Unification News for November 1998
The Love, Life, Lineage of God and You and I
by Martin Herbst-Barrytown, NY
Endless are the times when True Father has shared with us the significance of Godís love, life and lineage. Already back in 1989 he declared: "We must always remind ourselves of the three most important things: love, life and blood lineage. The purpose of Godís dispensation is to establish these three things substantially on earth. This is the way the whole world will be restored." (Rev. Sun Myung Moon, "The Completion of the Dispensation of Salvation and the Providential Age of Love," Aug. 20, 1989)
By reflecting on True Fatherís words I have come to the conclusion that they contain genuine revelation from God. Within this concept of love, life and lineage we find the key to a richer understanding of the nature of God, ourselves and human history. Revelation from God like the oceanís crystal clear water is always deeper than it appears. As much as it shares it also hides for the Word of God embraces eternity. You and I, then need to pause for a moment to filter the meaning of these wonderful words through our own experiences so they can take root within us and give birth to a more fulfilled existence. And while each of us travel this path to the Word and Love of God in our own unique way, it is also a common journey. We can discover points of mutual agreement, points that are universally true and uplifting for all of us. With this in mind I invite you to come with me! Come with me on a small journey to discover the amazing truth that are contained in these three simple words: love, life and lineage.
So let us observe Godís love, life and lineage from the angle of 1) existence, 2) human history and 3) our personal lives.
1. Love, Life and Lineage from the Viewpoint of Human Existence
Throughout the ages many philosophers and religious visionaries have appeared passing brilliant insight unto their fellow human beings-but none of them conceived of the idea to arrange the essentials of life in this peculiar way: love, life and lineage. Yet, it is precisely this trinity of gifts from God that forms the axis around which our happiness and fulfillment as human beings turn.
No matter how long we live, no matter how many children we have, what is it all worth if we do not have love? How barren life would be, how empty the universe would seem were it not for the voices of our beloved ones. You hear the loving voice of your spouse and at that moment life is again charged with power. You see the laughter and the tears of your children and again life is worth living. Once more the universe appears not empty but full and the future seems not frightening but encouraging, calling us to continue no matter what. As mysterious and inexplicable as love is, it is also the most solid concrete element in life. You have surely experienced this yourself. Once we love someone we are ready to lay down our life for that person. In love, only in love, can we give up our life without regret as Jesus gave up his life in his love for God and this world. Even if a woman killed some mad rapist in an attempt to protect herself she would go free. Once the dead body is found by the local police and the facts are in, she is on her way not to prison and shame but to respect and praise. How peculiar! Yes, love, as all poets know, is mightier than life and whatever life can offer of material wealth.
What about life and lineage then? Strictly speaking, the value of life is higher than the value of lineage. Does this seem hard to accept? Think about a newlywed couple who have just received the happy news that the wife is expecting a baby. Her cheeks are glowing with expectation, his breast is bursting with pride. But then the doctor comes along and explains that the chances are that the woman will lose her life in the process of giving birth! What then would their hearts dictate them to do? In this case abortion seems justifiable. Lineage would be sacrificed to preserve life and no one would have the right to accuse them. And if, as it is really sometimes the case, a woman would die as a result of becoming pregnant due to some physiological condition, then it is better that such a couple walk through life childless unless they are blessed with the possibility of adoption. Yes, love is higher than life but life is higher than lineage. Once the child is born, however, nothing can justify it being done away with, for then it already carries within itself the love and the life of its parents. Amazing! Love, life and lineage are flowing down vertically like water over the waterfall with love appearing first, then life and finally lineage. Once they reach the bottom, they unite and flow out to form the ocean of human experience. In this unity the danger of competition among these three gifts of God is suspended for love turns into life and then the love and the life turn into the lineage, multiplying forever and ever.
We could also say that the essence of God first appears as love, which is most mysterious and spiritual. Then it becomes life which is yet more observable. Finally the essence of God manifests itself in the newborn child, the lineage of God. No one can see how much love you have inside yourself. But whether you have life or not is pretty obvious! Finally your children express your love and life in a visible way. By giving us love, life and lineage God has literally given Himself to us. And as all true lovers He gave the best to us while we did not know it, while we were deep asleep within the motherís womb lest we should wake up and protest that such a sacrifice would be too much and that in all eternity we would not be worthy of such a gift! Love, life and lineage are the three great blessings God bestowed on us. They are the three keys which have to be turned simultaneously in order for the gate of the kingdom of heaven on earth to open. One key is turned by the husband, one by the wife and one by the child. By inheriting Godís love, life and lineage we qualify to become parents of love, teachers who can teach the true way of life and by multiplying generation after generation we become the true lords who are qualified to dominate mother earth in love. Once we have love, life and lineage, nothing else matters much. A couple who is grateful for their love, their life and their children can live without fame and fortune, although these things would be nice to have, too. But obstruct our love, interfere with our lives or touch our children and you will get into serious trouble. So these three remain in all eternity: love, life and lineage-and the greatest in all this is that they originate in God and are manifested through a couple.
Let us continue our trajectory to approach the love, life and lineage of God. The Bible reveals that God created man in His own image as men and women (Gen. 1:27). Now True Father appears on the stage of history and proclaims that God is furthermore a God of love, life and lineage (Rev. Moon, "In Search of the Origin of the Universe," Oct. 1, 1996). Does this then indicate that just as we humans physically express the invisible masculinity and femininity of God, we likewise reflect His invisible love, life and lineage with our physical bodies? If it is true that in a human being God makes Himself visible, then would it not be logical to look for the evidence of these three central elements in the central place of the human body which, commonly speaking, is our face? Amazing! When we glance at a human face, we notice at once that the eyes, nose and mouth are placed centrally, forming one vertical line. The eyes are the symbol of love. As True Father says, "We first experience love through our eyes." (Rev. Moon, "Cutting Off Satanís Lineage, the Origin of the Most Evil World," Dec. 1, 1997; see Todayís World magazine, Feb. 1998, Vol. 19 No. 2, p. 10. In this speech (p. 8), Father further explains, "There is a Korean saying that for a teenage boy and girl, the first stage of feeling love for another involves staring at each other, uniting the eyes. The next stage concerns who kisses first.") Can you remember the first time you fell in love? How your eyes met as if some magnetic force was activated, pulling the two of you closer and closer together. And once the love between you was secured it was as if your eyes opened to a complete new reality.
The eyes are mysteriously and wondrously connected to love. Just as God placed love centrally in the world of existence, so the eyes play perhaps the central role in the orchestration of bodily movements. Although the eyes always unite in one vision, they are nevertheless two distinct objects. How remarkable! For love in its greatness made itself so humble that it cannot exist alone. It appears in its emptying of itself for the sake of somebody else. In this way love is always present although nobody can ever find its hiding place. It hides in its own giving. The conclusion we come to is that the more we give love away, the richer we become! Herein lies the reason that no one can be deceived as long as they cling to love. Whether love has opened your eyes or made you blind-in true love, only in true love, you will never be deceived, for the more you give, the richer you become.
Let us pause a bit longer and listen to what God has to tell us through His creation of the eyes. And here it comes. The eyes are placed horizontally, not vertically!! Does this then indicate that true love is horizontal in nature rather than vertical? Yes, love starts out vertically but it culminates in the horizontal relationship of absolute equality and unity.
Here again True Fatherís words are very illuminating: "So the father/son relationship is vertical and the husband/wife relationship is horizontal. The vertical relationship existed even before birth, but the ultimate conclusion of the purpose of life is this horizontal marriage relationship." (Rev. Moon, "The Completion of the Dispensation of Salvation and the Providential Age of Love," Aug. 20, 1989; see Todayís World, Oct. 1989, p. 6)
Returning to the analogy with the eyes, we clearly see a vertical line traveling down from our forehead to reach the eyes, but the eyes themselves are placed horizontally. Likewise, true love may start out vertically like the relationship between parents and children, but the culmination of this vertical down-pouring of love is to be found in the conjugal relationship, where the possibility to become creators and parents like God is opened up to us.
By introducing the concept of True Parents, Father is revolutionizing the world of theology. So far the relationship between God and man was described as a static, vertical relationship. In Judaism the highest spiritual goal was to become a servant of God. Christianity declared that the ideal is to become a son or daughter of God. But no one thought of bringing the horizontal sexual love relationship into the center of the God/Man relationship. This is precisely what True Parents have done. By emphasizing the ideal of True Parents both the vertical and horizontal aspects of love are being harmonized with the ultimate goal that we who come from the dust of the ground end up as Godís love partners and friends! The more we connect to true love the more we become like God. Yes, in love all things are possible.
With this in mind we can better understand why both God and Satan focused their efforts to prepare the way for the horizontal conjugal relationship. If God stressed the vertical relationship through Judaism, then he has definitely emphasized horizontal love through Christianity. Paul proudly proclaims that in Christ many vertical distinctions are erased, for there is no "Jew" and "Greek" any longer. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. (I Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:26-29) Anybody who has attended Christian sermons or watched them on television cannot fail to notice the emphasis on horizontal love. Satan likewise has mobilized all his efforts to camouflage the real beauty of a permanent conjugal relationship. He has gathered all his ammunition to fire at Godís ideal of true love and not only is he in his desperation running out of ammunition, but the recoils of this endless firing are pushing him further and further backward until he pushes himself off the deck of Godís existence altogether. Nothing can exist and defeat the love of God, for the love of God is the root of all existence.
If the eyes are meant to symbolize love, where then shall we look for the symbol of life? By traveling a bit further down the face, we arrive at the nose! Of all organs the one that most adequately symbolizes life is the nose. Through the nose we breathe life, donít we? We inhale oxygen which is then dispatched to our whole body, filling us with the movement of life. The Bible explains that God breathed life into the nostrils of the first human beings (Gen. 2:7), further indicating this remarkable analogy between life and the nose. Just as the shape of the nose is vertical and static, so is life. Life never changes, it just goes on and on. Whether we love or hate, whether we laugh or cry, we will all live for eternity. Life itself goes on and on as if it was indifferent to good and evil. What adds color and change to existence is love and, as we have just seen, love even makes the impossible possible. So love in its capacity to change oneself and the world is more horizontal and must therefore be handled with greater care than the force of life which just rolls on. The wheels of life move on but love decides the direction.
Traveling further down the human face we arrive at our last stop in this connection: the mouth. To imagine that the eyes symbolize love and that the nose allows us to breathe, life seems plausible. But to see the mouth as the symbol of lineage! Is that not a bit fabricated, Mr. Herbst? And I agree that nothing of what I have said can be proven to be true to you, for truth always lies within you and not on a piece of paper. But let us consider the matter. And we discover that it is precisely this organ of the mouth that allows us to perpetuate the lineage. Through the mouth the mother eats food, which goes straight down to the fetus until the time has come to leave this automatic supply chamber and enter into a new world. Through the mouth creation is transformed to become new sons and daughters of God populating the earth. It seems that by sacrificing itself for mankind, the entire creation becomes all the richer.
God translated His invisible love, life and lineage into the form and function of the eyes, nose and mouth! But we have lived oblivious of the preciousness of a single human face. Did you ever consider that when you look into the face of another human being, you are staring at the love, life and lineage of God? When you spouse turns his or her head towards you, it is in fact the love, life and lineage of God which is turning your way. How precious it is to be a human being and to have the face you call yours. Why is it that we cannot meet God more often? Is it because He is too far away? Or is it not rather because He is too close! As close as your lovely eyes, your lovely nose and your lovely mouth.
Finally love seems to embrace everything on its way down even the nose and the mouth. It is helpful to see the eyes as the starting point of love for love begins spiritually distant from the flesh just as the eyes meet but are separated by earthly space. Then the element are drawn closer together until we can smell the masculine or feminine fragrance of each other. Finally the process is sealed with a kiss. From then on, as they say, the rest is history.
2) Love, Life and Lineage from the Viewpoint of History
Our trajectory has led us into human existence. From there we journeyed down the human face. And now the time has come to leave the individual human being to venture into the collective experience of human history.
History is truly "His-story". The story through which God seeks to establish His own image here on earth. Ironically, in order to reestablish the essence of His being here on earth, God had to move away from the traditional headquarters of this world. He had to move away from the busy, busy marketplaces, away from the desks of politicians and warlords and into the desolated land of manís deepest fears and highest hopes-into the realm of religion. Through the medium of religion, God left His abode in heaven and came down to earth to once again implant His love, His life and His lineage in human soil. True Father explains: "Restoration of love, life and blood lineage must occur in the reverse order. Religion is the process to solve these three problems. To fulfill these purposes, God established the Jewish religion, which now represents the Old Testament Age. After that, there was the New Testament Age and then the Completed Testament Age." (Sun Myung Moon, The Completion of the Dispensation of Salvation and the Providential Age of Love, Aug. 20, 1989, Todayís World, Oct. 1989, p. 5.)
Like a gardener who plants many flowers each beautiful in its own way and each with a particular fragrance of its own, God planted the seeds of the various religious traditions in the soil of human culture. Among all these beautiful flowers in Godís garden, there was one which happened especially to steal Godís attention. No, it was not so much due to its beauty nor its shape but rather because God simply chose to rest His eyes on this particular flower; a rose it was, and He decided to call it Sharon.
The central purpose of Israel was none other than to restore the lineage of God here on earth. Herein lies the reason why the Jewish people have attracted so much attention and have played a role on the stage of history completely disproportional to its actual size. Historians have so far failed to grasp that the story of the Chosen People is not just the story of a people in search of their God but the story of Godís effort to reestablish His lineage amongst men and women like you and me. Judaism is the story of the lost sonís search for his father but also the desperate fatherís search for his lost son, the son carrying his lineage. Jewish history is not just about the preservation of the lineage of a persecuted and liberated people but even more about the lineage of the liberator Himself-God. Because the Jewish people carried within them the mission to preserve and multiply Godís lineage, they were protected beyond all normal expectations, they were justified and forgiven well beyond ordinary standards, and found themselves at the center of world history.
"The lineage of God! Prepare for the lineage of God!" This is the message pulsating through the various Biblical stories. The endless rattling off of genealogies cannot but surprise or rather tire anyone who makes the effort to read the Old Testament in its entire length. But underneath the loud human voices of the prophets, writers or redactors, the voice of God is whispering, "The lineage of God! Prepare for the lineage of God!"
The dominant role of lineage in the Old Testament Age centering on Judaism is further highlighted by the nature of the central religious ritual of the Jewish people: circumcision. How peculiar! That an act of cutting the male sexual organ where it is just about most sensitive should have the power to move a person away from the misery and pain of this world and into the land of God, a land flowing with milk and honey. Pushed by the hand of God, the significance of this ritual would swing above the significance of all the other religious rituals performed in Judaism. (Arthur Hertzberger, Judaism, George Braziller, New York 1962, pp. 87-88: "Rabbi Jose says, ĎGreat is circumcision, for it overrides even the stringency of the Sabbath [circumcision may be performed on the Sabbath if it is the eighth day after birth]í.")
Picture yourself in the shoes of young Isaac trying to convince the local media and famous scholars that this type of act would alter world history! Surely they would regard him as a madman and his father even more so! Godís wisdom often reveals itself in the absence of human cleverness. Thus the difference between an insane person and a person who can receive revelation from God are almost indiscernible. The only difference is that the truly mad person has lost both his mind and his God, but religious visionary, like Job, has willingly lost his mind but clings unto God. And by keeping God, he or she will eventually gain the whole world.
Through the Judaism of the Old Testament Age, God tried to recover His lineage. Does this mean that Godís love and Godís life were absent from the history of the Israelite people? By no means. To say that God attempted to restore His lineage through the course of the Israelites does certainly not mean that there was no love or life in the Old Testament Age for love, life and lineage are intrinsically connected and can only be separated conceptually. But it is correct to say that in the Old Testament Age the resurrection of Godís lineage took precedence over the resurrection of his life and his love. This is the reason why the Old Testament narrative teems with stories which ring strange in the ear of a conscientious person. Often life is sacrificed and, yes, people of other lineageís such as the Canaanites are even killed to preserve the lineage of the chosen people. Even within the Jewish community itself, love at times is sacrificed, such as in the strange stories of Tamar (Gen. 38) or Rahab (Joshua 2:1, Matthew 1:5; originally a prostitute, she became the ancestor of Jesus Christ), in order to continue and protect the lineage of God.
With the above in mind, let us now leave the lineage of God to observe how the next stage of Godís central providence unfolded. As Father already indicated, the path of restoration is accomplished in reverse order. This being the case, what would we expect to be the focus of Godís work after the recovery of His lineage through the Israelites of the Old Testament Age? We would expect God to breathe new life into the dead body of humanity. Precisely this has been the task of Christianity of the New Testament Age.
The aorta through which new meaning and value is pumped through the whole body of Christianity consists of the mystery and blessing of eternal life. Am I on my way to eternal damnation or to eternal life? Will I die and rot away like the grass in the summer or like some dead animal on the roadside, or will I resurrect to life eternal with God? Can faith in my Lord, Jesus Christ, really wrest me out of the grasp of death and provide me with the wings of eternity? Such is the temperament of the questions knocking on the door of the Christian mind. The tension between life and death of which only we humans are conscious is continuously magnified through the Christian message, and then in the promise of resurrection it is suspended once and for all. For the victory of Christ, so the Gospel tells us, was an eternal victory over death in the temporal order. With Paul, we shout triumphantly-directly into the face of death which we once feared much the same way a criminal fears his own well-deserved execution: "Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?" (I Cor. 15:54-55)
And the joy! The joy of knowing that Christ really was victorious on the cross just has no end. It is a joy which runs deeper than all the currents of sadness, sin and suffering which usually threaten to fill up this earthly life and drown us in despair. With Christ in our hearts, we learn to survive in waters once foreign and hostile. The symbol of Christianity is not the star of David which shines forever over the descendants of Abraham but the fish which moves freely and playfully in a territory where others would hardly be able to breathe!
The promise of Christianity is not that the faithful will be blessed by having an eternal lineage here on earth. In Christianity the significance of a physical lineage almost disappears into the value of eternal life. The promise also does not revolve around eternal love, at least not in the conjugal sense. When a Christian imagines heaven, he or she imagines a world populated by individuals, not couples. Paul advises that the strong of heart serve the Christian cause better if they remain single. (I Cor. 12:13) The true Christian gladly forsakes the blessing of married life and children in order to secure the blessing of eternal life. In Judaism the establishment of the lineage of God took a dominating role over His love and life. Similarly, in Christianity the lineage and love of God are present, but it is the hope in resurrection and eternal life which plays the main role.
Lineage cannot be established by an individual alone; neither can love. But life you can have, just as you are, in yourself. Herein lies one reason for the Christian cultureís fascination with the life and death of the individual. Christianity stresses the lonely life where the path to heaven is a path we primarily travel as individuals. Think about how lonely Jesus must have been! He was searching all over Israel, which to him must have seemed like the entire world, for three long years, which to him must have seemed like all eternity, for one single individual who could believe and follow him as the long-awaited Messiah. And as he walked towards his own death with the weight of the cross on his shoulders and the weight of this world on his heart, he was whispering to God, "Finally! Finally, I have found someone who has faith! Finally, I have found someone who is willing to give his life for the Messiah and the messianic ideal. It is me, your son, Jesus from Nazareth! See, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. Now let me represent all these people, so that they in turn can participate in my victory over death." And as a father who bends over his dying son to let him whisper a final wish into his ears, God was speechless when he observed how Jesus returned hatred and scorn with love and compassion. And God could not but grant this final wish of Jesus that all mankind could be forgiven, and join him in everlasting life. By giving his life for all, Jesus gave life to all. He knew more than any that if something is lost in love, love itself will find it and see to its eternal growth.
That Christianity is the instrument through which God infuses his life into mankind can also clearly be seen in its central religious ritual of baptism. Baptism is ritual murder and rebirth! Down in the waters with the old Adam of sin and death! Out of the waters with the new Adam of hope and life! How strange, even mad, this ceremony must seem to a person observing from a distance, the distance easily created by another cultural background or religious affiliation. Imagine someone from such a background passing by a church where a baptism is being conducted within. He hears the singing and moves closer to watch the event through the window of his own perspective. How cold and brutal this act appears from where he stands. To see the little innocent baby, perhaps deep asleep, being dipped in the cold water of the baptismal font. How the baby wakes up and cries as only small babies can cry. But the minister, who in all likelihood sees this child for the first and perhaps even for the last time, ignores the tears of the baby and proceeds to say his prayers. Prayers that mean so little to the little one, for all it wants is to be held by its mother-but even that is denied.
And then picture the company within. How meaningful it is to be gathered with friends and family around the event of baptism. They have gathered from far and nigh to celebrate the blessing of eternal life on the newborn. Once again they are reminded of the tremendous gift Jesus brought to them in exchange for his own blood and tears on the cross. If any in this company could understand the significance of what is taking place, how could he or she avoid feeling warmth in the heart and the desire just to offer thanks to the God who has created and sustained all of them? Once again the wisdom of God begins where human logic stops. How wonderful a place this world would be in Christians would bear such things in mind when dealing with people who are nurtured in a different religious tradition from their own!
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, Todayís 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 national 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 Godís 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 blueprint of morality came from above, it was in all practicality shaped from the matrix of oneís 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 couldnít afford it! To fee another mouth, to survive on the job market as a single mother, or to provide for oneself in oneís 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 peopleís 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 manís 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 todayís world which centers uniquely on the resurrection of Godís 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 oneís 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 Godís love that it turns the universal into the particular! It is easy to love God and this world when there is no risk involved, isnít it? But love cannot exist without risk, for love exists by way of risking itself. The Blessing Ceremonies which now include millions of couples are Godís 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 wouldnít 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 Godís 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 Godís love. Love involves a partner. The great revelation 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 Godís 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 Sarahís 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. Jesusí resurrection from death to life laid the groundwork for the next 2000 years of Godís 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 million 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 happen 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 themselves 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 Godís 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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