The Words of Reverend Chong Jik Woo
Reverend Chong Jik Woo
7/10/94 - Washington, DC
This is the first of two excerpts from a sermon given at Sunday Service, July 10, 1994, at the church in Washington DC.
"From where does Man come? And to where is Man going? Who is living beyond the golden shining star?" This was written by the poet Heinrich Heine. In every age, people have pursued the answer to this serious question about our life in the same manner a child pursues the love of his mother.
For humans, one of the most important and serious questions is whether God exists and if he has a personal love for each person. If there is no existence of God, then faith and religion is meaningless.
There are many people who wonder about these last days and the end of the age. Our world is racked with turmoil. Because of the rise of nihilism and selfishism, true relationships are increasingly hard to accomplish. As a result, loneliness, futility, despair and confusion are widespread. Immorality, violent crime, drug abuse and free sex destroy the family foundation, the order of society and positive cultural values. We could speak of this all day and not exhaust the topic, but I think you know about this very well.
What is the cause of these problems and how did they develop to this point? From Father's point of view, the main cause of the problem is that man has lost God. As a result, we have also lost true faith and knowledge.
Because God and humanity have lost the Parent and child relationship, mankind has lost the ideal relationship of brother and sister. That's why people are estranged. This is why we see the problems which I mentioned earlier.
For example, on Memorial Day, instead of visiting the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, some people visit the tomb of their pet dog or cat. This kind of thing actually happens in today's world. In spite of this, we still have to try our best to solve the fundamental problem with a positive hopeful mind. We must restore the true faith that we can all be a practitioners of true love.
In our scripture reading today we heard the story of the good Samaritan. The good Samaritan took care of the badly beaten man who was overlooked by the priest and the Levite. We are in the same situation now. Around us is a whole world of people who are dying like that badly beaten man. The only difference is that people are dying a spiritual death, which is even more serious. If we don't reach out to them, we will be like the priest and the Levite. We need to care for them and heal them with the truth of the Completed Testament Age. We need to be like the Samaritan. This is the practice of true love.
How much does our lifestyle and faith compare with the good Samaritan? Especially at this time, we need to practice the way of true love as the Samaritan. We cannot carry on in the same manner as before. We have to push ourselves more to practice true love in accordance with the standard of the Completed Testament Age. Today, we should think deeply about this and measure our life of faith.
Our Current Situation
If humans had not fallen, we could have established the ideal society based upon the pattern of a perfectly functioning human body. The function of the body's organs and extremities is centered on the brain. Such a system makes for beautiful harmony between operation and motion in the body. This same system could be applied toward achieving a beautiful and harmonious world of love. God's position would be that of the brain and all peoples and nations would be in the position of the organs and extremities. Each ideal family would be like a cell in the body. In the body, if one cell is suffering and sick, then the whole body feels that condition. Likewise, in an ideal society of true love, if one person or family is suffering or is having joy and glory, all people would be organically connected to that suffering or joy. That is what an ideal society would be like.
The fundamental objective of our life of faith is to develop in the practice of true love. A person who lacks the experience of serving, sacrificing, extending grace and mercy and practicing the life of love, is a person whose life of faith has died.
The priest and Levite who avoided the badly beaten man were people whose faith was dead. Truly, the most cruel and heartless state of being exists when we are unwilling to help someone, who otherwise, would die. Like murder, such a way of life is rooted in the total disregard for the preciousness of life. To live a life of such heartalistic neglect is more damaging to one's self then had we ingested the most potent poison. In a real sense, the priest and the Levite could be accused of violently trampling upon the sanctity of life, itself.
The greatest manifestation of God's love and mercy is demonstrated toward us. Even though we are the children of those who betrayed him, he still tries to restore us. He didn't just "cut down the damaged reed and toss it into the fire". Even a dying man on the roadside is the object of God's mercy.
Today, there are many self-righteous religious people who attempt to serve the invisible God. They try their best with a sincere heart. But when it comes to serving the visible children of God, their attitude is apathetic and selfish. Certain people are judged to be valueless and are shunned. In the same way, John the Baptist misjudged Jesus and abandoned him to a life of suffering. People who maintain this attitude believe that their denomination holds the only way to salvation. They stubbornly profess that if you believe as they do, you will, automatically, go to heaven. Although they insist that their way is heaven's way, they treat their neighbor as animals and never feel the pain of conscience. We can see many examples of this terrible behavior.
Jesus said, "...you shall love your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself". So, in order to fulfill the standard of a true life of faith, we have to find "our neighbor" and greet them, be concerned about them, serve them and practice the life of true love towards them. This is the only way to make a hopeful and bright future. Every person is born owing to others the debt of true love. Let us pay our debt by extending to all people the heart of true love.
Whatever I have in my possession, such as, my mind and body, my wisdom and knowledge, conscience, parents, my wife and children, brother and sisters, my country, my health, life, love, sunshine, air and water and all things, everything is given to us by God freely. If we ponder for a moment, we can realize that nothing belongs to me, everything comes from God. God loans all things to us as his lovely gift. Therefore, if we have some special talent, we should not be proud of ourself. It is talent on loan from God.
Our actual possession is "our portion of responsibility". We are the true owner of our portion of responsibility. The fruit of accomplishment of our responsibility is the thing that remains with us forever. What we don't accomplish or what we use improperly, becomes our debt for which we must pay indemnity.
When we look at the Bible we see many miracles taking place. One such notable miracle was as displayed by Jesus' disciples who, in order to help their neighbor, donated all that they had with a heart of overflowing love and Holy Spirit. The life of the community of love is truly a miracle of the Holy Spirit which leads us to the life and practice of true love.
So in order to have success in our life of faith we need to know if our current direction is on course with the Will of God. We need to be aware, on a daily basis, of the points that we have to change in order to become better people. We need to reflect with a honest and humble mind in order to change our current situation. In this way, we can find success in our life of faith.
The ideal realization is to realize the extent of my responsibility. The ideal world is a world of true love, symbiosis, mutual prosperity and true righteousness. In order to establish the ideal society, we must deeply understanding the core consciousness of our being. Without that understanding, it is very difficult to fulfill God's will.
First of all, we have to understand that the relationship of God and True Parents with our core consciousness. That relationship should be the same as the relationship of mind and body. The extent to which we are able to unite with God and make heartal unity with him, will determine success or failure, happiness or unhappiness, life or death, co-prosperity or privation.
We have to examine our relationship with God and True Parents. It is our life-line and, in the Completed Testament Era, is like mother's milk for a child or a reservoir which provides water for a city .
Secondly, we have to understand the core consciousness of our brothers and sisters. If there were no brothers and sisters, we couldn't establish the Kingdom of God on Earth. We need kingdom people in order to establish the Kingdom.
Why do we refer to each other as brother and sister even though we are not related by birth? We became brothers and sisters because of God's love. Because we have God's love as our common base, we can form close relationships making us precious members of heaven's family.
What's your opinion of the Samaritan who saved the dying man and gave him love and mercy, tolerance and service? In my view, the Samaritan is living in accord with the way of the Kingdom of love. Then, if you were in his situation what would you do? If you saw some badly injured man on the road, would you do as the Samaritan?
Why did God call us? He called us to do the work of the good Samaritan. But more than just taking care of one badly injured man, God wants us to establish an ideal society. For us, the badly beaten man laying by the road side is not just one man, it is our entire society, our family, neighbors, friends and all people. In our entire life, how much did we serve others and sacrifice for them?
If there was some member who was suffering through a difficult time concerning his finances, how much did you help him? Or if some member was having an inner conflict of faith and was about to leave the church, did you just judge him when all they needed was your outstretched hand of comfort and consolation? To excuse yourself from caring for them, did you tell yourself that their suffering is indemnity because of their own bad conditions? Aren't we sometimes more like the Levite and the priest then the good Samaritan? If that doesn't change, how could we ever hope to bring the Kingdom?
Without a deep understanding of someone's situation, we cannot know the proper way to help them. It is never effective to just quickly judge. I heard some members say, "If the kingdom would be a place where there is dry love, but hell was the place with overflowing love, then I would rather choose to be in hell." This is a very serious commitment.
From the Principled, providential and heartistic point of view, people should be very close to each other, but instead, people have become cold hearted, selfish, irresponsible, rumor making, heart destroying, self righteous, jealous, and self centered.
How did this terrible heartal disease come upon us? Is my way of expressing right or wrong? If I am wrong please excuse me, if what I am saying is right, please listen carefully.
We have lost touch with some important elements of our faith. 1. We have overlooked the most precious relationship with God, True Parents and myself. 2. We lost the sense of the precious value of the person who knows God's will. That's similar to losing the sense of value of my own self. 3. We lost sight of our true purpose and motive for coming here and, with it, our clear vision and true heart. 4. We have forgotten our first faith and heart of love. As a result, we lost our first determination and the first point of a new first start. 5. Because we lost the sense of value for the member who is chosen by God, we have, likewise, lost the sense of the value of brothers and sisters and all family members. 6. We've lost touch with the core consciousness of our being and the deep sense that we all have the same destiny. Instead, we try to steer our life toward it's own selfish joy. 7. We have forgotten the ultimate purpose of the life of faith. We lost the sense of what is involved in striving for the perfect personality, and so we quietly resign ourselves to the life of hypocrisy. 8. We've forgotten how important it is to have individual responsibility. Without fulfilling our individual responsibility, we are just observers of God's providence. Let us work hard to revive these lost elements in our life of faith.
It is so important to establish a subjective life of faith. If my faith only compels me to do as much as others are doing and no more, then my life will be empty and my faith will be hollow and meaningless like the clanging of a gong or the crashing of a cymbal.
If we are indifferent to a righteous life of faith and a true relationship with True Parent's Church, our future cannot be bright. For example, some people are opposed to inheriting the traditional life style, or they don't like the inconvenience of the life of attendance, serving, tithing and giving donations. They don't want to participate in church activities, they eschew heavenly protocol and organization and want to go their own way. Such people, typically, have never had a serious experience with the Holy Spirit or the spirit world. Such a lifestyle prevents a person from the experience of a serious life of faith. The life of serving God and the insight to be able to solve all varieties of fundamental problems, is unreachable to such a person.
We must maintain our relationship with God and principled life because it is so vital. We must help our brothers and sisters to understand this point. To do that, let us love and serve each other more. If we are lacking in material resources and cannot give externally, then lets give to each other the internal preciousness of the word of true love. We can encourage each other in this way. If we find some weak point or observe some fault in others, let us be understanding and try to compensate for each other's short comings. Let us try to guide with a humble and respectful word. God wants us to live our lives with a sincere heart of love.
The core consciousness of my being has to establish God, myself and my neighbor in an unbreakable trinity. I, you and he, should be a triangle of love and a trinity of cohesiveness.
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