The Words The Kwak Family

The Meaning of Children's Day

Chung Hwan Kwak
November 2, 1986

Father finishes his speech on Children's Day, November 2, 1986, at the church headquarters in Seoul.

First of all, let me extend my best wishes for a happy Children's Day to all of our members worldwide. This year marks our 27th celebration of this holiday. In Korea, True Parents officiated at the main celebration; the leaders and members there were very excited and grateful to be with them. After the traditional early morning gathering of elder couples, Father spoke to everyone, and the program proceeded with the usual festivities.

Although True Parents were in Korea physically, in heart and spirit they were also with those of us in other nations, praying for us and giving their blessing. When we are apart from True Parents, we should of course naturally celebrate such days with an attitude of attendance.

True Parents established Children's Day in 1960 on the Unification Church foundation. However, True Parents expect Children's Day to reach far beyond the limits of the church -- to the national, worldwide, and cosmic levels. That is, all humankind, in both the physical and spiritual worlds, must come to celebrate this day. Our determination at the time of this 27th commemoration should be to win universal recognition for this day and celebrate it together as one worldwide family.

According to the Principle of Creation, the relationship between God and all humankind is that of parent and children. We use the terminology "parents" and "children," but in our fallen world the meaning and content of these words can describe only our fallen reality -- not our original relationship. Since Adam and Eve fell, Heavenly Father, our true Parent, has missed His children with a terrible, aching heart and has striven continuously and sacrificially to regain us. Our language is inadequate to convey God's tragic condition as "parent," our fearful condition as lost "children," and the deep joy, nourishing love, and sense of oneness that our original relationship with Him would have contained.

Tremendous Sacrificial Conditions

We should review and contemplate the course True Father went to establish Children's Day. From the time he first undertook his providential mission, he has had to confront many miserable situations. With all his sweat, tears, and blood he struggled against the power of Satan, overcoming all the challenges and accusations that Satan hurled in his path. There was no example or predecessor for him; he had to pioneer the standard of the true man on his own and create the substantial foundation for God to work in the fallen realm. He laid tremendous, sacrificial indemnity conditions, until at last he could establish Parents' Day. On the foundation of Parents' Day, he could move forward to proclaim Children's Day.

You may think that the purpose of Children's Day is somehow to honor and recognize young children. Of course, one important focus of our efforts in the providence is to create beautiful blessed children, so no doubt we want to express our appreciation of them. However, the real purpose of Children's Day is for us as fallen people to link ourselves to the original ideal and understand our value as God's children. What does this mean?

First, only through the establishment of Children's Day do we really have the potential and hope of becoming true children of God. Without True Parents' foundation, we would not even have the concept of "true children:' Only through Children's Day can we actually relate to, or come to inherit, the name of "children of God:'

Second, we should comfort our Heavenly Father who, with a broken heart of true love, sorely misses His own children. We should offer thanks to Him for loving us unconditionally, never ceasing to try to save us, and acting for our benefit without expressing His pain or hurting anyone.

Third, we must analyze our own deepest selves. We should compare our own status with that of a true child. How close or how distant are we in heart with God and True Parents? Centering on the original standard, what kind of positive conditions have we created, and what negative conditions do we need to undo? Often we focus on external matters and lose touch with the fundamental life element -- true love -- which binds us to True Parents.

When we follow True Parents' directions inaccurately by forgetting their heart and motivation, we drift away from them. In small but significant ways we routinely betray our connection to True Parents in daily life. These are the negative conditions we must redeem.

From past experience in the history of our movement, we realize that the predictions Father has made based on his viewpoint and unfailing direction have come true. For example, even decades ago Father proclaimed the decline of the communist world, and especially the downfall of the Soviet Union. He urged PWPA and ICF professors to organize a conference on the topic, but who could believe it then? The communist world was so strong at the time. Now, however, scholars, politicians, and other important leaders realize that this long-awaited decline will indeed come to pass. Many of Father's other predictions about the world religious community, social problems, and youth problems have already been realized.

When we reflect on this, we are shocked into recognizing more fully Father's role in this world and this era, and we are newly inspired to respect him. There can be no doubt about how much humankind needs him.

Father and Mother partake of the special offering table food after pledge service on Children's Day.

Only Because Of Love

However, I don't want to emphasize so much the external evidence of Father's greatness. I want to emphasize the inner aspect of our eternal relationship with True Parents. We are in a position to become their own sons and daughters, and we are related to them based on the motivation of love. Without parents' love, a child has no motivation to grow. Because True Parents first extended unconditional love to us as their children, we have found the motivation not only to grow but to live a sacrificial life, loving others. Therefore, when we feel proud of our standard of heart and our level of dedication, we must realize it is only because of God and True Parents, who loved us first. We must appreciate this inner aspect of God's and True Parents' heart a thousand times more deeply than we have been.

We should all think about how much our capacity to love has deepened since joining the church. Before we joined, our viewpoint was narrow, individualistic, even selfish. After joining, however, we cultivated broader and broader concepts about the significance of world events, the direction and goal of history, and the eternal existence of all humankind. In the church we developed a sacrificial spirit of dedication and learned to follow a diligent public schedule, always striving to work hard for the sake of others. We often forget or fail to recognize these amazing changes in our thinking and how they differ from those of other people. Reflect for a moment: How many young people are seriously thinking about the whole world and the future of humankind? After joining the church we are automatically linked to Father's heart and mind, and over the years we have developed an element of purity in our love because we are seriously concerned about other people's eternal lives. No other people on earth have this degree of purity. Again we must realize: How did we get the motivation to be concerned about all these things? From True Parents' and God's love.

Sometimes we are overburdened with our busy schedule and become exhausted in dealing with seemingly insurmountable circumstances. Yet when we remember our inner wellspring of pure love, the source of our love, we forget our fatigue. It's as if we are breathing fresh spring air. Suddenly we can challenge any difficulty. Recognizing and feeling this wellspring of life within ourselves gives us self-confidence, motivation, and true dignity.

If we can link our heart and sacrificial mind to their real origin, we realize that we carry in us the indelible image of God and True Parents; we spring from them and are indeed like them. Then we can experience true, unbounded happiness; we can swim freely in an amazingly deep ocean of infinite grace. This is not like any ordinary, everyday feeling of happiness -- this is transcendent and truly eternal happiness.

Not all members may experience this to the same degree. However, the ultimate goal we all share is to achieve the standard of love of a true child. Each of us must develop through the stages of servant, adopted child, stepchild, and so forth, until we reach perfection. In this course of development it is crucial that we find the internal vein of relationship with our True Parents. We can easily respect True Parents for what they have accomplished. But without devoting our love -- our entire selves -- to True Parents, and without finding the motivation which springs from understanding their love for us, we can never really grow. We must be humbly thankful to them.

A Chance to Become Engrafted

It is also important to understand that our individual development is influenced by the overall dispensation. In other words, as the Principle explains, we receive the "merit of the age: The level of the dispensation in the current age represents both the limits and the possibilities of our individual growth. For example, although famous individuals like Jacob and Moses were very dedicated and worked hard, the level of heart they could achieve under the Old Testament dispensation cannot compare with ours at the present time. No matter how hard they strove to develop, they could not exceed the dispensational limit. Conversely, we Unification Church members are living in the Completed Testament Age, which is the age of attendance to True Parents. Because Father has accomplished the victory of heart on the worldwide level, we can inherit his merit. For example, if Father proclaims Children's Day on the church level or the world level, the individual (as well as the family) are contained within that sphere of victory. Although individually we are working hard, Father and the overall development of the dispensation are far ahead of us. However, we have the possibility of catching up and attaining the same level. Thus we live in an era of amazing dispensational grace.

In connection with Children's Day, I especially want to remind members about the concept of engrafting, which comes from the Bible. In the engrafting process the trunk and branches of the old tree, which represents our fallen self are cut off; this means that we cancel our entire past. A small incision is made in the stump between the bark and the inner flesh of the tree. Then a small branch or twig of the true tree, representing God and True Parents, is cut at a sharp angle and fit into the incision in the stump. Then the two are bound tightly together. Life still flows through the root of the cut tree and through the remaining part of the trunk, but new growth occurs only in the newly inserted branch. Thus, we who come from the fallen world have a chance to become heavenly sons and daughters.

After such engrafting has taken place, God and True Parents expect that we will focus our growth on only one thing -- the true branch. In reality, however, other branches -- stemming from our old lives and representing the persistence of our old concepts and habits -- often sprout out of the stump and flourish quickly, like weeds. We must never focus on them, but cut them off absolutely. The growth of the one, true engrafted branch, however -- representing the heart, expectation, and lifestyle of the True Parents -- may not come so easily because of the contradiction caused by the true and false branches both trying to spring up. Nevertheless, we must support, encourage, and protect the growth of the true branch as much as we possibly can.

The period before our Blessing is the time of preparation for engrafting; the Blessing represents the engrafting process; and our life after the Blessing is the time when we must work continuously to prune away the unwanted branches, day after day, year after year, for 10, 20, or even more years. Our blessed children will grow from the engrafted branch. However, the more we involve ourselves in the external aspects of our children's needs, such as their health and education, and don't relate to the larger purpose, the more we connect them to the false, weedy branches. These external concerns must remain in the object position to the main branch of true love and heavenly tradition inherited from True Parents.

In conclusion, the fundamental issue of Children's Day is how to become heavenly children. It is the fundamental issue facing all humankind. Unification Church members should consider this deeply once again.

May our Heavenly Father give His blessing to all of you, as you strive to become qualified children of God. 

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