Unification News for April / May 1999

The Love, Life, Lineage of God and You and I

Martin Herbst
Barrytown, NY
3rd of 3 parts

We have seen how God recovered His lineage through the chosen people of the Old Testament Age. Then He resurrected His life through the Christians in the New Testament Age. And "now, after accomplishing all this, we are entering into the fantastic new era of the dispensation of love." (Sun Myung Moon, "The Completion of the Dispensation of Salvation and the Providential Age of Love," Aug. 20, 1989, Today’s World, Oct. 1989, p. 7) True Father declares without a shadow of doubt in his mind, that all mankind are moving into the Age of Love. The Age of Love? Today? Tomorrow?

When, where and how, if I may ask, does this make sense in a world which is torn apart by personal and nation-al catastrophes such as insanity, divorce, drugs and wars? Are we not further away from love and friendship than ever, or at least as distant? In the case of the Completed Testament Age centered on God’s love, we do not have a two-thousand-year-long history at our disposal as was the case with both the history of the Old and New Testament Ages. In fact, we are in the process of entering it now. I also doubt that God will limit His efforts to resurrect His love to one particular religious tradition for the love of God is by nature beyond doctrine and organized religion. Still, I contend that we are indeed entering the Age of Love or the age where the love of God will play the dominating role.

What then are the signs of the times? First, throughout history the main concern of virtually all human beings from cradle to grave was how to survive. Living conditions in the past were too harsh to provide the general population with the luxury of surplus money and leisure time. Although the blue-print of morality came from above, it was in all practicality shaped from the matrix of one’s social condition. Thus a husband would refrain from impregnating another woman, a wife would refrain from divorcing her husband, and grandparents would stay together with children and grandchildren no matter how much they desired to do otherwise—simply because they couldn’t afford it! To fee another mouth, to survive on the job market as a single mother, or to provide for oneself in one’s old age were not possible for the average person. What through the lenses of nostalgia may seem to have been an age characterized by love and care may from a closer observation appear as an age dictated more by external than internal conditions. Then came the marriage of science and technology in the 20th century. Today a man can leave his wife, remarry and still be pretty well off financially. A woman can divorce her husband and at least survive on the job market. And as if this was not enough, we have decorated the landscape with thousands of old people’s homes to house the elderly because nobody else wants them. The shadows falling from these facts are long and gray. I hope they need no further elaboration. The brightness in all this is, that we are entering an amazing age where the only thing which will keep us together as a couple, as a family and as an extended family is love, true eternal love, which is the love of God. In the end, all things seem to work on the side of love.

The signs indicating modern man’s longing for the love of God are manifold and encompass the whole spectrum of human affairs. New religious movements off all brands and from all directions promise to guide the believer into a deeper experience of love. Psychology attempts to explain love based on a scientific paradigm. Social movements have pioneered respect and equality among all people and in this way planted flowers where there once were walls. Even the ghastly presence of pornography is a desperate cry for a deeper experience of love! I have actually managed to find one positive aspect in the world-wide sex-industry! It brings to our attention how central sexual fulfillment is to human happiness and how completely disoriented we are about our own sexuality and how to establish a permanent relationship of conjugal love.

The Old and New Testament Ages opened up through the ceremonies of circumcision and baptism respectively. Where then shall we look for the central ceremony which has the authority to begin this Age of Love? The Matching and Blessing Ceremonies of True Parents. Do you know of any other ceremony in today’s world which centers uniquely on the resurrection of God’s love and which is both genuinely original and worldwide in character? The matching ceremonies are not a gigantic marriage bureau but a profound religious ceremony where God allows the participant to reclaim his vertical and horizontal love. By having absolute faith that God is working through the True Parents in the selection of one’s eternal spouse, the vertical love for God is restored. By being ready to love virtually anyone of the opposite sex whether they are white, yellow, black, blue, green or purple, a person demonstrates his determination to restore the horizontal love towards all mankind. I cannot marry all women in the entire world. But by being willing to accept anyone, I have at least in my heart embraced all women. With this victory I can then see my wife eternally as being the embodiment of all women, which she is. In this way, the abstract trust in God and the entire world is concretized toward one human being. How wonderful! For is it not the very nature of God’s love that it turns the universal into the particular! It is easy to love God and this world when there is no risk involved, isn’t it? But love cannot exist without risk, for love exists by way of risking itself. The Blessing Ceremonies which now include mil-lions of couples are God’s way of ringing in the new age where His blessing will rest on the eternal conjugal relationship and the entire family.

But can all this really be true? Is it not just a serious joke? How easy it would be if the Messiah would come on the clouds. I have in my own weak moments been tempted to wish for something like this. If he would just come riding on the white clouds of heaven, how wonderful it would be! For then we wouldn’t have to think, would we? But the sweetness of being liberated from the terrible heaviness of our own responsibility would turn bitter and sour in the presence of deeper reflection. Then what if the Messiah came in much the same way that Jesus came 2000 years ago? And made it so terribly difficult for anyone to follow him. So difficult that only the person who would descend to the deepest layers of his or her mind and intuitively grasp what all this is about could generate the power to continue with a smile. Although the Completed Testament Age is the age where God’s efforts to restore His lineage, life and love come to fruition, it is primarily an age which is characterized by the presence or absence of God’s love. Love involves a partner. The great rev-elation the True Parents are bringing to this world is that the prototype of Christ is not any longer an individual but a couple.

It is a revelation which must change this world once we grasp the significance of it and apply it to our daily lives. Rather than ignoring or rejecting the efforts of the great religious pioneers who cried and struggled before us, this simple truth brings them consolation and comfort. The reason why the kingdom of heaven on earth could not be established despite the amazing works of all these great individuals and their disciples is that the kingdom of heaven cannot be established by individuals! It can only be established by couples and families embodying both the vertical and horizontal dimensions of God’s eternal love. This is so simple that even a fool can understand it and yet so profound that even the mind of a genius could not have produced it. In retrospect we can see how God began the Old Testament Age with a miracle centered upon lineage. In Gen. 17:17 we read about Sarah’s miraculous conception of Isaac when she was 90 years old! With Isaac begins the new lineage of the chosen people. What was the central miracle through which God began the New Testament Age of Christianity? The central miracle in Christian history centers on life. Jesus’ resurrection from death to life laid the groundwork for the next 2000 years of God’s work. The miracle which will open the Completed Testament Age will center on love. The miraculous matching and blessing ceremonies of True Parents as well as many other works of love herald the coming of the Completed Testament Age.

3) Love, Life and Lineage from the Viewpoint of Our Personal Lives We have arrived at the final destination on our journey to approach the love, life and lineage of God: our personal lives. And now, I take the liberty to ask you some questions which I, in all honesty, have asked myself a mil-lion times. Is your love rooted in the love of God? Is your love different from the type and standard of love we normally see practiced in this world? Does your love move like an ocean within to whose depths you constantly dive, even at the risk of your own life? Can you feel the love of God pushing towards the gates of your mind tearing them off their hinges and mingling with your tears and laughter? Have you decided to love the unlovable, to willingly suffer to find that secret hiding place where you can pray for those who hurt you—and broke your heart? Perhaps you sense the truth in this but want to postpone the project of doing it until tomorrow. I can understand that. But tomorrow will always be tomorrow. Eternity is always an eternity away! However, in love the ordinary conceptions of time collapse. What Einstein discovered by means of the intellect, that time speeds up and slows down, we all have discovered by means of the heart. Truly, the arms of love stretch into the future and bring a piece of that world into the present moment. Once you love with the love of God, it is as if the arrow of time stops, bends back over itself and inflates the present moment with the breath of eternity. In love the actuality of the present moment is joined to the presence of the eternal. Is your way of life really different for a life disconnected from the life of God? No! I am not asking if you fly around in your own helicopter, have achieved fame and fortune in this world or hap-pen to lead many people. These things could easily be signs that you have made wrong choices in your life. Is your life filled with risks? Are you truly living for others or are you using the wonderful concept of "higher purpose" as a conceptual springboard to jump into imaginary worlds with imaginary accomplishments far away from your own immediate responsibility towards the flesh and blood sitting next to you? I have done this a number of times and hurt myself terribly in the process. So if these words seem too strong, remember that they are echoes from my own mind and heart.

Finally, to your lineage, your beloved children. Are they different? Do they feel rooted in the lineage of God, or are they gravitating towards the sickness in modern culture? Whether they are clever and capable in the human sense is really secondary. But is their sensitivity towards good and evil in them-selves and this world nurtured? Can the voice of their own conscience drown the messages coming from without? These are questions no one can answer but you yourself. How we relate to such questions determines the presence of God’s love, life and lineage in our families and the world.

And now a final word. With all of the above in mind, you can perhaps better understand why I cannot but feel a deep love for the man and woman who gave their lives to help me grasp these things. As a result I am experiencing the living God and so my family. With this I want to thank you for having followed me on this trajectory to the love, life and lineage of God, which now has come to an end. Or has it just begun?

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