but for all his children around the world.
When I think about butterflies, one of the most famous is the monarch. It migrates from North America to the trans-Mexican volcanic mountain ranges. Monarchs in North America start their southward journey in late summer or fall and travel more than 2,500 miles to reach their overwintering sites in Mexico, almost with a mission. To the Asian ear, "Mexico" sounds like maxi-go. They are going full speed on a mission. They're going to go to their wintering sites because that's what their internal compass tells them.
Because this compass is within them and they can use the earth's magnetic field for orientation, these beautiful and seemingly fragile butterflies take enormous trips down to Central America and back, knowing that they have a mission, knowing where they need to go. The interesting thing about the migration process is that in their annual flights to reach the wintering sites and then to return to the summer home, the monarchs go through successive generations. Many butterflies die along the way, but new generations carry on, year after year. Come rain or snow or sunshine, they do this because their internal compass tells them what they need to do.
We as God's sons and daughters are taking the long journey of life. Just as monarch butterflies inherently know how to use the earth's magnetic fields to guide them where they should go, we have our own internal compass, the heart that informs us who we are and guides us where we need to go when it is connected to the heart of our Heavenly Parent and guided and supported by the heart of our True Parents.
Regardless of how long our journeys might be and how many thousands of miles we must travel to and fro in order to come back into the embrace of our Heavenly Parent, our internal compass knows exactly what we need to do. We as a movement have gone through over 50 years of following our True Parents. For those of us lucky enough to be living at this time, as I often remind brothers and sisters, think about what it must have been like for the disciples of Christ 2,000 years ago to have walked, sailed, and ministered to the people together with Jesus.
Sometimes I wonder what these disciples must have gone through in their thought processes. Just as we as faithful believers on our journey through life and our life of faith may face moments when we wonder, or fight with our faith, or wage wars in the battlefields in our mind, I'm sure the disciples must have done the same. Just as we sometimes doubt, the disciples might also have doubted.
As we think about those disciples who are the envy of multitudes in this modern day, we can also imagine that 2,000 years from now people will be thinking of these brothers and sisters in Costa Rica who touched, heard, and saw our True Parents. They will be thinking how lucky we all must have been, just as we sometimes think about the disciples of Jesus and think how lucky they must have been to have dined, lived, and walked with Jesus.
When I was thinking about how blessed we are to be living at this time and also to be faced with this long journey put before us by God so that we can experience the parental heart of raising a beautiful family, struggling through and persevering to substantiate an ideal family, I thought about the story in Matthew 14:24–32. The Bible talks about a time when Jesus walked on water, how the disciples were on a boat far out to sea. The Bible specifically says that the boat was many furlongs out to sea, and furlong in biblical terms means one-eighth of a mile. So think about these disciples being out on the open Sea of Galilee, far from the safety and comfort of the shore.
Among the metaphorical stories in the Bible, the symbol of the boat has come to represent the church, especially all the things the early church dealt with in the first stages of Christian history. The Bible goes on to say that these disciples were on a boat many furlongs from shore, being tossed and beaten with the wind against them. These adjectives portray very much what the early Christian church was going through, and it's very much like the experience our parents as first generation went through when they first joined the movement. There was a great deal of persecution, a great deal of wind against the boat of the Unification movement. We were beaten many times mentally and even physically by our persecutors and accusers. We were tossed around like little ping-pong balls on this open and violent sea.
Matthew goes on to say that in the fourth hour -- which means the hours between 3:00 to 6:00 in the morning -- the disciples on the boat saw a vision. At first they weren't really sure exactly what it was. In the midst of this storm and mayhem, in the midst of all the wind against them, in the midst of being tossed around and beaten down on the open sea, they saw a vision of Jesus walking toward the boat. He was walking on water toward their boat.
To the disciples on the boat, it must have looked quite fantastical, almost like watching a sci fi or fantasy movie where everything is awry, where you can't tell the difference between the sky and the ocean because they have all become one. And in the midst of this grand funnel of natural cataclysmic mayhem comes the vision of their elder brother Jesus Christ walking slowly to them. To the disciples on the boat, he must have looked like a phantom.
In fact, in fear they screamed out, "It's a ghost!" They screamed out in terror, not knowing who it was. But what does Matthew tell us? Jesus responded instantly. He didn't slowly come at his disciples. He didn't glide to the disciples with a response. He responded instantly, saying to them, "Take courage. It's me. Stop being afraid." Jesus Christ, in responding to the disciples' cry of fear, responded instantly: "Take courage."
When we think about courage, we think about someone in American history like Daniel Boone, a man of great courage and pioneering spirit, tackling a bear. We often say that Daniel Boone was an example of a man of great courage. When we say to our kids, "Be courageous," we use the word be. Or have courage. But in the Book of Matthew Jesus clearly says, "Take courage." I think Jesus was well aware of the fact that there was no sign of any courage on the boat. He was saying, "Take courage wherever you can. If it's not within, grab it, take it, put it on your back like a backpack. Or if courage comes in the form of a purse, put it on and wear it. Take courage."
Then Jesus said, "I am." It's his way of saying to his disciples, "Do you not know who I am? Why do you doubt who I am? Can you not see who I am? I am." You should know Jesus Christ when you see him. "You, my disciples, you should know me when you see me because I am."
At the same time this is a call for his disciples to realize what they are to Jesus Christ. They should not be afraid. They should not be stricken with terror in the presence of their brother Jesus Christ. They should know who they are as belonging to one family of God. They should know who they are as an eternal son or daughter of God. Therefore, we need not be afraid because Jesus is saying, "I am." Jesus is telling us, "You are that beautiful handiwork of God. You are my children. Do not be afraid."
Jesus drives his message home by saying, "Stop whatever you're dealing with. Stop and don't be afraid," meaning with whatever we're dealing with in our lives. Sometimes life has a way of taking us to places that we least anticipate, but regardless of what we're facing and dealing with, Jesus Christ is asking us to stop where we are, in the midst of what we have been doing, and know that "I am." And for those of us who are privileged to live at this time, it also means that True Parents and our Heavenly Parent are here, and don't be afraid.
When Peter realizes on the boat that it is his elder brother Jesus and that he should not be afraid, what is his first response? "If it is you," Peter cries out, "please command me what to do." Many times, brothers and sisters, in our life of faith, with Divine Principle teaching us to be responsible human beings, we know that God has given us 95 percent of all we need to become a beautiful son or daughter of God, but we also know that God has entrusted in our care our own 5-percent responsibility. Within our own portion of responsibility lies our mission to own up to who we are, and to decide how we want to live our lives and exercise our life of faith.
God has given us our 5-percent responsibility because God wants us to exercise free will. God did not create us to be robots. God created us to be free thinking and fully capable of making our own choices, voluntarily exercising our 5-percent responsibility by choosing to become his children, desiring a heartistic connection and a true relationship with God for ourselves.
For those of us who have children of our own, there is nothing more satisfying than to have beautiful sons and daughters who decide to be with us in whatever we might be doing, not because the child is following blindly and obeying what the parent commanded him or her to do. We as parents want our children to grow up, to think for themselves, and to decide for themselves how they want to own their lives and exercise their own 5-percent responsibility. We would love for our children to voluntarily decide to be our children and God's children. That is the most beautiful experience a parent can have.
But at this time, on this boat being tossed on the open ocean, Peter asked, "If it is you, please command me what to do. Please command me to come toward you." Many times we as children of our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents are waiting for a command. We're so often waiting for guidance, asking our Heavenly Father, "Tell us what to do." But what God is waiting for is for his children not always to be waiting for the command, the direction, and the guidance to come. God wants each of us is to own up to and decide to pursue our passion and to figure out how we can best serve humanity and each other.
Because Jesus Christ is an elder brother, when Peter reaches out, saying, "Please command me. Tell me what to do. Command me to come toward you," then Jesus Christ says, "Come." Jesus again responds instantaneously, "Come. Just believe. Come toward me." That's what Jesus was saying to Peter.
Having taken courage that Jesus has commanded him to come, Peter leaves the comfort and safety of the boat and starts to travel toward Jesus, walking on water. If you understand this biblical story metaphorically, what the Bible alludes to is the fact that each of us has this divinity within us. Just as Jesus Christ is the son of God, so are you; just as Jesus Christ is a child of God, so am I.
Before this story, the only one who walked on water was Jesus Christ. But this story clearly alludes to the divinity within each of the disciples in that they are capable of walking on water just like Jesus. They took courage. They believed Jesus when he said, "I am." Therefore, we can know who we are. Wherever we might be in the process or the journey of our life, we should aspire to be able to say, "We have stopped being afraid. We have gotten out of our comfort zone, our place of security, and we have taken, or have started taking, the first step." We do this through our belief, just as through faith in Jesus Christ Peter started to walk.
But then what does the Book of Matthew tell us? Peter suddenly became aware. Peter perceived. It uses the word perceived. Maybe Peter saw. Maybe he was so overcome by the visual reality of actually walking on water that fear took over him again. The Bible says "when he perceived," when he suddenly, in other words, was made aware.
This is similar to our course of life. Many times we are doing pretty well, driving down the highway of faith, cruising at around 50 or 60. Then out of nowhere comes a deer and we are stricken with terror. We don't know what to do. But the story is saying that at times like this the perception of the deer that causes us to be stricken with fear may sometimes be our own doing. Perhaps it was not a deer. Perhaps it was just a sound, and our vision was playing tricks on us.
But the minute Peter perceived -- in other words, became aware of -- that something was in his highway, his road of faith, he became afraid. The Bible said, "When he perceived and felt the wind."
When we walk outside on such a beautiful day as this in the clear, crisp Costa Rican air, we feel the warmth, but we often will also feel the breeze. If we understand wind to be all the difficulties that life can throw at us, and we also know that Jesus Christ's "I am" lets us know who we are, we should have almost a shield of invincibility in that we are God's son or daughter and there's an infinite potential to what we can be.
But often the minute we become aware of our perception and feel the wind, that feeling of the wind means that we are somehow affected, somehow moved by the wind. Instead of standing strong and stalwart in our faith against the bitter wind that blew, that hit the early church -- Christians thousands of years ago, and 2,000 years later Unificationists -- sometimes we allowed these winds to affect us. We allowed these winds to move us to a point where we no longer believe, we allow doubt to creep in, and we allow room for fear to overtake us.
It was then, when Peter perceived and felt the wind, that he started to sink -- maybe because he became aware of all the superficial, materialistic, or commercial reasons why he should not be walking on water. Many times our minds are our own worst enemies in telling us what we cannot do. God tells us that we are capable of incredible things, but many times it's us, we in our own understanding of ourselves, our own perception of our own realities that tell us we cannot walk on water when Jesus told us we can.
When Peter became aware, when he perceived all that was around him, that there was no firm ground, no firm cement under his feet, then he started to sink and he automatically screamed out, "Save me. Save me from my death." Then again Jesus responded instantaneously.
This is a proactive elder brother. He's not waiting around. He's not slowly going to save the younger brother. He acts instantaneously, just like the way, regardless of whatever we are going to do in our life of faith, when we call, our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents, they act instantaneously. And what does Jesus do? Jesus catches Peter. He not only catches Peter, but he holds him. Then together they go back into the boat, and the winds ceased.
It could be a wonderful story of what exactly took place, but the story could also be understood metaphorically in terms of Jesus wanting to teach us the valuable lessons of life, and to encourage us in our life of faith to know that "I am" and stop being afraid. Our minds are our own worst enemies sometimes. Many times we are the ones telling ourselves we cannot walk on water. Many times we are the ones telling ourselves we are not divine, we are just dust in the wind.
But Jesus, through the Book of Matthew, and God, in his infinite wisdom and the teachings of our True Parents, are telling us we are absolutely divine beings, capable of the most incredible thing -- experiencing true love, which is like the electricity for all the beautiful lights in this hall. It's true love. Like the blood flowing in our veins that makes us who we are. It's in knowing that we are God's children, that we are divine creatures, and that with God, our True Parents, and Jesus Christ, there is nothing we cannot do if we simply believe.
When I think about this story and how providential it is to have our True Parents here with us, I realize that sometimes we can look at our lives as being very short in that the usual life span is less than 100 years. But in one sense, a life of faith and a life well lived are long in the sense that nothing is given out for free. We have to work and persevere. But in so doing we have the ability to develop this amazing parental heart that God has for us as we come together in a beautiful matrimony. And the wonderful thing about the True Parents is that they come to share God's lineage with all of us.
Our True Parents come at this time with the gift that the Fall took away. Adam and Eve were to have been raised to be a glorious son and daughter who would come together in holy matrimony, become the True Parents, and share the gift of the Blessing to the rest of the world. Through this gift of the Blessing offered by our True Parents, we have a chance to take off the shackles that have held men and women in bondage to sin. In the glory of our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents we can graft onto this true lineage of God and become one family under God.
The remarkable thing about our movement is that regardless of where we come from, when we realize we're all brothers and sisters loving God and True Parents, the barriers of race, religion, and economics simply dissolve and disappear. How else can you explain the way that women who have done great things with their lives can come together, meeting only for the first or second time, and in glorious honor of each other celebrate our womanhood and the Pacific Rim era? We grew up on opposite ends of the earth, but we can come together through our True Parents, understanding that we belong to one family.
As the senior pastor of Lovin' Life Ministry, I want to see the beauty of America blossom in the eyes of the world. America was especially prepared by God to exercise its proper ability to influence the world toward understanding what an incredible time we're living in. America was prepared to make ready the way of the Lord, to work with the Lord, with our True Parents, in helping humanity see beyond violence and differences. America was prepared to help humanity unite together on the common denominator that we belong to the same Heavenly Parent and therefore should work toward a peaceful world of harmony and love because we are brothers and sisters.
For the women coming together in this beautiful country of Costa Rica, symbolizing peace and holding the two continents, the north and south, together, this is our time. If we harness our understanding of who we are and what an amazing time this is to be walking and working with our True Parents, we can explode the revolution of love that is to take place in this country.
What is the center of men and women, brothers and sisters? The center is our heart. If Central America can inherit the rich heart of God that shares in the spirit of true love, of common sisterhood and brotherhood, of this common family living under one God, then the revolution of love can start here. And instead of having feelings of differences in terms of thinking why is North America so rich and powerful, what about South America?
Last night Rev. Angelika Selle started off the gala by saying,
Do you sometimes feel like you are second class? Like sometimes you have not been given as much light, perhaps, as North America? Well, the Bible says that in the time of the Second Coming the first shall be last and the last shall be first. There is no need to feel that God does not see us or God somehow forgot about us. This is the time when the first shall be last, the last shall be first.
The female sex, which has been relegated to be second class and so abused throughout history, can now be asked to lead and to stand in the position to usher in this new millennium. This is the time when South America can take the lead in waking up the world to what an incredible time this is. I, for one, having experienced the horrors of 9/11, know what it's like to experience terrorism on American shores. I am well aware of the fact that we are technologically capable of blowing ourselves up many times over.
In this time of difficulty, what is going to bring our world together? The only thing that's going to heal, truly guide and inspire us to be more than we can be, to be what we initially thought we could not be, is our understanding of God and our connection with our True Parents.
Brothers and sisters, I know that our True Parents are with us in spirit. I know they are together with us in their prayers. So in the spirit of pura vida of the Costa Rican way of life, we have to live a pure and unadulterated life, free from our perceptions that might weigh us down and cause us to die spiritually. We must stay focused. We must take courage. We must know that "I am." We must know that we are.
And in stopping where we are, let us understand that we do not have to be afraid because God, our True Parents, Jesus Christ, and all the great saints and prophets of history are walking with us each and every day of our lives. They are wishing us to do well. They are wanting us to reach our potential.
So brothers and sisters of Costa Rica, and brothers and sisters of Central America, be your agent of change. Seize this day. Seize this opportunity, decide, and choose to live as sons and daughters of God, as sons and daughters of our True Parents. And walk strong, walk dignified.
As the great Sufi saint Aravia Badgara once said, "Women, walk with dignity. Men, walk with dignity because we are in the presence, we are always facing the face of God."
So God bless, and have a wonderful week.
1: At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus;
2: and he said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist, he has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him."
3: For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison, for the sake of Hero'di-as, his brother Philip's wife;
4: because John said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."
5: And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.
6: But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Hero'di-as danced before the company, and pleased Herod,
7: so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
8: Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter."
9: And the king was sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given;
10: he sent and had John beheaded in the prison,
11: and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
12: And his disciples came and took the body and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.
13: Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
14: As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
15: When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves."
16: Jesus said, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat."
17: They said to him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish."
18: And he said, "Bring them here to me."
19: Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
20: And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
21: And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
22: Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
23: And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
24: but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them.
25: And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.
26: But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.
27: But immediately he spoke to them, saying, "Take heart, it is I; have no fear."
28: And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water."
29: He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus;
30: but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me."
31: Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"
32: And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33: And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
34: And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.
35: And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent round to all that region and brought to him all that were sick,
36: and besought him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.