Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak
Remarks Delivered at Memorial Service Marking the 25th Anniversary of the Ascension of Hee-Jin Nim
Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak
August 1, 1994 Headquarters Church Seoul, Korea
As we follow the way of God's will, we are constantly aware of our shortcomings and can only feel deep sorrow before Heaven and True Parents.
There are several days which we commemorate with deep self-reflection and repentance. I think that many brothers and sisters, and families, are joining me in feelings of sadness today. The memorial service for Hee-Jin Nim is indeed a truly sorrowful event.
The path through which Father wants to realize God's will of restoration on this earth cannot be completed all at once. Restoration cannot be accomplished without conditions. In the Principle of Restoration, we learn that God's providence moves forward through the establishment of foundations of faith and substance. That is the way God has been working through the prophets and patriotic forefathers, and True Parents must also walk that path.
We know that the providence can bear fruit and progress victoriously when the foundation of faith is established. For this foundation of faith, the central figure must set up certain conditions within a time period. God prepared the worldwide Christian foundation for True Parents to come to the earth, receive glory and fulfill God's will. Unfortunately, because this people and the Christian church did not understand, True Parents had to go the way of setting up all of the conditions themselves.
A concise description of Father's course prior to the Holy Wedding of 1960 would be to say that the failure of the Christian foundation, that is, the John the Baptist foundation prepared by Heaven, made it ultimately necessary for True Father himself to walk the terrible path of indemnity on the front line, starting from the level of servant of servant. On that foundation, in 1960 Father declared the first seven years course and established the conditions for the restoration of the world.
That seven-year course was just the first seven-year course for us, but for True Parents it was the time period to undergo hardship and conditions of indemnity in order to prepare a victorious foundation. They alone walked the way of tremendous suffering in order to establish indemnity conditions on the family-level.
On that foundation, January 1, 1968 was declared as God's Day. Because True Parents could stand in the position of victorious son and daughter in front of God, they could declare God's Day.
This having been accomplished, the second seven years course began on January 1, 1968. If we say that the first seven-year course was set up for families centering on True Parents' family, the second seven-year course can be considered as the beginning of the path to victory on the level of the people and nation.
A profile of Hee-Jin Nim
Today we are gathered for the twenty-fifth memorial for Hee-Jin Nim. On August 1, 1969--twenty-five years ago today--during the second seven-year course, which was the course of indemnity centering on True Parents to restore a people and a nation to Heaven, something tragic and sorrowful happened: Hee-Jin Nim went to the spirit world.
Perhaps there are those among you gathered here who remember that time. Some of you may have observed Hee-Jin Nim either closely or from a distance. Though we could not spend much time with Hee-Jin Nim, we could imagine Father's youth through his handsome face and pure nature, through his joyful attitude in his daily life, and through his constantly active life.
We remember a life that was warm-hearted and intimate, not distant, either in relation to the members around him or the church leaders. We also remember his bright and noble life as being one of filial piety to True Parents. He never showed us his internal suffering and loneliness.
Reflections on the situation at that time
At that time, in 1969, Father, in his words to members prior to the summer witnessing campaign, encouraged all the blessed families to go out together for the forty-day summer witnessing campaign. The years 1969 and 1970 were a difficult period when Korea as well as the world at large. True Father, out of deep concern for the future of the Korean people and nation in particular, was pushing us to move forward.
Father, asked everyone to join in on the forty-day witnessing campaign. In encouraging us to take part in this program, he said that blessed families, in particular, needed to establish conditions with sincerity. If not, he said, our nation and people would face a difficult course and destiny. However, the members were not all living according to Father's words, and at that time we did not match Heaven's desired standard that everyone should join the summer witnessing campaign.
Hee-Jin Nim's joy after attending a Principle workshop
Hee-Jin Nim became a member of a high school student association, and he attended a workshop together with other students. It was his first opportunity to listen closely to Divine Principle lectures. Having heard the Principle lectures he felt joy, and, jumping up and down with joy in the church, he expressed his grateful heart: "What a precious thing it is that the Lord has come to Korea! Especially as he has come to our family, how grateful we should be!"
Father mentioned in his words that these events brought him comfort and happiness. Among Father's words one can find such statements as: "Oh, he is the one who, as my representative, demonstrates filial piety before Heaven. Through you, Hee-Jin Nim, in my place, God will be comforted! That is your character!"--Father said he had felt those things.
Frankly, with the appearance of the Lord on this earth--True Parents, the embodiments of historical grace--the people should have returned all glory to Heaven. They were unable to do that, but the young Hee-Jin Nim, as a direct son, was moved and filled of joy to know that the second coming had occurred in Korea. Father heard this and was comforted.
When we who attend and serve cannot fulfill our responsibility
Actually, who could accuse the children of True Parents' direct family--including Hee-Jin Nim--even if they do not go out witnessing? Who dares to feel that the True Children should go out and pioneer? Hee-Jin Nim was still only in the second year of junior high school. Seeing that not all the members were participating in the witnessing mobilization, he decided that he would go out into the field in the place of those members who were not participating. After making that decision, and while on his way to his pioneer witnessing station, Hee-Jin Nim became involved in an accident that took his life.
As we know from the Principle viewpoint, it cannot be God's original plan that such trials and ordeals come to True Parents and their family. We know how much God has valued and loved the Abel-type persons and the central figures throughout restoration history. How deeply God loves the Lord himself and True Parents' family! To put it simply, God does not want that the Lord's foot should even have to touch the ground of this fallen world; that is God's heart. Please also reflect on how much Heaven's heart wants to treat the True Children as precious, and protect them. Even though these things are natural principles, if there is no foundation to attend True Parents on this earth, nothing can be achieved.
Let us reflect on the path that Jesus walked two thousand years ago. Israel failed to become the foundation for the Lord, or to protect the Lord. In addition, John the Baptist, with his own foundation, failed to establish the foundation to attend Jesus. Jesus had to create that foundation by himself.
Similarly, we know that when the people disobeyed Jesus, Satan incited not only the people but also Jesus' disciples towards the way of evil, and ultimately, Satan also invaded Jesus' disciples from all directions. One beloved disciple worked to bring about the crucifixion of Jesus. God and Jesus had loved Judas. As Jesus went the way of the cross, how much sorrow and bitterness must Jesus have experienced at being betrayed by his beloved disciples who had become connected with Satan.
When the twelve disciples--three of whom should have been Jesus' closest protectors and shield--could not fulfill their responsibility, Jesus was left standing by himself in a vast plain without hope.
Because no conditions had been set to prevent Satan's invasion from all directions, Jesus had to go the way of suffering. In that same way, Satan, who could not invade True Parents directly, always led the people against True Parents and imprisoned them. Satan influences us, the disciples of True Parents, so that we fail to erect a protective shield around True Parents. Had we disciples formed such a protective shield, such things could not have happened in True Parents' family. We should repent because of this--that True Parents' family have had to face a course of suffering, and we should remember this day with a sorrowful heart.
If we want to properly remember Hee-Jin Nim through this service today, and if we wish to stand in front of Heaven and True Parents with a serious mind, we have to comfort Hee-Jin Nim whose life, though short, was very pure. As a result of Hee-Jin Nam's sacrifice as an offering in our place, Korea and its people--including ourselves--could establish ourselves before God's will during the second seven-year course for the restoration of the people and nation. In light of that fact, we, representing our people and our nation, should thank Hee-Jin Nim and repent once more this morning.
Hee-Jin Nim, the first martyr of the Unification Church
Also, we have to reflect on how True Parents have taught and guided us regarding Hee-Jin Nim's sacrificial course. On August 3, two days after having suffered this unimaginable tragedy, Father spoke at the Headquarters Church [now the former Headquarters Church]. Father's first words were: "I do not feel even a little sadness at what has happened."
In his speech that day Father said, "When I first set out on this course, I made a pledge before Heaven. I swore, going the road of death--even falling down and risking my life--always to be grateful and joyful, and not to avoid any situation that comes my way." He continued: "I always feel grateful about the fact that I have life and a family." And, "I am grateful about Hee-Jin. I am grateful that he offered his life for the sake of God's will even though he was very young." And most especially: "I thank him even more for going the way of a sacrificial offering for the sake of the will, even though he had no chance to receive his Father's love."
Before the summer witnessing campaign began that year, Father encouraged the members with these words: "During this public forty-day course for the sake of the will, all members must invest themselves sincerely, and shed blood, sweat and tears for the restoration of the people and the nation." Father also said during that speech that if there was to be a first martyr among Unification Church members in the course of restoration, that person could be proud, because he or she would be admired and attended by the Unification Church members forever. In remarks August 3, Father said: "I feel very grateful that the first martyr in the public course on the way of God's will comes from our family, not from among our members."
In his speech, Father expressed such gratitude for Hee-Jin Nim's sacrifice, and thus comforted Heaven. In fact, however, the fact that the first martyr was not you or I, but, rather, Hee-Jin Nim is eternally a very shameful condition for us in front of Heaven and True Parents. I have said all that is necessary to say.
Lessons from Father's forthright words and his life's work
When we look at a tree, the leaves and flowers exist for the sake of the trunk and the roots. The branches can be many in number, but there is only one trunk. The roots, which are invisible, are more essential than the branches and leaves which can be seen. Always, that which is most essential is most precious. If branches are cut, other branches can grow in their place, but the trunk must not be cut and the roots must not be damaged. That is a principle of nature. Similar to that, even on the way of God's will, the reason that we have value as a family, and the members have value as church members, is because we protect True Parents and True Children who are the roots and trunk. When we think of that, we are moved in our hearts on this memorial day.
That day, when Father expressed his feelings, he spoke about his own mother and his older brother and sisters. Father explained his position that he could not sincerely comfort his mother when she would bring him provisions during his time in the Communist prison. He even criticized her for thinking of him as her physical son and for shedding tears due to being overwhelmed by her love for him. Because of his providential position, he could not teach the Principle to his beloved elder brother and sisters first.
Father was capable of showing more devotion to his parents than any other son. He could have attended his elder brother and sisters, and his entire family. The reason he could not do so was that he had to fulfill the mission he had received from Heaven. For the sake of that mission, Father could not be distracted by, or express concern for, his own beloved parents, or brothers and sisters. Not even for one moment. He strove to fulfill his public mission completely. We know that was the way Father lived.
Father has said: "I suffered all the difficulties, trials and insults for the sake of that public mission, for the sake of the will of God on earth which must be fulfilled." Because this was Father's attitude, he was happy and grateful when Hee-Jin Nim became the sacrificial offering for the sake of Heaven. This was so, even though Hee-Jin Nim had been born into True Parents' family and had become a sacrifical offering at a young age--when he was still like the bud of a flower that has yet had the chance to blossom. We cannot but feel shame and deep sorrow before our True Parents who have that kind of parental heart and who educate us that way.
Father's encouragement to the ascended Hee-Jin Nim
We have heard Father say this about Hee-Jin Nim: "He came for the sake of the will, and for the sake of the will he returned in a pure state. How filial it was that he, though born as a true man, did not seek to avoid the path of death. His course was for the sake of the salvation of the people and the nation, and he even did not avoid going the way of death as God willed. Isn't that the true road of loyalty that surpasses all value?"
Therefore, because he was Hee-Jin Nim, born for the sake of the will, we must understand how proudly he went the way of setting up valuable conditions of loyalty and filial piety on the altar for the restoration of the people of Korea. Through True Father, who sent Hee-Jin Nim, we can learn many things, and we can realize how difficult, noble and precious is the way of the tradition that True Father wants to establish and teach us.
Having said that, Father continued: "Through Hee-Jin's accident, I experienced God's sadness and grief more deeply." True Father said that even though he could never express his internal feeling about that event, nor express his grief to anyone, he could never forget about it, and that he understood God's own grief more deeply than anyone. Furthermore, Father said that though the incident became like a knot in his heart, he knew that God, even more than Father himself, would continue to be placed in the pitiful position of suffering many difficulties.
The tradition we must learn and follow
True Father has said that, over the course of restoration history, most righteous people or men of loyalty who find themselves in situations of great trial or terrible ordeal have beseeched God to help them escape their difficult situations and to liberated from their grief. True Father never prayed that kind of prayer. This was because Father knew that God's sorrow and agony were even greater than his own. True Father never prayed that he be able to avoid the difficulties and trials that he would encounter on his way to fulfilling his mission, no matter how great these difficulties might be. He said that even after being tortured in prison, when he was vomiting blood and on the verge of death, he did not pray to God to deliver him from the situation.
Having said that, Father emphasized that we must learn and follow that tradition. Truly, we are very sorry and repentant in front of God and True Father who established and demonstrated this way to us.
If we compare our course as church leaders with Father's mission and hardships, how can we say our path is difficult? We, ourselves, even with our enormous, heavy difficulties, and our deep frustration, cannot open our mouths in front of True Father. Our consciences and original minds demand this.
"Before you weep for Hee-Jin, weep for yourselves"
We can only repent and feel sorrow when we think about how far we are from the tradition God desires to establish, and how far we are from True Parents. When we reflect on our lives, we have to repent that when confronted with trials and ordeals, we tend to kick and scream, become resentful, and complain about our difficulties.
Father said that Hee-Jin Nim's accident became a source of power and a catalyst for the fulfillment of the way of God's will. Moreover, Father said that he did not waver, nor did he agonize over this, but, rather, offered it up as a source of great power for the fulfillment of God's will on this earth.
Father has taught us that because he has so much to organize and be anxious about for the sake of the people, the nation, and the world, he never allows himself to feel tired or discouraged, no matter how fatigued he may be, or how much difficulty he may face. On the contrary, he is always stimulated to continuing going forward, because he feels God's sorrow ever more deeply.
From this standard come fearful and precious words. Father refered to Jesus who, on his way to be crucified, said to the weeping people expressing pity for him: "Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.(Luke 23:28)" In a similar manner, Father told us: "If you pity Hee-Jin and are anxious about Father who has suffered from this accident, do not worry about me, but shed tears for yourselves, your families and descendants. After that, you can cry for Hee-Jin." I think there can be no words more fearful than these. There is nothing for which we should repent more deeply. We must commemorate Hee-Jin Nim's life and what he accomplished. At the same time, we must repent once again for our corrupted attitudes whereby we say we live for the sake of the will and for the sake of True Father, yet remain far distant from the tradition True Parents have established for our daily lives.
Therefore, before we weep for Hee-Jin Nim, we should first weep for ourselves for having failed to prepare. These are the circumstances in which we should feel sorrow and repentance. We should weep loudly for our families and descendants, and weep for this nation and its people. I hope each of you will spend this day reflecting on these matters. Let us pray:
Heavenly Father, we are so grateful. Father, we thank You that, unknown to anyone, You went a tearful and bloody course for the sake of this wretched mankind. Help us to understand more deeply how You, seeing so many sacrifices, and righteous lives made into offerings, have shed many tears, and how sad You have been.
Today, we commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Hee-Jin Nim's ascension. Thinking of Father's deep and painful connection of heart with Hee-Jin Nim's sacrificial path, we must confess that we are inadequate even to hold a memorial service.
Father, nevertheless, we hope You will continue to love us who are so incapable, and help us to become close to Father's tradition and learn this precious way of life that Father has shown us. At the same time, help us to reflect on the course Hee-Jin Nim went as a precious sacrificial offering for the sake of this inadequate people and nation.
Father, awaken the people on the foundation of Hee-Jin Nim's sacrificial course, and because this people and nation are coming closer to You, Heavenly Father we ask that you forgive them one more time. We deeply pray that, from this day on, You will sow the seeds of True Parents' way of life in the hearts of the leaders of this nation and this people, that they can come to depend on and attend True Parents.
Hee-Jin Nim in the spirit world, we are truly sorry. Reflecting on the way we have lived and remembering Hee-Jin Nim, how sorry we feel, how inadequate we seem. We are truly sorry; Hee-Jin Nim please forgive us. Even in the spirit world as well as while you were on the earth, we know that you pray constantly and give happiness to True Parents with a bright and pure heart. We pray that you can always bring comfort to True Parents, and can always be proud. We earnestly pray, Hee-Jin Nim, that you who became the first martyr will constantly stimulate us to become victorious, stimulate us to live everyday with a martyr's heart in front of your holy image.
Heavenly Father, although we have not properly prepared our hearts, please guide us as we reflect on True Parents' course on the occasion of this memorial. Guide so that we may walk the road of filial piety and loyalty, and bring ourselves closer to the way of tradition. Guide us so that we may continue on this path however much we may suffer unjustly, however difficult this road may be or however painfully our hearts may suffer.
As we stand before you on this day, August 1, Heavenly Father, help us to feel more pride; help us to fulfill our responsibility. Let us always think of Hee-Jin Nim who went the way of a sacrificial offering during a forty-day summer witnessing period, and help us to restore three spiritual children during this current forty-day witnessing period.
Please let there be an outpouring of grace on every altar that reveres True Parents, and let every altar in this land remember Hee-Jin Nim; let there be a new awakening and new beginning. Please help those missionaries working all around the world--those scattered children--to fulfill True Parents' will and fulfill the responsibility to restore all people. Please let the accomplishments of loyalty and filial piety remain. Please let the eternal blessing of Heaven and Your divine protection be upon our True Parents and upon True Parents' children and their families.
For all this we thank You, and pray in the name of our True Parents. Amen.
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