The Words of the Hyun Jin Moon
Four hundred brothers and sisters congratulated the third eldest son of our True Parents [Hyun Jin Moon] with the world famous "birthday hymn" after Father's Sunday morning sermon at Belvedere. Father had come back from his stay in Korea just a few days before, and, of course, everybody present was very happy and excited to see him and Mother again. At 8 a.m. sharp, he ended his speech saying: "It's now 8 o'clock exactly. Number eight always marks a new beginning. So those who want to repledge themselves for a new start raise their hands." So we did.
Father then asked all the 120 day trainees, who just had completed their course, to stand up. He apologized for not having been able to speak to them during their training period. Mother then suggested to him to invite all of the trainees to East Garden for Hyun Jin Nim's birthday celebration. Who would object such a wonderful heavenly invitation!
There were also a number of other representatives attending the ceremony, especially some of the 36 couples, besides brothers and sisters from departments such as the New York Tribune, NEW ERA, IRFF, etc. It was the second time I attended such a birthday celebration at East Garden. The first time was nine years ago, in June 1974, when Mother invited all the European sisters of the IOWC to participate in In Jin Nim's birthday party.
The room we entered -- where almost all the celebrations take place -- was still the same as back then. It was nicely decorated with little flags hanging down from the ceiling, flower arrangements and, of course, the offering table, prepared by loving hands during the night.
Father and Mother were there, as well as most of their children and all the grandchildren. Two of Father's children were missing -- Hyo Jin Nim (he was still in Korea) and In Jin Nim. Where was she?
More and more brothers and sisters kept piling in, so it became more difficult to watch all the small children in front, but one of them gave away the secret: "She is still sleeping! She didn't get up yet!" A wave of laughter spread across the room. Mother asked someone to look for In Jin Nim.
The atmosphere was very relaxed, embracing and personal. Everyone felt at ease and at home. I especially watched Mother, who looked so dignified and pure to me. She truly seemed like God's First Lady but at the same time was the most loving and natural mother to her children, tenderly arranging them in front of the offering table. Here at home, Mother is truly the loving mistress of the house, speaking in a firm, but kindly, voice to her children, while always keeping an eye on father whom she loves and respects the most.
Finally In Jin Nim arrived apologizing for being late. Father smiled at her. Then both Father and Mother faced the offering table and the empty chairs behind which represent True Parents' and God's positions. Father immediately began to pray in a low voice. After that, True Parents bowed down before their son Hyun Jin Nim; then all the children did the same to their parents. Hyun Jin Nim now came to stand between his parents in order to receive God's blessing through them. He is some inches taller than Father and Mother hardly could reach to the top of his head. Again Father spoke a prayer. Hyun Jin Nim, his eyes closed, accepted the blessing with gratitude. I felt as if the Parents rededicated their son to Heavenly Father, as they had done with all their children on each of their birthdays. I tried to imagine how it would be 10, 20, 30 years from today, how True Parents' children would carry on the heritage of their parents, cooperate with us and influence society and the world....
Now the cameras prepared for the famous kiss of Father and Mother on both of Hyun Jin Nim's cheeks -- simultaneously. Click! Click! Click! The historical moment was captured.
As Father, Mother and Hyun Jin Nim cut the light green, three-tiered birthday cake, all of the brothers and sisters again joined in the song: "Happy birthday dear Hyun Jin Nim, happy birthday to you!" Yaaaay! Much applause for True Parents' son! Father and Mother again took their seats behind the offering table and Father picked a rice ball out of bowl and fed his family one by one -- first his children, then his son-in-law and daughter-in-law and then the grandchildren. Coming from a Catholic background I was very much reminded of Holy Communion being distributed -- this time by the Son of God himself!
With that gesture the ceremony itself seemed to be over, though many pictures were now taken. Father and Mother in the middle of their large family, seemed to enjoy every minute of it, since they usually don't spend much time with their children. Some of the little ladies and gentlemen didn't want to smile, so David Kim, Rev. Kwak and others made all kinds of efforts to make them laugh: smiling, making funny faces, holding up candy and chewing gum, etc., with some success. There was dynamic give-and-take between the true children and the audience. Especially the 36 couples seem to know how to encourage them. It reminded me again how much responsibility the 36 couples have taking care of Father's children, since Father himself absolutely lives by the principle to let his Cain-type children take care of his own children and since he and Mother completely sacrifice themselves for us.
Finally brown rice cake was passed to everyone. We gathered for the birthday meal. Father had promised his son Hyun Jin Nim to go out for an adventure in the afternoon. We wished them much joy and a good time!