The Words of In Jin Moon from 2012
Good morning, brothers and sisters. How is everyone this morning? Happy Lunar New Year to all of you. Our HSA team just returned from Korea after celebrating God's Day, True Parents' birthday, and our True Mother's 70th birthday, with our True Parents and the Korean people. I was so proud of the American team because they made me feel like a good mama, representing this country and all of you, and all the great work that we've been doing over the course of the last couple of years. They went there to share the breaking news with the rest of our world community.
I know that Joshua Cotter and Heather Thalheimer did a fantastic job of co-presenting all the work we have been doing here at Lovin' Life. We created binders for everybody just to let them know and to share with our world community the way we go about our business here of building a family ministry. They shared not just about how we talk the talk, but also about how to live and make it our flesh and blood in terms of our daily lives. Also we need to give a big thank-you to the Generation Peace Academy (GPA) for tugging a couple of suitcases of those binders to Korea.
GPA's spirit there was fantastic and they truly represent the future of our movement: They were a picture of the future of not just America, but also our movement. They did such an outstanding job of representing this country after I had awarded them with a very difficult task. Mrs. Kubo, as the choir director, did a superb job starting out with a group of young men and women, all meaning well but with most of them never having gone through music lessons. She jokingly said to me that the first couple of days were incredibly depressing because nobody could hit the notes on pitch. So we can scarcely begin to imagine all the exercises she had to do in order to put together a choir that was not just sufficient but inspiring. It surely was a monumental task.
In spite of that, she, together in cooperation with the kids, who wanted to represent the best of this country and share it with not only God and our True Parents but also with the rest of the movement, did a fantastic job. They won not just the First Prize, but they won the Grand Prize at the choir competition.
There were choirs from many parts of the world, but I feel so inspired when I see the GPA choir because it's not made up of only black-haired people, or a particular representative of a particular country. In America we represent the whole world, so all the colors were represented. The beautiful thing is, I was thinking, how do we give a deep gift of love to our True Parents, and especially to our True Mother, who turned 70 years old? In Korea, 60th, 70th, 80th and 90th birthdays are considered huge milestones in one's life, so it was an extremely important birthday for my mother.
I thought, "What can we do as children to give thanks and share our love with the True Mother of humankind? It's in the tradition of Korea that when you attend the gohui birthday you come in your traditional wardrobe, meaning traditional hanbok. The girls were beautifully outfitted in Korean traditional gowns, and the boys looked so handsome and dashing, all wearing suits outfitted, thanks to Preston and Krista. Altogether the choir members not only looked handsome and beautiful, but the spirit with which they entered was so inspiring that my younger brother said, "They won already when they first came onto the stage." I want to thank GPA for doing such a fantastic job. Accompanying the GPA choir, under the direction and leadership of Mrs. Kubo, was also Joe Young, of the great Sonic Cult here. And I want to thank the band as well for being such a great support, together with the choir. So we brought a lot of music and a lot of beauty and a lot of culture to Korea.
I said to the kids, "It really doesn't matter what you come back with. Of course if you come back with the Grand Prize, that will be fantastic, but the most important thing is to try your best. If all of you are satisfied that the performance that you gave is your best, then I will be satisfied as the national mama." But not only did they do their best, they brought back to this country and to all of you the Grand Prize. So congratulations to all of you.
This Year of the Dragon is a very exciting year because I am well into my forties, looking forward to my fifties, and perhaps one day becoming a grandmother myself. But I want to congratulate my elder sister, Ye Jin Onni, because she has finally become a grandmother. Her lovely daughter, Shin Hwa, and wonderful son-in-law, Alex, gave birth to the next generation of True Family. It's a beautiful girl, and Father named her Shim Mi.
This is an amazing year, and I feel so many wonderful things are going to unfold as we continue on in our good work of sharing the breaking news with the rest of the world.
I'm sure all of you have heard, but Father gave a very profound motto for this Year of the Dragon. The motto for this year is The Era of the Complete Victorious Liberation of True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind. We know that Father has been living his whole life as the messiah come to find the beautiful woman whom he can call his own, and then to raise this perfect Eve so they together can stand as the True Parents for all of humanity. They've been doing many wonderful works throughout their years, with the ultimate goal of liberating God from his life of suffering because he lost his son and daughter many thousands of biblical years ago.
The coming of our True Parents and their work toward substantiating and establishing the ideal family and creating an ideal society, nation and world has allowed them to stand in the position to proclaim a victorious liberation of God from many, many years of suffering. By indemnifying the Fall, by standing together as the victorious perfected man and woman working as the True Parents of humankind, they have encouraged and ignited the spark of hope for all of humanity to graft onto the heavenly lineage of God.
Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han January 23, 2012
The work that our True Parents have been doing is immeasurably profound, and it is that work that has given them the foundation to be the son and daughter to liberate God from his and her suffering. The new stage our True Parents are claiming, now that we have liberated God, is the era of the complete victorious liberation of the True Parents of heaven, earth and humankind.
Just exactly what are our True Parents telling all of us? Our True Parents are bequeathing to us the baton. They are telling us, just as our True Parents came to liberate God, it is high time that we as beautiful and perfect children of God should take it upon ourselves to perfect ourselves and be in the position to really liberate our True Parents.
When we think about going about the business of actually liberating our True Parents, we have to ask ourselves, "How do we do that? How do we liberate True Parents, and what does that mean? What are the True Parents? Why do we call them 'true'? Why do we call them our parents?" We call them our True Parents because they are a perfected man and woman, standing together in the position as a beautiful couple and doing the glorious work of God.
If we are to call these two people True Parents because they have victoriously accomplished the work of perfecting themselves so they can stand in the position as a perfect man and woman, well, what does perfect mean? If we consult our good friend the Webster's dictionary and ask, "What does perfect mean? How would you define perfect?" it says a couple of things. It says, "Perfect means something that is complete, something that is absolute, something that is pure."
When we refer to the Bible, it says in Matthew 5:48, "You therefore, must be perfect." You: That's you and me, all of us. "You therefore, must be perfect as Heavenly Father is." Our True Father explains that the Bible is trying to say that our standard of value is the perfection of God. In other words, God created all of us as his object, meaning, "Just as God is perfect, likewise the object also needs to be perfect in order to have a give and take relationship with God."
So, it is implicit in our original design that perfection is within our grasp. The Bible goes on further in I Corinthians 3:16. It says, "Do you not know you are the temple of God and that God's spirit dwells in you?" What the Bible is saying is, "Because God created all of us as God's object, all of us through our five-percent responsibility have and will have that chance to grasp what perfection is all about because that's what God intended for all of us."
Then, if we can truly unite with our True Parents and with God, being perfect doesn't mean you don't do anything wrong. It doesn't mean that you might not fall and trip and nick your knees. It doesn't mean that a perfect human being never has a bloody nose or never has a migraine headache.
When it is written in the Bible that, "You therefore, must be perfect, just as God or Heavenly Father is," the text is talking about the spirit that dwells in every one of us and our ability to embody, to imbue, to inherit God's spirit. We are meant to be a divine son or daughter of God, an eternal son or daughter of God.
So the Bible and our True Father are reminding us that we're not just dust in the wind, and we're not just sinful, pathetic, hopeless children who have to live a miserable life because we're not worthy. Father and the Bible are teaching all of us is that we are divine and prepared human beings, eternal sons and daughters of God who are worthy of being God's object partners because if we work on ourselves through our five-percent responsibility, we can attain spiritual perfection, in the way that our True Parents have, and stand in the position to be True Parents for all of humankind.
We may ask ourselves, "Okay, since this is the era of the liberation of True Parents, how do we go about doing that? We want to liberate our Parents. How do we as children come to be in the position to liberate them?" Having spent a great deal of my time and years in dedication to the world of academia, I would like to take the example of a student. When we're teaching a classroom full of many bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, talented and smart kids, what we want as a teacher is for those students not just to learn the knowledge of what you're about to share with them. But we as the teacher want them to be the kind of people who can develop the tools to be academically superior and brilliant scholars who will contribute something back to the community that they will invest in, the world of academia.
When we look in the classroom and think, What is a perfect student in my class?" we are not hoping for somebody who knows how to memorize and get straight As on a multiple-choice type of exam. We as teachers want the kind of a student who will not only memorize and regurgitate what he or she has learned, but also take in and digest the lessons and offer a new insight into that field of knowledge, or that field of scholarship. That is what we as teachers want when we think about who is a perfect student.
Likewise, when we're thinking about how to become the perfect child of God so we can be in a position to liberate our True Parents, a couple of things come to mind. One of the things that I like to remind myself is that there's this great thing called five-percent responsibility. No matter how well-meaning I am as a national pastor, if the GPA kids, for example, just did not want to practice, if they weren't willing to put in the many hours required for practicing those scales, doing those arpeggios and weird exercises, then they would never have accomplished what they did. I can give them the vision or the direction, but I also need the cooperation of GPA to work together with me, and Mrs. Kubo, and the band to achieve the kind of a performance that will yield the highest award at a competition.
Similarly, regardless of how well-meaning we all are, if we don't understand or we don't feel the importance of thinking not just about what we know but also about how we need to live our lives, then we can never really become a successful or complete child of God. When I ask myself, "How do I go about becoming that perfect child of God?" I remind myself of a couple of things. First, I tell myself, "Don't think only about what you know or what I know, but think about how I'm going to live." Most of us, I think, by the time we reach adulthood, have gone through different workshops and have read the Divine Principle from front to back many times. We know the stuff. We know the Principle, we understand, and we have been taught well in terms of our knowledge of the Principle.
But being a perfect child of God doesn't mean that the only thing we need to do is to know the Principle. What we need to do is not just concentrate on what we know, thinking, "We know the truth. We know the greatest truth," and therefore feel especially good about ourselves. We need to think about not just what we know but how we are living.
This reminds me of something I experienced when I worked with my own children. Two of them are musical prodigies, so they've been invited all around the world to perform at different venues, including Carnegie Hall, and the Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow. My second son, Rexton, when he was 10 years old, accomplished a great victory in that he entered an adult competition. In this competition he was definitely one of the youngest ones. I think one nine-year-old child also was there. But the age went as high as 35. So these are people who have spent their whole lives in music schools and conservatories and have performed throughout the world. This was a huge international piano competition in Italy.
To make a long story short, Rexton went through many different rounds but he ended up coming home with the Grand Prize. He performed a piece by Franz Liszt called "Les Cloches de Geneve," which means "The Bells of Geneva." He was 10 years old, and of course his Russian music teacher had prepared him very well. He played beautifully, but he missed one note. When you're hitting the piano, sometimes your finger lands on two notes as opposed to one. So in one part he touched two keys as opposed to one, but unless you are well versed in the piece, it goes unnoticed. Certainly the judges who know the piece quite well were well aware that you cannot say it was 100-percent perfect.
At the competition there were fantastic pianists from all over the world, and the Asian pianists in particular are so, so great when it comes to perfection û especially Japanese pianists. They have gone to the best conservatories in Japan and have come to America to attend the Julliard School or the Curtis School, and they are like machines. They never make a mistake. Rexton was competing with this type of person.
I remember when finally the awards were announced to everybody in the hall, one Japanese mother came up to me, really, really upset. She said, "You know, my daughter played perfectly. Your son touched two keys. My daughter played perfectly and she placed nothing. This competition is rigged. I will never come again." She was very upset at me, saying, "Your son: They just favored him because he was young."
It was the first certifiably big competition that I attended with Rexton, and so I was really quite shocked at how vicious or hostile the environment is. Everybody comes to win û and many of them come to represent their school, Julliard, Curtis, the Moscow Conservatory, the best in the world. So when they do not win, they get mighty angry, and they let me know it.
I was having this conversation not only with Rexton's piano teacher but also with the Russians û they call it the Russian mafia when it comes to classical music. Whenever Russian teachers come to a location, they all huddle together, and they all talk about their students and different things. I asked them, "So I had this incident in which a Japanese mother was really upset because her daughter played without any mistakes. I know that, and I can hear that Rexton touched two keys instead of one, for one note. So what would you say to somebody like that?"
A couple of professors who were from the Moscow Conservatory were sitting around Rexton's piano teacher and they said, "You know, music is not technique. Music is not perfection of what notes you hit and do not hit. Music is something living, something breathing. It doesn't matter how perfectly you play. That's just sheer mechanics. But here at the international competitions we're not judging people on their technical or mechanical ability. We're judging their ability to fully be the vessel or the temple through which the spirit or the power of the divine is felt.
"If you close your eyes and not look at this child who is 10 years old on stage," they said to me, "I swear (excuse my French) that this was not a 10-year-old child trying to play the piano. This sounded like somebody who's been a maestro his whole life.
"That's why we try to take away the visual, the fact that he is a 10-year-old kid. Everybody expects the best mechanics, and the best technique, but what we are trying to determine is who is truly the vessel, or the temple of God, who allows this universal language of love to be translated, or transmuted, so that we can feel something. That's what music is. That's why, without any second thought, that kid is the Grand Prize winner."
I learned something extremely important that day. We as children of God are not always going to be perfect in terms of our mechanics and our technique. Maybe every now and then in the course of our life, in the odyssey that we call our life, we might step on two notes instead of one. We might not do everything perfect the way it is written in the music sheets. But it's not what you know û meaning what you know in terms of your knowledge of the mechanics or the techniques of the piece û but it's how you live or how you perform. It's how you live in being that true vessel and true temple of God, who allows the unadulterated, unpolluted music, or the love of God to flow through your veins and inspire others with the power of true love. That's what it's all about.
So that piano competition taught me a very important lesson. It's not what you know. It doesn't matter whether you go to Julliard or Curtis. It doesn't matter whether you have a PhD or not. It's how you live, how you are that temple of God that allows you to transfer divine love to others.
When I look at GPA and I see the work that Mrs. Kubo has done, I have to recognize Mrs. Kubo as a vessel of God's love. She's not a PhD from Julliard or Curtis. She's a well-meaning musical student in that, yes, she did attend a musical conservatory, but she is really approaching the GPA choir with a mother's heart. It's not what she knows, but it's how she has led the choir to become that impressive choir that came back with the Grand Prize at the competition.
So again I realized that being the perfect child of God doesn't mean you're not going to sometimes step on two notes versus one. Rather, the way we carry ourselves, the way we live our lives, and the way we approach others in our daily dealings is what gives us the blessing to be able to call ourselves a perfect child or an eternal son or daughter of God.
Another thing that I realize in our effort or in our work to become the perfect child of God, and that I remind myself of, is "Don't just obey: Inherit." We as a movement are so good at obeying. The command comes, and we obey. We are so good. It's almost like when you're talking to a computer û you give a computer a command, and it obeys. It does exactly what you want. It's fantastic. I love my Mac. I tell it to do something for me, and it does it.
But the relationship I have with my Mac is very different from the relationship I have with God or my parents, True Parents or with all of you. It is not satisfying for me as a human being just to know that my Mac is an awesome creation because it obeys quite well. Indeed, it obeys perfectly most of the time. But what we want, or what God wants from his and her children, or what True Parents want from all of us is not for us to be beautiful, shiny Macs û although Macs are fantastic û but to be eternal sons and daughters of God.
Yes, we really know how to obey quite well in the church. Our True Parents and our leaders have done us a great deal of good in teaching us how to obey, unite and work together. But God and True Parents want something that is a little bit more satisfying and fulfilling. They don't want their children to just obey. They are hoping for us to inherit everything that they are imparting upon us, sharing with us and make it fully our own by exercising our 5-percent responsibility.
It doesn't matter how well-meaning your parents are or I am toward our kids, we want them to have a life of faith. They can obey us. They can come to church. They can tithe regularly. They can work for Headquarters. But that will not be satisfying for me as a mom, or for any parent, to just raise kids who are so good at obeying. We want far more from our children than knowing how to obey and be a great Mac computer. We want our children to inherit the tradition, love, and teaching, to make it their own. We want our children to make faith their own û not something borrowed and followed from Mommy and Daddy, but something they own, that lives and breathes within them. That's how we can become a perfect child of God, or a perfect child of True Parents.
Obeying is good, and we should obey. But our end goal should not just be obeying: It should be inheriting. When I think about this, I am reminded, again, of the two classical pianists in my family. It's really quite a monumental task being a home-schooling mom and at the same time making sure that they do their practicing so they can continue to go to different competitions, build their musical resumes, and develop the ability and know-how to perform with orchestras all around the world.
Thinking about what I might do with my life, one possibility was that I could continue on to become a college professor, teach a multitude of students, continue in my academic research, and write fantastic papers. But I felt that at the end of the day if I could not raise beautiful children who are independent, empowered, and inspired young men and women of God, then whatever I did in my life, it would not be satisfying.
So in the years that I did fully invest in the home-schooling process, I was there 24/7 with my kids. We had a pretty rigid and disciplined life. We would get up before 8:00 o'clock and have our breakfast, but 8:00 o'clock meant practice time. It was 8:00 o'clock sharp, not a minute late and not a minute too soon. We had two pianos in two different parts of the house. Our two pianists would usually practice three or four hours in the morning and do their home schooling in the afternoon. The mornings were an extremely difficult time for me because the Russian teacher told me, "It doesn't matter what a great teacher I am if you, Mother, do not do your responsibility of making sure that your children do exactly what I ask them to do before the next lesson. If they don't, it's a waste of my time, it's a waste of your time, and we should not continue."
She was very strict in that sense, in that she expected a lot because she knew they were very talented. This meant that from 8:00 until usually around lunchtime we had intense practicing time. These are 8, 9, 10-year-old kids having to practice three or four hours in the morning, and it's not the most easy thing to do.
I start them at 8:00 o'clock and they're really, really good kids so they try their best, they obey their mother. "Okay, 8:00 o'clock, on your benches, and when the clock hits 8:00, please start." So they usually start, and they always start with their scales. They have many, many different types of scales to go through. That usually takes about 30 or 40 minutes before they start working on their pieces.
Of course, my job is to know their pieces well enough so that from the my room on the second floor, where I'm taking care of bills and other things in the house, I can hear their mistakes and make sure they fix them. So I'm doing my paperwork, and at the same time taking care of different things, while both my ears are on two pianos at different ends of the house. Talk about stressful! This was actually great preparation for my job here at HSA.
They were so good. They would get to the level of knowing the piece, having it memorized and knowing it by heart so their fingers pretty much did their thing, and then they could start working on the musicality, or the breathing of the music. That's when they could give music life. The Russian teacher did a lot of work with them after they'd laid the foundation with good mechanics and good technique. Then it was all about making the music live.
They would practice their pieces at an excruciatingly slow speed. Imagine a beautiful piece like "Clair de Lune" that everybody knows, everybody can hum it. But imagine practicing "Clair de Lune" as if you've lost electricity midway. It would sound so-o-o-o slow. The Russian teacher would make them practice all their pieces that slow. Then she would slowly raise the tempo, so that by the time they're supposed to be playing the full tempo, they can play the piece not just at that tempo, but two or three times faster û whatever was needed in order to make the music breathe, or to make it real.
These kids got to a point that they could play without looking. They could pretty much close their eyes and play. Of course, I would continue to ask them to play slow, and I knew the music so I knew what they were doing. But because they were so talented, they made adaptations that almost doubled the effort required for me to monitor them. They knew they had a set amount of hours to practice, and they already knew the piece.
While their hands and one part of the brain were working on music, they would also do something else. Rexton loves video games, so he could play video games while he was practicing. If I was not paying attention, I would not know that he wasn't fully investing himself in his practice û because he would be playing all the right notes, he would be playing the piece. The only way I would know he wasn't doing it with his total concentration was by being able to recognize when the music wasn't breathing because he was doing something else.
Or as my daughter, Ariana, told me many years later, "You know, Mom, sometimes when you asked us to practice, I was reading a book." She was confessing it to me after all these years. She thought it was safe, now that she's in college and no longer bound to the piano as much as she used to be. I said, "Yes, I knew that." She said, "You did?" I said, "Yes, your fingers were going. You were very smart. You had memorized all your pieces, but the music wasn't breathing. That's when Mommy knew you were doing something else.'" Then she said, "Yes, it was kind of weird how you always kind of came into the room when I was doing something else, even though I was still making noise." That's what I mean.
But as they got older, instead of just simply obeying, they started enjoying the process of performing and playing. So my need to be there to supervise them for 24/7 became less and less necessary. As a mother, nothing is more fulfilling than to be able to sit back and let your child be responsible because he or she has inherited the desire to invest fully in practice, give the gift of music, and share it with the world.
I realized that when I worked with my kids all those years ago it really taught me a good lesson. When we see ourselves wanting to be a great child of God or a great child of our True Parents û to position ourselves to liberate them victoriously and completely û we need to concentrate not just on obeying but on seriously inheriting everything they have given us or shared with us by making it our own. We each need to make it my faith, my desire, and my life that I can give as a gift to God and True Parents.
When I think about, "How do I go about becoming a child of God?" I say to myself, "Do not just follow, but think about contributing and being proactive." So here at Lovin' Life Ministries we've created a national ministry, a united ministry through which we can reach over 10,000 brothers and sisters for a couple of hours on Sunday morning. It has brought this country together in terms of a common vision of what we need to do to work as a community to bring the breaking news to the rest of the world, to make America as great as it possibly can be, and to make the world into the peaceful world that we so desire.
One of the first things I said to the different people who work with me is, "Lovin' Life Ministry is not like any other mega church. What I am trying to do here with Lovin' Life Ministry is not to create another mega church that centers around a charismatic figure like Joel Osteen or any other mega church leaders. Lovin' Life Ministry is not about Reverend In Jin Moon û it's a means through which we can create a community of faithful, a community that will be responsible together for ourselves and that will collaborate among the different districts to achieve the desired result, similar to the way GPA choir competed victoriously by winning the Grand Prize.
This is not about In Jin Moon being the next mega church leader. Lovin' Life Ministry is a medium through which we will serve the community and raise the community to be the best that it can be. Therefore my job as a senior pastor is not just to lead all of you. My job is to inspire, support, and nurture all of you so that you can become outstanding future leaders and by working together create, accomplish, and establish the kind of world that we would like to see.
Today we need to remind ourselves that it's not just about following û and we do that very well; we obey and follow so well as a legacy of the survival mentality from our time in the wilderness. But we are now in the Era of Settlement. We need to think more about how we live, how we inherit, how we become proactive, eternal sons and daughters of God who contribute back to our community and in so doing create a better world.
When I sent my team, or our team, to Korea, I was so proud of them as a national mama because even though I was not there, they performed beautifully and admirably, and they represented God, True Parents, and America inspiringly. That's what our Heavenly Father and our True Parents want.
So if we only obey and follow, if we only come to church because our parents come to church, or because senior pastor happens to be talking, then we're not really inheriting. We're not really being an eternal son or daughter of God, a complete, absolute pure human being who continues on regardless.
Think about it, brothers and sisters. I know that a lot of us are so worried because Father is now 93 years old, and everybody's thinking, "What happens after True Father?" Many of us have seen True Father as a charismatic leader. Many of us were so busy following and obeying that we did not take the time to work on ourselves, to become a mature, independent, thinking eternal son or daughter of God. That's why we are suffering. If we think intently about it, we realize that Father doesn't want us as his children to be so confused and decidedly miserable if he decides he wants to retire or he wants to ascend to be with our Heavenly Father and Mother.
He wants us to be the kind of children who are living the Principle, who have inherited everything that our True Parents have done, and are proactively contributing to the community to help raise everybody along with us. They want to know that their good work continues. Therefore, I as the senior pastor also want to raise up not just our community but also a healthy generation of peace that is capable of continuing the good work that our True Parents have started, and that my family, my brothers and sisters, have continued. That's surely the only way we're going to have a future.
The fact that our American team did so well independently of me makes me feel like everything is a pure offering to God and Heavenly Father. It bodes well for the American movement if we can continue to think this way. A lot of people when I first came on board thought, "Well, okay, Lovin' Life Ministry; she's building herself up, she's building the united ministry to turn herself into a mega preacher." No. That is not what it's about.
It's about building communities; it's about you and me working together. It's about us coming together as a movement and a community in this second year, the Year of the Dragon, before we hit 2013, so we can be in the right place and position to celebrate 2013 together with our True Parents.
You know there is a countdown to Foundation Day, right? Everybody's counting. Well, what are we counting towards? Are we just counting toward the next millennium of simply just obeying and following, when we are continually just children? No. Every father and mother who has a child does not want the child to be the kind of person who is forever dependent on the parents. Mothers and fathers want each child to do well in life, to get a great education, to have a great career, to build a fantastic, independent, successful family, and thereby to be a great model for the rest of the world. We want all our children to grow up.
The way we can truly liberate our True Parents is to become capable and independent, but not in a negative way, meaning you don't want anything to do with anybody. No, we want to show our independence by lifting the burdens off our True Father and True Mother, by making them feel that we were in good hands and now we are strong enough, mature enough, and old enough to take care of our own families. Now we are able and committed to work together to build our own communities and honor their memory with our lives. And hopefully by doing a great job, our children will do the same. This is how we liberate our True Parents completely and victoriously, brothers and sisters.
Whether I speak at the pulpit or not should not make a difference in your life of faith. It doesn't matter if Joshua Cotter, or Heather, or Ariana is speaking û or maybe in the future Jaga or Dave Hunter is speaking. We are all from this community, and we're building this ministry together. We are a family, and we need to start acting like a family, brothers and sisters.
Last year we've done a great deal of work in creating a successful, united ministry in that everybody tunes in on Sunday morning, and we worship together. This year we have to work on building a family spirit. This is not just about the In Jin Moon pulpit. This is about Lovin' Life, this is about you and me, this is about America. This is about our future.
So brothers and sisters, one of the things that I would like to do is to encourage all the district pastors at the beginning of this year to come together and share the pulpit with me. I don't want them just to tell me at the beginning of the year, "In Jin Nim, I am all in." I want them to show me, to live it. I want them to live it by coming and sharing the pulpit with me in an effort to be the united family working together to raise great kids, to raise healthy families and to raise successful communities that can truly stand as the paradigm of true love.
If we can do that, brothers and sisters, that is how we liberate our True Parents. Don't you think our True Father has done enough for all of us? Does he really need to continue on every morning and every evening and every day, preaching? Don't you think he deserves to rest? Don't you think our True Mother deserves to rest? Well, then, this is the time when we must start exercising our five-percent responsibility by being that perfect child of God who is mature, confident, and competent because we have taken the time to work on ourselves.
That's why coming together as a movement and a community is hugely important. Don't just come because you want to show your face to me. Do it because it's good for you, it's good for the others and it's good for your neighbor. Do it because you not just know the Principle, but you want to build it, you want to contribute, you want to participate: because you want to inherit. That's what our life is all about. We need to inherit and make it ours, not wait for the horns of destiny to be steered by somebody else. It's ours to steer, brothers and sisters. We need to steer the course of our destiny. Don't you think we should do that? Don't you think it's high time for us to liberate our True Parents from all the responsibilities, worries, tasks and burdens they've had to bear along the way?
I think it's high time, and I think that's what our True Parents are talking about when they proclaim the Era of the Complete Victorious Liberation of our True Parents. This is a call for all of us not just to obey and follow and be the immature child who always needs to be supervised and reined in. We need to be the competent, inspired, empowered young adults, eternal sons and daughters of God who are going to say, "Father and Mother, just as you eased the suffering and the painful heart of our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, it's our time to do the same for you. It's our time to come together and work together to create something that's real and lasting." That's what we need to do.
I've always told my team, "If Lovin' Life can do its job, it doesn't matter whether 20, 40, or 50 years pass our good work will continue." That's the kind of a ministry, the kind of a community, and the kind of a world I would like to build, and I certainly would hope that you would like to build it with me.
Every now and then I still hear the conversation or the debate going: Are we a church or a movement? Well, we started out as a church. Then for the last 20 years all we emphasized was movement, and that is the reason many of our second-generation are no longer here. The way I see it, a united ministry is fundamental to all the work that we want to do because a united ministry or the church is like the vertebrae. It's like the bones that give form to the flesh. If you don't have that strong inner core, it doesn't matter how great the service work we do may be; nobody really knows what we're all about.
For the last 20 years we were often afraid to say, "We are the Unification Church. We are proud Unificationists. True Parents are the messiah, and guess what? It's time to go the Blessing and graft onto their heavenly lineage."
I remember when I first started the ministry, several people said to me, "You can't preach that True Father is the messiah. You can't say that so openly." I said, "Why not? Do we not live it? Do we not breathe it? Do you think that the only thing we need to do is know it and keep it in some kind of a bunker or a secret safe somewhere? No. The job of the breaking news is to share it, proclaim it, partake of it, and celebrate the fact that our True Parents are here with us.
For the last 20 years our movement has been like this huge, amorphous amoeba. It was huge in terms of its ability to cover things. We've touched a lot of things. We've spent lots of money. But because we lost that strong foundation of who we are, we lost our identity as proud Unificationists knowing we come from great parents like True Parents, then we didn't have a backbone. We weren't proud of who we were. We were hiding in the shadows, wondering whether we should say we're Unificationists or not. No.
So the answer is, "The church is the inner core." Yes, we are a church, but yes, we're also a movement. But if we only emphasize the good works or the service projects without bringing it back to God, True Parents, and our tradition, then all the work we do is meaningless. Because how are we different from any other service organization or movement out there? We are profoundly different in that we have our True Parents. We have our inner core, and that's why the united ministry of the church is essential to the work that we need to do to share in the breaking news.
Here we are at the beginning of this year, the Year of the Dragon û a mythological creature, roaming the heavens. This is the year when we need to kind of make flesh all the wonderful hopes and aspirations; we need to substantiate them here on earth. In order to do that, I cannot do it alone. I need you. I need all the district pastors. I need all the state leaders from around the nation to work together under a common vision toward a specific and a unified goal. This is what Lovin' Life Ministry is all about.
As we unfold into the year, and as our brothers and sisters, our precious district pastors come through New York onto the pulpit, I want all of you to give them the same appreciation, respect, and honor that you have afforded and awarded me. Our life of faith is not focused only on the importance of the vertical. We have to remember the horizontal. It's not just our relationship with God and True Parents that is important; how we treat each other, how we serve each other is equally important.
If you're serving only God and True Parents because that's the only thing that matters to you, well, then you're not being a perfect or complete or absolute child of God because you're neglecting the horizontal. We have to attend God and True Parents vertically, but we also have to attend each other and support each other. That's how we create a beautiful family and a beautiful culture.
Brothers and sisters, aren't we proud as American members? We are so lucky and blessed in that we started this year with a roaring bang. When GPA returns I'm sure they will share with all of you the Grand Prize. So let's be proud of what we've accomplished thus far and think about how much more we can accomplish when all of us do not simply obey, follow, and concentrate on what we know. Imagine what we can be as a community, as a movement, and as a family if we start thinking about how to live while inheriting and making our destinies our own, making our faith our own.
If we start thinking about not just following along what everybody else is doing, but being proactive and contributing, we can look around us to see how we can volunteer, how we can help, how you can inspire others with our creativity that's given uniquely to us by God in our divinity.
We're talking about not just talking the talk but really living that real love. When I say real love, I mean something that is truthful, genuine, and real, not something that is superficial and looks good but doesn't yield anything, like the mechanically perfect performance that has no life. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about living a life of real love, living for the sake of others in a way that makes God feel how much we really truly love him and her, so that we can make our True Parents feel how much we love each of them. We can help each other feel how much we love each other and want to be there for each other.
If we do that with everything, that makes us who we are meant to be as human beings, as great eternal sons and daughters of God. Then there is nothing that we cannot accomplish as long as we're willing to do the work.
So brothers and sisters, happy Year of the Dragon, and God bless you. Thank you so much.
1: Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.
2: And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11: "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12: Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13: "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.
14: "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.
15: Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
17: "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.
18: For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
19: Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20: For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
21: "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.'
22: But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.
23: So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24: leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25: Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison;
26: truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
27: "You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.'
28: But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29: If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
30: And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
31: "It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'
32: But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33: "Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.'
34: But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35: or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
36: And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
37: Let what you say be simply `Yes' or `No'; anything more than this comes from evil.
38: "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'
39: But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;
40: and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well;
41: and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
42: Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.
43: "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44: But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45: so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46: For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47: And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48: You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
1: But I, brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the flesh, as babes in Christ.
2: I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready,
3: for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men?
4: For when one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apol'los," are you not merely men?
5: What then is Apol'los? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.
6: I planted, Apol'los watered, but God gave the growth.
7: So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
8: He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor.
9: For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
10: According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it.
11: For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12: Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw --
13: each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
14: If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
15: If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
16: Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
17: If any one destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and that temple you are.
18: Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
19: For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness,"
20: and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."
21: So let no one boast of men. For all things are yours,
22: whether Paul or Apol'los or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours;
23: and you are Christ's; and Christ is God's.