April 11 2009 , HQ’s Church, Seoul, Korea
Great teams have a purpose. They have a strong sense of direction and each member has a strong sense of responsibility to pull his or her own weight for the team. Poor teams have weak purpose, weak sense of direction, and each member wants personal glory over team glory. To know that one does not know everything and to be willing to work with others who have expertise in the portions that I don’t have is one of the real keys to making great teams. To have the humility to recognize that life is full of things to learn and full of people to learn from, is one of the most essential keys to the blessed life.
Yeon Ahn Nim’s Welcoming Remarks:
Good afternoon brothers and sisters! (Good afternoon!)
It is really great to see you all. Today is the 50th wedding anniversary of True Parents. So this morning we went to Cheong Pyeong to greet True Parents. They did a small ceremony at Hoon Dok Hae with some of the True Family members and some members.
Looking at them cutting their 50th wedding anniversary cake, I felt really great to attend not just one man but two, one man and one woman, our dear True Parents. They show us what true husband and true wife is with Heavenly Father.
Brothers and sisters we are always honored to have you here, and for those who are joining with us via internet, wherever you are, we are welcoming you as well. Welcome brothers and welcome sisters.
Hyung Jin Nim’s Welcoming Remarks:
Welcome brothers and sisters! Today I would like to read from Cheon Seong Gyeong Page 1041 “You should not feel lonely or sad just because someone does not pay much attention to your words, even after you poured your whole heart into that person. The principle of heavenly law is that you will never lose your investment. Those who understand this will be blessed”.
See brothers and sisters, when we do good, when we invest in other people, we may feel at times that’s wasting our energy or it’s not going to pay back, but God keeps track of all the things that we do. And particularly when we invest in others, when we plants good seeds of hope in other people, when we give them strength, when we mentor that child, when we encourage that friend, when we support that loved one, then God is being excited by that, He’s being inspired by that. And that causes Him to want to give back. That causes Him to want to inspire us in our lives.
Father says that according to this heavenly principle, this law, is we’ll never lose our investment. When we do goodness, that investment is never lost, it’s never wasted. At the time we may not see its full reward but in the process of time we will see that its fruits are more and more abundant. That is one of the secrets that Father is giving us today.
Brothers and sisters, every time before service, let’s always remember that we have to be strong in the way we look at ourselves. In the world, we work hard, we study hard, we have to compete with other smart kids at school or at the work place, whatever, and we may feel at times very down. We may feel very inadequate at times.
Particularly in those times we need to even more strongly give God the glory, because it’s in those times (of giving glory) when we don’t lose energy by looking at our inadequacies but focus on the fullness and the goodness and the liberation of God. It’s then when we get filled up with that strength, it’s then we start reeping the benefits of those incredible facets of God.
So it’s so very important that we see ourselves in that light, that we see ourselves as strong in 2009, getting more victorious in 2009. Even though the situation may look tough, even though we may not see a way, we see ourselves growing, growing every year. Every day we see ourselves stronger. In one year from now, in April 2010, you’re going to be stronger, you’re going to be more victorious, you’re going to be more mature, you’re going to be more able to handle anything that’s in your path. If you believe it, let’s give it up for God and True Parents. (Applause)
We always have to hold that in our hearts. We always have to keep that in our hearts. That’s the age of liberation. That’s when we can truly can bring glory and joy and inspiration to God.
Once again brothers and sisters, welcome, and let’s return that glory and happiness to God this day during the service. Thanks once more. Welcome!
End of First Meditation Practice:
Let us always remember that God and True Parents are with us. The changes of the seasons are now at hand. It is time now for a new season even in our own lives. Let’s remember that True Parents have given us the blessed life to truly inherit the true love of God and to become greater blessings to our family, community, nation and to our world.
Hyung Jin Nim’s Prayer:
Heavenly Father thank You so much for bringing us together today. Father we are here from all over the world. We are joined here by brothers and sisters in Africa, and the Philippines and South America and the States. Father we are here together as one global Unification community centered on True Parents, and, Father, we are here to truly be able to bring glory and happiness to You.
We know that when we do that as our life purpose, then we are fulfilled in our deepest heart. Then the great potentials and the dreams and ambitions that You have bestowed and given to us become fulfilled one by one. Father we know however that that does not mean there won’t be difficulties, that does not mean there won’t be obstacles, that does not mean there won’t be challenges. Father, there will be challenges, we know that.
But Father we know that You always gives us more talent than those challenges can handle. We know that You have always given us exactly what we need to overcome those obstacles. Father it is important for us to believe in ourselves, that we can overcome the hardships, the difficulties and become stronger, brighter, and more victorious every day for You.
We thank You so much, Lord, because we are here together as brothers and sisters, and we hope that today You may smile upon us, and You may be glad, and You may look upon us and truly be proud that we are Your children and that we call You our Parents. Thank You so much. We thank You once more from the deepest part of our hearts. With an everlasting love and a profound gratitude we pray in our own names as central blessed families. Aju!
Hyung Jin Nim’s Interesting story:
You know we always start with something just a little, a little interesting. I heard this wonderful little story. There was a story about a mom and she was reflecting on her two little boys. She said that, “Years ago when my two little boys were very small, they were taught how to say their blessings before eating their meal. One night I was very busy scurrying around the kitchen, so I told them, ‘Hey! Boys, say your prayers before the meal without me’.” And then she took a moment to watch them as they both squeezed their eyes tightly, and folded their hands and began to pray.
The elder one, the 4 year old, finished very quickly, but the 3 year old kept on praying and praying. After about another minute or two passed, the 3 year old lifted his head, looked at his plate and was very angry. He said, “Hey! God did not take away my broccoli!” (Laughter) Now you know what he prayed for, right?
Hyung Jin Nim’s Sermon:
Brothers and sisters, today I want to talk to you about making victorious teams.
You know in order to live the blessed life, we have to learn how to make our lives victorious for God. In order to do that, we have to realize that life is not a solo activity, it is a team effort. There is no one, no company, no sports team, no religion that succeeds just because of ONE person. It is a team effort!
Great teams have a purpose. They have a strong sense of direction and each member has a strong sense of responsibility to pull his or her own weight for the team. Poor teams have weak purpose, weak sense of direction, and each member wants personal glory over team glory.
To know that one does not know everything and to be willing to work with others who have expertise in the portions that I don’t have is one of the real keys to making great teams. To have the humility to recognize that life is full of things to learn and full of people to learn from, is one of the most essential keys to the blessed life.
Let’s take a look at some of these world scriptures today:
Let’s take a look at Christianity. This is Matthew 25-28. Let’s read it together. That’s Jesus speaking, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the son of man came not to be served but to serve.”
He‘s talking about when we work together, when we build the kingdom, it’s not only about my glory. It is about serving, helping the greater (unit) have glory.
Let’s take a look at Taoism today from the Daodejing 81. Let’s read that together. “The sage does not accumulate for himself. The more he uses for others, the more he has himself. The more he gives to others, the more he possesses of his own. The way of heaven is to benefit others and not to injure.”
Once again, although we may think that accumulating for ourselves is beneficial, in the end, what he’s saying is that we lose our friendships, we lose all the things that are really precious. And when we use for others, when we help others succeed, then we are getting the benefits of benevolence and (walk) the way of heaven.
Let’s take a look at Islam from the Hadith of Bukhari. Let’s read this together, “The best men are those who are useful to others” says this hadith. Once again, those who can participate in helping others, be useful to others, can themselves be the best in God’s eyes.
Let’s take a look at Confucianism today. This is from the Analects 6.28.2. Let’s read it together, “The man of perfect virtue, wishing to be established himself, seeks also to establish others. Wishing to be enlarged himself, he seeks also to enlarge others.” Once again, connecting the success of others with the goal and purpose of oneself.
Let’s tie that together on True Parents’ words (10.20.73). Let’s read it together, “God’s definition of goodness is total giving, total service and absolute unselfishness. We are to live for others. You live for others and others live for you. God lives for man and man lives for God. The husband lives for his wife and the wife lives for her husband. This is goodnes. And here, unity, harmony and prosperity abound.”
Notice, this is a symbiotic relationship, this is a give and receive relationship, you live for others and others live for you. In that synergy, then there is prosperity. In that synergy there is unity and harmony.
You know, award-winning journalist, columnist and author of three Pulitzer prizes, Thomas Freedman, wrote a book that was entitled, “The world is flat!” I’m going to repeat that title to you, “The world is flat”. This was a book about globalization and there were many many many insights in this work.
But one of his main points is that we usually think that the world is round. All of you at least learned that the world was round, right? And we may learn that there are hierarchies in the world, the first world countries, second world countries, third world countries, etc… But his point was that in this new market, in this new global economy, this view is actually wrong. The world is now flat because everybody is now able to play on an equal plain field. Everybody now can compete with each other on an equal plain field.
He gave one example: people in first world countries not only have to compete with other people in first world countries, they now have to compete with people in third world countries as well, for jobs etc… He gave the example of phone companies in America that hire thousands of Indians as phone assistants over Americans because they speak English, they’re polite and take less wages, etc… And he warns the first world countries that this is the case whether they like it or not, whether they think it’s unfair or not, this is the case of the present world situation.
And he challenges- he actually challenges Americans- to train their citizens to work harder, to train their children to study more, to become more creative, to make them more competitive for the global age where the world is flat, where it’s an equal plain field.
He goes on to say that in this kind of global world only the ones who are able to think, prepare and develop themselves for synergy and teamwork are those who will win. Essentially, leaders that are trying to do everything alone or by themselves or in their own countries will not be able to have the competitive advantage that other countries, who make synergies, will. This expect believes that in this new global market leaders are looking to create the best teams and team mates that play to win for the team and create success regardless of the new and modern challenges that they face.
“But in these rough times things are tough. I’ve got to look out for myself, I’ve got to look out for my family!” But we’ve got to remember, brothers and sisters, these times are also rough for leaders. They are looking for people who are skilled and also willing to sacrifice for the team’s success. They want to keep this kind of people, and they want to reward this kind of people.
“But I can’t help my team succeed. I have to succeed first, myself! I’ve got to get my thing done first!” Sure, it’s always great to be your best. It’s always great to actualize all the potential you have. But don’t forget that no matter how great you become, you must always work with people. You’re always going to have to work with people. And that involves creating teams, partnerships, synergies, win-win relations, etc… That is one of the keys and one of the realities in actualizing all our God-given potential.
In the midst 5th century a man named Heroditus travelled all over the Mediterranean from Scythia to Egypt, creating what are known as the histories of the Greco-Persian wars. Here, in this age, the Persian empire was humongous (huge). It dominated nearly half of the world. In 490 and 480 the Persians, as one of the most powerful empires, invaded the Greek territories. At this time the Greek territories were all split up. They were all different city states. But they realized that they had to bind together, they had to work to repel the invasions off.
In the battle of Marathon – for any of you who like to run the marathon, this is where the name came from, from the battle of Marathon- the Persians attacked, sending a fleet to sack Athens, to destroy Athens, and they landed on the bay of Marathon.
The Greeks had to defeat them quickly and they had to protect Athens at the same time but this was impossible. The Persians outnumbered them by enormous amounts and they were more skilled, etc…
Miltiades, who was the general on the Greek team, sent 2 teams to block the Persians and they used the double encirclement. They totally surrounded the Persians at the bay of Marathon. And they attacked them as a united front. Because of this unity, the Persians at that bay were defeated and they were forced to flee.
Miltiades then sent the troups to run to Athens- they had to RUN to Athens, from Marathon to Athens – and then they had to block off the Persian fleet that was coming in. The battle showed here that, when united, the Greeks could defeat a larger and more powerful empire and preserve their culture and their nation.
By 445, just a couple of decades later, the Greeks quickly moved into what is known as the Greek golden age, a time of great prosperity, great security and great development. But they would have never ever reached that age if they were not able to work together, to unite, strengthen their purpose and to repel the invasions.
At the time, Persia was so powerful. And because of that unity the Greeks were able to enter into their golden age and have a tremendous, tremendous history.
You know, in the Biblical tradition we also see this at work. Rev. Walter Fauntroy was speaking about it last week, that this is now the Joshua generation. When entering the promised land, the 10 spies said,”We cannot go in, we cannot defeat them, they are like giants and we are like grasshopers.” They saw themselves as weak, defeated. They saw themselves as incapable of taking on (winning over) the kings in the promised land.
But Joshua and Kaleb, they disagreed. They had what Rev. Fauntroy called “the minority report”. They knew that even though they were a minority they were a majority, because they had God on their side,. And so they convinced the Israelites; they had to convince them, they had to argue with them. They said, “No, we can do it! We can get into the promise land. We can get into that land of milk and honey that God has promised our people for generation after generation.” And they created a condition of unity to lead the people into victory and they did (got the victory).
Even though the other 10 spies continued to say, “We can’t do it, you are crazy, you are going to lead us all into suicide, this is insane. We’re not going to make it. This is definitely going to be our worst year…… 2009 we’re not going to be able to make it through this. It’s going to be terrible!” They were saying that. But what did Joshua and Caleb have to do? They had to block that out, and say, “You know what? I believe that I will make it into this promised land. I believe that I will lead this people into that land. “
I remember in 2005, when Father announced I had to take responsibility for the religious side of the church, and Kook Jin Hyung for the economic side of the church, and I remember Kook Jin Hyung coming up to me one day. It was in America. He came up to me, and tried to talk to me, trying to sense whether or not I was open to the view and to saying, “Yes we can! Yes we can liberate the members from irresponsible leadership! Yes we can liberate True Parents from false reporting! Yes we can liberate many from the idea that the True Children can’t work together! Yes we can liberate and grow the church, we can liberate True Parents, show success, show that our movement can become successful while they (True Parents) are here. Yes, we can do that!“ And he wanted to sense me out, whether or not our hearts were united.
And there were so many who said it was impossible,”There’s no way we can move the outside world. It’s impossible! They are like giants in our view, they are huge out there. We are like grasshopers. There’s no way we’re going to be able to inspire them and move them, no way we’ll move them and make them understand the role of True Parents.”
But we continued to work together, and just like Joshua and Caleb, we continue to believe that we will get into the promised land. We believe that we will be able to move the outside world, we believe that Unificationism will be victorious while True Parents are here. If you believe it, let’s give it up for God and True Parents. (Loud applause)
See, God is preparing us for our golden age, the age of liberation and complete release. That’s the age that True Parents opened for us, and that is our golden age. It’s an age that True Parents started by liberating the heart of God because they revealed that He was a lonely God. He was high and mightly but He was totally alone. By revealing His divinity which is true love, a love that is selfless and can bring even Satan to voluntary surrender, they’ve afforded us that chance to inherit that true love and become equals to God, become his partners in love, that can reciprocate love with Him.
And now as True Parents’ children we have a responsibility in the age of liberation,to do for them what they did for God, and that is, to liberate True Parents. How do we do that? We do that by making our movement truly, truly successful. We do that by having their tradition recognized, we do that by all the efforts and all the blood, sweat and tears that our first generation shed up til now. We allow that to be acknowlegded by truly showing success in our movement, truly showing growth in our movement, showing that we can make a difference, we can make a tremendous impact in society in positive ways.
And it’s not just about giving birth to new children, we have to also raise them to be filial children, and also raise those children so that those children can make new filial chilren who can become true owners of this kind of cycle of liberation.
And now we are going to enter the growth stage of Cheon Bok Gung (Unification Temple). I’m sure all of you heard about it. By the end of this year we’re going to be moving into the growth stage Cheon Bok Gung. It’s going to be a whole new level in terms of how we’re going to be able to communicate with the nation.
And at that temple, we’re going to have to share our tradition, we’re going to have to truly become proud and confident in who we are, in what tradition we represent, and we have to be able to share that with confidence with a smile on our face and with a 2-step and a 3-step. We have to be able to really show who we are and to have commitment (confidence) in our own selves as team members.
You know in the Buddhist tradition, there’s this beautiful iconography, this beautiful picture of the Buddhisattva of compassion. In Chinese Buddhism, the “he” is a “she” and the manifestation of this Asian Buddhist iconography has 1,000 arms- has 1,000arms, very scary for many people when they see that!
How come she has 1,000 arms? I’ll tell you why she has 1,000 arms. She has 1,000 arms because the 1,000 arms reach out in 1,000 directions and they save 1,000 beings who are drowing and suffering, so the hands represent a savior’s hand that is reaching out and helping those people who are suffering.
In this video that you’re going to see next, I want you to keep in mind that this performance was done by Chinese performers, and the wonderful and amazing thing about these performers is that all these people, that you will see, are handicappped. Some of them are deaf, some of them have other types of handicaps. They are disabled individuals, but watch what happens when they come together. Watch what happens when you see the unity of power, when you see this team effort come together, watch how they shine. Let’s take a look at this video now.
Let’s give it up for those disabled individuals (Applause)
When we look at these performers, of course it would be amazing on its own, without them being disabled. Even people like us trying to coordinate something like that, is so difficult, but take into consideration that all these performers were disabled, many of them could not even hear. The lady in the front she’s completely deaf, she cannot hear, and that’s why you saw the coordinators at the side, signing them on and showing them the beats of the music, etc…
By coming together and bringing together this work of art, shining this iconography, making this figure come to life, they not only challenge or inspire other people to live and become like this – to be able to, even despite challenges, come together, work together and continue to reach out hands in help – they inspire tremendously many many people who watch this performance to live up to that potential that everybody has within them.
Brothers and sisters, that is really one of the keys in working together in a team, to really be able to see the team glory as greater than personal glory.
Brothers and sisters, what can we learn today? Learning how to work together as a great team will be the key to living the blessed life. In order to create the teams we need to recognize that we can’t do everything alone. We have a mission as well. Rev. Fauntroy was doing so much peace activity for the last 40 years, being involved in human rights and civil rights, working in the peace process and knowing the inadequacies of the current types of processes. And he was so excited to hear about the World Peace and Unity Temple.
And there it’s not only a building. It is also our responsibility there to be able to share our tradition, to be proud of our tradition, because that’s going to be the world stage, that’s going to be the stage where people are going to see and recognize Unification tradition in a greater and greater way.
Now as we are moving to the growth stage of Cheon Bok Gung by the end of this year, it’s time for us to bring the lonely children of the world to meet True Parents, to be able to understand our tradition, not only as people who participate and go through education program, but really become part of our community and really be able to allow us to work together to substantialize the world towards peace and unity.
You know, it’s now the time for Unification golden age. It’s time for our time, it’s time for UC’s time. Right now in Korea, True Parents’ book has already reached the best-sellers’ list. Last week it was number 4 on the best-sellers’ list. It continues to rise. (Applause)
So we have to know that now is the time. Now is the time to be proud of who you are. Now is the time to know that people are interested in us as a tradition. They want to know what we’re about. And now the True Parents have liberated God and now it’s our turn, in this age of liberation and complete release, to be able to liberate them, that is, to really be able to raise filial children who can raise other filial children, and become those kind of children of God and True Parents.
By inheriting the true love of God, witnessing and building the Cheon Bok Gung together, we will be able to move forward towards that world of peace, move past the war-stricken world into a world of unity, filial-piety towards heaven, and a true pride for our Unification family.
Brothers and sisters, I do believe that if we do move forward with this kind of victorious team effort, we will bring to our world more victory, more illumination and more peace and we will live that blessed life that True Parents have blessed us to live. If you receive it let’s give it up for God and True Parents. (Applause)
Ending Words of the Final Meditation Practice:
True Parents have blessed us with the blessed life to inherit the true love of God and to become greater blessings to our families, community, to our nations and to our world.
Hyung Jin Nim’s Final Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this day that You have given to us Father. Father, we thank You for being able to be together here as brethren in communion with You, feeling Your spirit, feeling You being inspired by our song, by our joy, by our inspiration.
Father we know that You are a God that seeks to be in a give and receive relationship with Your children, not a God that sits high and mighty above us all, lonely and distant. But Father, You truly wish to be able to share Your selfless love with us.
Father, let us be able to inherit that true love, a love that is so powerful that it can overcome any enemy, any obstacle, any challenge, by natural surrender.
Father, when we inherit that, we know that we will become greater blessings. We’ll become greater blessings to our families, we’ll become greater blessings to our communities, we’ll become greater blessings to this world, we’ll become greater blessings to You. We are so grateful for that opportunity.
Father, thank You so much for this time. We are praying for 2009. Even if we were down last week, Father, we know that we are still standing today, and we are facing this new week with a new hope, and, Father, a new spirit and a new strength, knowing that in this year where everybody tells us we’re going to fail, and everybody tells us we’re going to go and decrease, Father, You promised us we’re going to increase, Father, You promised us we will have more victory, Father, you promised us that we will have more peace in our hearts and be able to share that to this world.
Father we pray that we may be able to keep our eyes open and find those victories, find that peace that You are giving to us every single day. Father, we pray and offer all our gratitude to You for we know that we are here together as a team, and not only a team that is here for its own purpose, but truly to bring victory and glory to You.
We thank You so much. We thank You to be alive at this time, and we offer up all the glory with an everlasting love, and a tremendous gratitude. From the depth of our hearts, we pray in our names as central blessed families, Aju!
Transcribed by: Rev. Beatrice Clyburn
Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz