Sermon: Let's Not Lose Our Joy & Laughter (January 19, 2008)

Rev. Hyung Jin Nim’s Sermon
Head Quarter, Chungpadong, Seoul
January 19, 2008

True Father said, “Come on, Come down people. Things happen in life. Don’t take everything too seriously. As long as nobody got hurt from the incident, it is ok.

Yeon Ah Nim’s Message:

One day when Father was at his house in Hannam Dong a couple of leaders came in to report something to him. They were hesitating a lot and said,”True Father, well, there was a fire and the pavilion you paid in for decades has burnt down.” Then there was a pin-drop silence. Everybody in the room waited for True Father’s reaction.
Would he be so angry? How could they let Satan invade the sanctuary? Would he be mad like that? Or would he scold them about how reckless they were? Would he punish the person who was in charge of the pavilion?

Without a word True Father looked around and tilted his body a little bit and then he let out his thunder: “Boom”!

So after hearing the holy guests “thunder” (laugh from audience) everybody in the room left it so hard(depressed). Then True Father said, “Come on, Come down people. Things happen in life. Don’t take everything too serious. As long as nobody got hurt from the incident, it is ok.” Brothers and sisters, let us learn also how to laugh. Let us also learn let go of things and circumstances that are holding us back. Let us also move forward with joy, laughter and courage. Brothers and Sisters we love you so much and we believe in you.. AJU!!!

Interesting Story (by Hyung Jin Nim):

I heard an interesting story about a blessed couple. There was a brother and he got matched to a sister from the Jewish Heritage. So one day they decided that they had to go and see their parents-in-law. So the young man took his wife to see his parents-in-law. So the father now came to him and said “Young man, how shall you provide for my daughter? How shall you put a roof over her head as she is accustomed too?” And the young man said, “Well, God will provide.” And the Father-in-law asked him, “Then how shall you buy her a diamond ring such that she deserves?” And the young man said, “Well, God will provide.” At that point his father-in-law left him and went back to his living room, there was the mother. So she asked her husband, “So how did it go with the new son-in-law?” And the father-in-law said, “Well, he has no job, he has no money, but the good news is, he thinks I’m God.” (Laughter from the audience)

Sermon (by Hyung Jin Nim):

Today I would like to talk you about not losing our joy and our laughter. If we are really to live that blessed life that True Parents have blessed us to live, it is so important that we don’t lose our joy and our laughter. That’s always such an important thing in our lives. Life is full of inconveniencies, aggravating people, negative circumstances, negative environments that can really take away that power in our life. But if we really going to live that life of blessing then it is important to always hold on to our joy and our laughter.

…and I say “I know what, these criticisms will not take away my joy, and it will not prevent me from doing what we do at our service.”

In doing this kind of sermon, this kind of service, I often hear critical voices which are good sometimes, which are nice sometimes. Some are not so nice sometimes. Many times we get asked, why we are screening such a service, why there are jokes, why is there laughter, why is there such an environment, why the members are (not) reminded that they are not precious, that they should be reminded they are sinners, unworthy before True Parents. And in my heart whenever I hear such things, I’m at peace because I know, in my heart I keep the joy and laughter and I say “I know what, these criticisms will not take away my joy, and it will not prevent me from doing what we do at our service.”

Of course, if Father asks me to stop doing services then that’s another story but until that day we will continue to make the best services and the most positive environments we can, for our families and our children.

You know, when True Parents look at us, I really am encouraged because the real message for me is that True Parents love us, and that True Parents are proud of us. It is a message that we wish to create a real home, a real church, a home of happiness, of joy and laughter. It is not so much that because there are no more tears in our movement then that’s why our movement can’t grow. I believe it is because the joy and laughter has been long lost in our movement. So let us remember who we are. Let’s remember that we are precious, that True Parents teach us that we will be mighty filial sons and daughter in this land. They tell us that we will be blessed wherever we will go.

Let us hold on to such things, such words of faith that are in our hearts and let them fill us with joy and at hard times, sometimes, with laughter, so that we can overcome our obstacles more readily.

A little bit of science: Laughter is a part of human behavior and helps humans clarify intentions, and you may know that the study of laughter – actually, there is an actual study of laughter, which is called Gelotology – and what you will notice is that physiologists say that with deep heartfelt laughter it appears that ‘serum cortisol’, which is a hormone that is secreted when we are under stress, is decreased. That means, that when we laugh, when we are able to laugh even though we are under stress, our stress is decreased the serum cortisol in our blood is decreased.

In Genesis 21:6, Sarah says “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”

More interesting, more science facts, that when we laugh natural killer cells which destroy tumors and viruses increase along with gamma Interferon, that’s a disease by a protein. Those guys are living in you, there very well. We want them to be healed at the service T-cells are important to our immune systems. B-cells good for disease by adding anti bodies. All the things are increased when were able to laugh at circumstances that usually stress us. Very interesting to know that in other religious traditions there are actually systems and technology that implement and utilize laughter as a form of practice. You may not know it, but for example in Hindu Tradition, there is something known as laughter Yoga. In Buddhist Tradition, there is something known as Buddhist force laughter practice, even laughter practice, even smile, a sauna or pastures.

You may have seen statues of the Buddha. He’s doing a nice little smile, that’s called as half smile, it’s actually a meditative posture. So in these traditions, religious traditions have always seen that laughter, that joy, that happiness, that smiles are very important for our being.
In the Biblical tradition, we see that when Abraham was 100 years old, God said that his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky. He promised Abraham and his wife Sarah, Sarah was at age of 90 years old and he said, “You will have a son.

I will give you a child.” This was, in normal ways of thinking, absolutely impossible. Sarah was no way, that she was way beyond child bearer years. There was no way that this would be possible at 90 years old. But when God gave them Isaac at the age of 100, and Sarah a 90. In Genesis 21:6, Sarah says “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” Notice that here, in biblical tradition children are associated with laughter. And as our associate pastor who always says, “What is the purpose of life? It is joy.” When ever he says he is glowing with laughter. So we know that he has that child like spirit.

…especially when I come back home, he was ready waiting there at the door. And as soon as I walk in he’s scream with his radiant smile on his face and he says “Appa!” and I really feel I’m in heaven at that moment.

Laughter also in this passage is contagious that everyone who hears of it shall also laugh. And the most important passage that I love in scripture is that God has brought me laughter, that God brings us laughter. God brings us laughter and joy. In this particular episode, Sarah was able to look at her situation, she was able to laugh at herself, and all the people around who heard of her giving birth to Isaac, that precious son, all they also could laugh with joy.

You know, young kids also are spontaneous – we have a lot of young blessed children here today with us at service – and really, even in my own family, our youngest boy, he is really still a young boy right now, he’s just past one and a half years old – my youngest boy, he laughs so happily when he sees me. I mean his whole face glows, his eyes become up ide down with smiles, his smiles become a huge glow and especially when I come back home, he is already waiting there at the door. And as soon as I walk in he screams with his radiant smile on his face and he says “Appa!” and I really feel I’m in heaven at that moment. I really believe that because of that, I feel that God does bring laughter through our children.

You know, when I was young I was such a prankster – if my brother Kook Jin Nim was here he could tell you, he could really testify to that – I was such a prankster. I was annoying, I used to stand in front of the TV for no reason and bothered my brothers and stand next to them and do all sorts of bothering stuff. And when I was at times running for my life – when they were chasing me – I would say when they would ask me, “Why are you so annoying?”, and I said “I’m just trying to actualize True Parents’ teachings (laughter from audience). I’m just trying to bring you joy and laughter, that’s all I’m trying to do.” Of course, I would have to say that while they were behind me and running at me. But it is so important that in our lives that we continue to learn to laugh, in our lives, with our children, in our homes. Even when we have circumstances that look impossible.

I may have this circumstance, I can’t just overcome this disease or this particular circumstance is really weighing me down, and I know I should be down. I know I should be giving up, but I’m going to have a smile on my face. I’m going to have joy in my heart. I want to have laughter in my spirit.

But so many people forget to laugh, to continue to laugh with their kids as they grow up. Maybe they say, “Its not my personality” or maybe “I can’t really laugh on purpose”, but it is important to know that we don’t have to be bellowing with laughter all the time. We don’t have to be always laughing with huge sound. But in order to create an environment, where joy, where laughter is allowed, where we can relax.

Scientists say that when we laugh, we’re able to reduce the stress hormones and also the fight or flight mechanism in our body. When we were looking through a whole bunch of religious jokes, the ones that we do at every service, and they (the children) really enjoy that, they love going through the little jokes, going through them and me explaining them. Sometimes they didn’t get it and sometimes they did. My children really love when we do this, when we make fun of ourselves in front of them. So, one of the things that they really enjoy is when we will give experiences in our past which are very embarrassing for us. Maybe that one time where we were eating ice cream in front of people and it fell on our face, or something like that, and the kids really love that.

We also teach the children, that it’s healthy to learn to laugh at yourself at times, can put your guard down and we can let other people come into our sphere and environment and create a good place for people to thrive.

But the deeper principle is that when they learn how to laugh, when the parents teach them, that their parents can laugh at themselves, we also teach the children, that it’s healthy to learn to laugh at yourself at times, to have the confidence and ability to know that you can put your guard down and that we can let other people come into our sphere and environment and create a good place for people to thrive.

Of course, people who are negative or kids who are rebellious and maybe even are deliberately set on harming or saying hurtful things to you, make sure you take the right approach. Let’s keep our cool and positive attitude.

Let’s not give up on them. Let’s remember that with one touch God can change that situation instantly. We have just to really keep continuing along with our best dominion of our mind and body and over our own self.

Of course it is important not to laugh inappropriately. There are times when laughter is not conducive to the best environment. If there are people in your life who are negative or people who are trying to intimidate you, then many times they can give you the wrong reaction or can give you the opposite reaction. Laughter can, at times, incite anger.

So it’s important to keep that inside of you, allow that to calm your heart and approach them with positivity, rather than negativity. You know, there is a very interesting meditative tradition which is a scrambling meditation. And I would like to share this with you today because I’m sure that each and every one of us can actually use this in our lives today. And this is particularly useful when we’re dealing with somebody in our past, or some experience in our past that creates a great deal of emotional negativity in our minds. When we think about that person, we may become stressed, we may really feel anxiety, and we may really feel their negativity upon us.

Now let’s turn that image into a cartoon, almost like a cartoon. Where you now have the power to rewind, and replay.

But when we are playing them in our minds, when we are replaying those images in our mind they really take the energy alive out of us. So it’s very important to learn how to work and have dominion over those mind states, over your mind life. It’s very important to learn how to have dominion over that mind and body.

I would like to have this simple practice to you. Let us simply close our eyes right now. Let’s think of a person or experience that has been negative towards us. You can visualize that person very vividly. Maybe he or she is screaming, it could be a child, it could be a boss, it could be a sibling, co-worker, it could be a teacher who did not believe in you, it could be any person. But feel that negativity. You can see them screaming at you. But right now, in that visualization, we will take control of that visualization. Now let’s turn that image into a cartoon, almost like a cartoon, where you now have the power to rewind and replay.

So let’s now see them screaming at us, and let’s rewind it and we will see those words go back into their mouth in reverse action, going backwards, and we replay it again. And let’s go rewind again, and let’s replay again. Let’s see them move back and forth, almost like we’re watching a video.

Now is the part where we going to add the special effects. Now you will see maybe their ears grow big like Mickey Mouse. Their nose may grow long like Pinocchio. Maybe they grow a tail, a monkey’s tail. But you will see that you have control over this visualization, this memory. What I would like to do now is see those sort of ridiculous sound effects and ridiculous special effects happening and then let us rewind that.

So you can see the ears go back in, you can see the nose come back in, you can see the monkey tail go back in and then replay it again. See the ears grow big again. See the nose grow big again.

We can live with freedom from negative people from those negative circumstances, from the environments as long as we take dominion of our mind.

See the monkey tail grow big again and repeat that. Try to repeat that about five times. Just rewind and replay. You are in control of your mind life. You’re in control of this memory. So replay it and rewind it. Just replay and rewind. See those special effects occurring. See you controlling your mind state. Let’s do that just a couple of times… and now, let’s open our eyes. You are now in control of that memory. What you have to realize is that that memory is an emotional memory. It is tied to you with emotions. When you are able to control that memory, and really make a funny scene, kind of a joyful scene, a funny laughter filled scene, you will be able to control that emotional feeling that you have in that memory. Whenever that memory is trying to steal your joy or your laughter, just in your mind, just like we did, use the dominion of your mind. Just see those things happening, put in new sound effects, put in these special effects.
You can do those things and you will start changing the way those memorizes, those emotional feelings, feel with that kind of person.

Let us know that we can live with freedom from such negativity. We can live with freedom from negative people, from those negative circumstances, from those environments, as long as we take dominion of our mind.

In the Buddhist tradition – whenever I go to China town, whenever I go to a place where they sell Chinese items, and you may have all seen them too – you will see small little very, very fat Buddhas. They’re very fat. They’re very round. They’re very fat and they are smiling and these guys are known as the happy Buddhas or the laughing Buddhas.
But it’s interesting to know that this is actually the figure of Maitreya. In Buddhism that is the second coming of the messiah. In the Divine Principle we see that True Parents are in the messianic role. The Buddhist tradition fills the role of the Maitreya. And it’s very interesting that this Buddha is always laughing. He is always smiling, and it is through this joy that he connects to all beings, he fosters realization, generosity and contentment, and brings heaven to earth. When I think of that, I am really reminded that that is my image of Father. Of course Father is not that big (laughter from audience), but Father, when I think of Father, I don’t think of the Father who is bleeding and full of sweat and tears – of course that is part of his history, that is part of major obstacles that he had overcome – but when I view Father, when I recall Father in my memory, I see him just glowing with laughter.

He is no longer the God of blood, sweat and tears. But He is now a God that can be joyful, that can be happy…

I see him smiling with Mother, I see them holding hands, I see pictures that inspire me, that remind me that True Parents love me, remind me that True Parents love us, that they are proud of us, that they are happy for us, and they wish for us to be happy.

It’s very important to know that whatever we focus on will become greater. We will see more of that in our lives. It’s important that when we view True Parents, or even when we view God for that matter, that we understand that in this age of liberation and complete release, God is no longer suffering.
He is no longer the God of blood, sweat and tears. But He is now a God that can be joyful, that can be happy, that can smile like this very corpulent fellow. But let us remember – if we can learn anything today – that God, just like (with) Sarah, brings laughter into our lives, that it is a blessing into our lives, that, if we receive such things as blessings, we will be able to share that laughter in our lives.

Let’s remember that scientific laughter is good for our stress and it is healthy. And remember, let’s not laugh inappropriately to people.

We don’t have to spite people. We don’t have to harm other people in order to feel good. But whenever we feel affected by negative memories, negative people, negative words that are cursing our lives, negative words that are still affecting our minds, (then) let us use that scrambling practice.

Use that practice in your mind to regain dominion, to regain freedom from that memory, from that experience. Let’s choose to see Father and God as not the God that has continued to suffer, that has continued to be full of blood, sweat and tears, but now as a God that is liberated, a God that can rejoice, that can be happy with His children, that can create a true home in which we can be free. Let us keep the joy and laughter in our hearts, in our homes, and in our church.

Brothers and sisters, can you receive this message today?
Yes (reply from audience)
Thank you so much!

Hyung Jin Nim:

I order to allow True Parents to receive you as a true son and a true daughter, let us simply declare this in our hearts together, let’s simply pray:

“True Parents, I have repented for my wrong doings. Make me a palace of your peace, of your love and of your lineage.”

Hyung Jin Nim:
Family, if you declare this with me today then I believe that you become a spiritual child of True Parents. If we keep them enthroned in our hearts of glory, they will raise us to more victory, they will raise us to more illumination and they will rise us to more peace in our hearts.


Edited by: Kenshow Kuk-hee


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