Significance of the "10.14 True Parents Cosmic Blessing Ceremony" by Dr. Joon Ho Seuk

October 20, 2009

October 10, 2009, HQ Church, Seoul Korea

       True Parents were installed in 1960 and they had to overcome all kinds of difficulties, hardships, and had to pay so much indemnity. They got victory in 2001 when the coronation ceremony was offered to God, and Father opened a new era, the era after opening of heaven. In 2006, Father became King of Peace at the entrance and coronation ceremony. This year, in 2009, Father became the King of Kings and as a King of Kings, Father is giving the Blessing to everybody.

Opening Prayer by Eufemia Restor:
 
Dearest Heavenly Father and True Parents! We would like to thank You so much for this wonderful day. First and foremost, we would like to pray for the long life and good health of our beloved True Parents wherever they are now; for the health and long life of True Children, who are truly working so hard on the frontline, helping our beloved True Parents. We pray for the True Grandchildren as well, that they have long life and good health.
 
Heavenly Father, today is October 10th. That’s four days before our True Parents are going to give us the great and special blessing. We do pray that each one of us will truly be able to receive this blessing. We are living in this time and age wherein, as a miracle in our lives, we attend True Parents and True Children. We do pray that we, as blessed couples, will be able to accept the responsibility, even though our responsibility is just small. But we pray that we can do it heartistically and with love and joy.
 
The blessing that we receive should not be kept for ourselves, it should be shared with the people around us; with our neighbors, our brothers and sisters, and with all people because our True Parents aren’t just True Parents for all Unificationists, but they are the True Parents of all humankind.
 
Heavenly Father, despite our busy schedules, we pray that we can truly find ways and means, and be able to understand the value and context of the blessing.
 
As True Father says, we only live once, but once is truly enough when we live it right.
Thank You so much, Heavenly Father, for the grace that we can participate in the building of heaven here on earth. Thank You once again, and this we pray in our names as members of central blessed families. Aju!
 
Welcoming Remarks:
 
Yeon Ah Nim
 
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! It is great to see you all today. Today we have a beautiful blue sky and a cool breeze. We sincerely hope and pray that your day and your family and your week will be blessed in Heavenly Father’s and True Parents’ name. Aju!
 
Hyung Jin Nim
 
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! We are going to start with Cheon Seong Gyeong 2108. Father says, “This is why love is great. The power of love bridges the distances between upper and lower or high and low. Love transcends space and time, allowing us to participate in the realm where we can immediately share joined ownership. This is an amazing fact.”
 
Brothers and sisters, you know when we participate this weekend it is really important. Thousands of brothers and sisters are being re-blessed and many blessed for the first time. In preparation for that, we have a very special service today which will be based on that and particularly on the Holy Wine Ceremony which we are going to have a little later.
 
This Holy Wine Ceremony is based on the victory of true love,  the love that will die and die for the sake of the children, so that the children can be free to have eternal life, can be reborn into the kingdom of God. This is the type of heart from which True Parents have lived. That’s the heart with which they have passed through the seven deaths and resurrections. This is the parental heart, the heart where this Holy Wine is coming from. It comes from this heartistic realm, from a victorious inheritance.
 
So, on this day, let’s all meditate on that and let’s reflect on that, because Father says, “This is the reason why love is great,  because it can bridge the highs and lows, transcend space and time.” And that is exactly the great power and the great love that True Parents have inherited from our Heavenly God. Let’s give it up for our True Parents! (Applause)
 
Introduction of Guest Speaker Dr. Joon Ho Seuk by Rev. Hyung Jin Nim:
 
Today I would like to welcome Dr. Seuk to the podium. He is going to explain a little more in depth about the significance of the ceremony that will be occurring on the 14th. Dr. Seuk, as you know, has been an incredible leader within our church. For the last 36 years he has worked overseas in the United States, in Russia, in China – he is a pioneer, he is one of the warriors, one of the Samurais, of the older generation.
 
Not only is he a warrior in that he goes out and pioneers, he is actually a real warrior – he is a ninth degree black belt in Judo. Very few of them are alive! He is also the founder of Tongil Mudo, as you all know. So, he is quite an amazing fellow to work with.
 
Dr. Seuk came to be with us here in Korea at Father’s direction, and since he has come, we have truly had the privilege to work with such an individual. He is so loyal. Even myself, I really loved the martial arts and things like that, but it really came to life when I came to work with Dr. Seuk. His loyalty, his honor and how he always holds himself with dignity (is amazing), but yet he is humble. He has integrity and  he serves True Parents without question! He has no personal ambition but really seeks to serve the community. This I really admire about Dr. Seuk.
 
For myself and Kook Jin Hyeong, Sun Jin – while she is here – it is truly a pleasure to  be able to work with Dr. Seuk . It really is a refreshing pleasure and a real honor to be able to work with such a person, who has dedicated his entire life to the service of God and True Parents.
 
Brothers and sisters, when I welcome him up on stage I want you all to really welcome him as a veteran, as a 36 year veteran and wonderful pioneer of our True Parents. Let’s offer him a great round of applause when he comes up. (Applause)
 
Main Sermon by Dr. Seuk:
 
Significance of the October 14th True Parents Cosmic Blessing Ceremony
 
(He greets the audience in Korean first, then in English.) Good Afternoon.
 
Should I speak in English or Korean? I spent 36 years in foreign countries, 18 years in America and 18 years in Russia and China. I tried to learn English, Russian, and Chinese. Now I am trying to learn Korean. If I speak in Korean now, you may not understand at all my Korean-English.
 
Although President Moon gave me too much praise, I am not worthy. I am not worthy of standing on this podium where True Parents and Hyung Jin Nim invested so much heart and prayer. I feel very honored and privileged that I can have this opportunity to speak in front of you. Thank you to Sun Jin Nim, Yeon Ah Nim and In Sup Nim for coming. Let’s give a big hand of applause for all True Family.
 
We are really living in an incredible miraculous era: working, breathing the same air and living together with True Parents. Furthermore, we already received Blessing from True Parents – many of you, right? Not everybody yet. Truly this is an amazing era, where we are living and working together with True Parents in this particular time, the first year of the perfection stage toward Cheon Il Guk, January 13, 2013. Do you feel that?
 
In this particular year, True Parents held the coronation ceremony. Now True Parents became King of Kings, right? Also, this year, True Parents had their Golden 50th Wedding Anniversary. It was a very special year. This year Father gave us his life autobiography, and it was the 55th anniversary of the founding of our church in 1954. It was an important year, in which we received great blessings and grace from Father.
 
First, Father opened the door where Cain and Abel on the individual, family, tribe, national, universal and cosmic level unite together. Secondly, Father gave us blessing and grace even though we still have remnants and traces of the fall. We all have fallen thinking, habits and behavior, which we must remove completely and become the person and family of original state. Such an era of grace Father is giving to us. Thirdly, Father said a new era of grace has come where good sovereignty ov
ercomes evil sovereignty. “O” symbolizes good sovereignty and “X” symbolizes evil sovereignty. O embraces and digests X; X cannot embrace O. Such a time of great blessing and grace Father gave us this year.
 
Furthermore, one more great blessing still is waiting for us, and that is October 14th great Blessing. The title of the coming Blessing will be “10.14. TRUE PARENTS COSMIC BLESSING”. In order to accomplish that great grace Blessing, Father gave us guidelines, the way to achieve it, and also a special gift to us. First of all, Father gave us the Wongu Peace Cup Cain-Abel Cosmic Unity Game. Even Father himself developed and founded Hwahap-Tongil, harmony and unity game, and performed a ceremony on April 19th. During a period of 13 days we held these games. There was a Peace Cup tournament in June, in Spain, Andalusia together with a Cain-Abel cosmic unity festival.
 
On October 12th and 13th, we will also have a Wongu Peace Cup Cain-Abel cosmic unity event. Through that, we can have unity between Cain and Abel and show such kind of determination and new start when we settle the culture of unity. The time has come for all our members to completely unite together and with the True Family. When we unite together with True Mother and eventually True Father, then all our Unification family will become totally one in heart. Furthermore, we will extend our family into the world and we will become one world family.
 
Secondly, Father gave us his own autobiography, which is a great gift, to achieve such goals. The essence of Father’s life story is true love, the practice of true love. Father’s autobiography is a great tool, a heavenly weapon for witnessing, to save the people. Our witnessing is not just proselytizing people, but we are saving people’s eternal life, connecting them to God’s blood lineage, life and love so they can become a true family, centered upon True Parents. Many spiritual phenomena and miracles are happening now while we are witnessing through the distribution of this autobiography.
 
From what I understand, the greatest gift is Seven Deaths and Resurrections. This great awakening we can receive through our World President Hyung Jin Nim. Father told us what true love is: it means that we give and give and then we forget what we have given and we still give. Father as a parent couldn’t really say it that much, “I went to death place for you, seven different times, to save you.” Father has been waiting for the day when one of Father’s children would find True Parents’ true love. I feel that Hyung Jin Nim received this new awakening and new revelation not casually, not abruptly, but rather based upon ten years’ efforts of jeong seong condition.  After his elder brother Young Jin Nim ascended into heaven, he started jeong seong condition from early morning 2 a.m. until 3 a.m., 120 bow condition, prayer condition, jeong seong condition, true love condition. Not just one or a few months or a few years but for ten years, regardless of snow, rain, cold and wet or heat – that did not disturb him at all. Upon such a jeong seong condition, True Parents gave him spiritual awakening. Father went to the death place not only one or two, but seven different times and resurrected to save the fallen children from hell. Not only his body, but also his spirit went into hell, beaten and tortured by Satan, shedding blood and tears. This great awakening we can all receive by receiving True Parents’ true love, we can resemble True Parents and we can inherit True Parents’ true love, and then we can become one with True Parents’ heart.
 
In a few days, all of us will receive the Blessing. What is the meaning of this Blessing? Today is Saturday and there is a Saturday service, so I should start reading Fathers’ hoon dok material. From tomorrow, at the official Sunday Service, I will read Fathers’ words, but today I will omit reading Fathers’ speech to save time, so please understand this point. What is that special meaning? As you know Father became the King of Kings this year, and as King of Kings he is giving the Blessing to all the people, including all the Blessed Families. For the first time in history, there is a Blessing given by the King of Kings. Let’s give a big applause to show our deep gratitude and appreciation for True Parents.
 
True Parents were installed in 1960 and they had to overcome all kinds of difficulties, hardships, and had to pay so much indemnity. They got victory in 2001 when the coronation ceremony was offered to God, and Father opened a new era, the era after opening of heaven. In 2006, Father became King of Peace at the entrance and coronation ceremony. This year, in 2009, Father became the King of Kings and as a King of Kings, Father is giving the Blessing to everybody.

What a great Blessing we will receive this year in a few days on October 14th! It will be a Blessing on the cosmic level; before, when we received the Blessing, it was on the church level, and another Blessing on the worldwide level. This is the third level, cosmic level Blessing. All Blessed Couples should go through this cosmic level Blessing. All members and blessed families have fallen mind,  fallen habits and fallen thinking, fallen behavior and fallen actions, and all our blood lineage has been stained, corrupted and  dirty, so we should purify our blood lineage completely. Our connection to True Parents’ life and love became weakened, so we should strengthen this love connection and life connection. Father said this new Blessing is a Blessing without a trace of the fall, such a great Blessing of forgiveness, based upon your condition. It is not just automatic; it depends on how much you repent, on how much new determination you have and on your new heart, on how much you set a condition of indemnity. Based upon that, Father will give great forgiveness, and grace will come. This Blessing will remove the trace of fall completely.
 
The coming Blessing will create great harmony through unity between Cain and Abel, from the individual, family, tribal, national, world, to the cosmic level. This will be the first time that newly Blessed couples and already established Blessed couples will receive Blessing together, the first time in God’s providence. What a great Blessing is coming! This Blessing is a condition for the entire clan to receive the Blessing by going through the Divine Principle workshop. I understand that everybody went through a Divine Principle workshop, reviving our spirit.  By doing so, we set the condition for the entire clan to receive the Blessing together with us. Also this is a condition for  the nation, world and the spirit world to receive the Blessing. Father said 80 million Korean people, together with 6.5 billion population worldwide will receive the Blessing conditionally.
 
Today we will be conducting the Holy Wine Ceremony officiated by World President Rev. Moon and Rev. Lee. This Holy Wine Ceremony is a great ceremony. Because of the fall, mankind received fallen satanic lineage, love and life. We must be engrafted into True Parents. We all became like a wild olive tree. True Parents are the true olive tree. In order for the wild olive tree to become the true olive tree, it must be engrafted into the true olive tree. Through the Holy Wine Ceremony we receive God’s heavenly lineage, God’s life and love. Furthermore, this Holy Wine Ceremony for already Blessed Couples will remove all traces of fallen actions, habits and remnants completely. It will purify our lineage completely – such a special meaning.

What should be our mindset to receive this Holy Wine and the upcoming Blessing on October 14th? Father emphasizes absolute sex, right? Do you remember what the motto is for this year? (Recites the motto in Korean).  Father and Mother, absolute sex, pure heart, sexual purity, fidelity between husband and wife, creating a beautiful happy family and keeping absolute sexual ethics and absolute purity. Through this, we fulfill our portion of responsibility. Such a determination you must have when you receive the holy wine today. Otherwise you just drink and forget everything, and then it has no meaning at all.

Father said you must receive this Blessing as a virgin. It means a virgin person, who doesn’t know any man or woman. You should go back to that state with a pure heart. Even towards your wife, you may wonder, is this my wife? With this kind of pure heart you should become a newly wed couple. We should receive this Holy Wine and Blessing as a virgin. This is what Father said a few days ago in America. We should live a life of jeong seong condition, like Hyung Jin Nim, a jeongseong life, a true love life, with passion for the truth, for God’s way – such a life. We should be determined to inherit True Parents’ Seven Deaths and Resurrections and practice jeong seong condition everyday, true love condition, true love action and passion for God’s will.
 
Let’s show our deep appreciation and gratitude to Hyung Jin Nim who gave  us (revealed to us) the Seven Deaths and Resurrections, who gave a great awakening to us. Let’s give a big applause. He wants desperately for us to inherit the Seven Deaths and Resurrections, so he did a 21,000 bow condition, a life and death struggle. He desperately asks us to inherit True Parents’ love. With receiving Holy Wine and the Blessing we will make a new determination to create a happy family and eventually all mankind will become a great happy family through True Blessed Couples and Blessed Families.
 
I will now conclude my speech reading Father’s speech:
 
I pray that you may form wise and new families of citizens in God’s Kingdom, Cheon Il Guk – families whose members clearly distinguish between Cain and Abel in their lives, who integrate them into a new realm of Abel, placing goodness at its center, and who restore the realm of the three eras of the Old, New and Completed Testament ages and the three generations of my family. I am asking you to form and live as new true families based on original human nature through which the new true grandparents, true parents, and true grandchildren can enter, hand in hand, into the new Kingdom of Heaven. I pray and proclaim in the names of the victorious true God and True Parents that the new authority of the great blessing of the True God, the king of kings of all nations, can flow abundantly into your new families, new nations, and throughout the new cosmos.
(Book 17, Pyeonghwa Shingyeong)
 
Thank you very much.
 
Explanation of Meaning of Holy Wine Ceremony by Rev. Hyung Jin Nim:
 
Let us just briefly look at the meaning of the very special ceremony, as Dr. Seuk has eloquently explained.
 
From the viewpoint of the Divine Principle, the Holy Wine Ceremony is a ceremony of completely removing the original sin and changing the lineage. That is to say, through the Holy Wine Ceremony, the evil lineage of Satan will be removed completely. You are being brought from the realm of Satan to the realm of God, from death to life. Only True Parents can bestow this special grace. Let’s give them a big round of applause of appreciation. (Applause)
 
This Holy Wine Ceremony has three special meanings:
Number one, the October 14th Holy Wine has been given as an important condition for participating in this ceremony of Cosmic Blessing. So, before we partake in the ceremony, the condition is that we receive the Holy Wine again.
 
Number two, the three generations in the family are allowed to take part in this great grace, bestowed through the Holy Wine, and therefore carry the responsibility of establishing the legitimacy of the realm of three blessed generations. So three generations will be participating with us today.
 
Number three, all families that take part in the Holy Wine Ceremony should drink the Holy Wine after fully repenting on our individual level, family level, etc. with the resolution to make a new beginning at the start of a new era.
 
So, now we will partake in the Holy Wine Ceremony.
 
Benediction after Taking of Holy Wine by Rev. Hyung Jin Nim:
 
Dearest, most beloved Heavenly True Parents, Heavenly Parents of Heaven and Earth! Father, we thank You so much for this incredible blessing that You have bestowed upon us. You intended the original lineage  from the beginning of time and creation, wanted to have children that would be able to inherit Your true love, be able to multiply that true love and spread it and have dominion over the creation, stewarding the world with responsibility, true love, true life and true lineage.
 
We understand that this portion of responsibility was not fulfilled during the fall and that the lineage of mankind was separated from Your grace, love and lineage. Father, this day, the Holy Wine that we partake of, is upon the victorious foundation of our True Parents, who are the first human ancestors, the first to fully inherit Your true love, Your essence and Your divinity, who are able to stand as the parent of all humankind, who are able to go the path of death, to willingly sacrifice and lay down their life and their soul, multiple times, over and over, so that their children may receive eternal life and may inherit the lineage that You have always intended from the beginning of creation.
 
We pray that we may understand and that we can repent for our shortcomings this day, that we may be purged of any negative strongholds, fallen natures and that we may come into new birth and new resurrection with the power of the seven resurrections. We pray that we may come into the new resurrected life, so that we may offer our lives, our love and our lineage and our families for the sake of Your kingdom and Your providence.
 
We pray that we may inherit this type of true love, the true love of True Parents, the true love of Your essence, Your divinity and that through that inheritance we may create the true families which You have so desired from the beginning of time.
 
Father, we pray that these families may come together and the members of the Unification Church may embody and actualize that (love) and spread and share the message, the conviction, faith and love of our True Parents to all humankind. We pray that the world may inherit this and that we may move into the new realm of liberation and that we may move into the new realm of establishing Your true kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.
 
We thank You so much, Father, once more for this most precious gift and grace that You give to us and bestow upon our families and descendants, our ancestors and upon all the families that are here with us in this sanctuary and joining us around the world.
 
Father, we pray that this may be the preparation for receiving the Cosmic Blessing of the King of Kings, our True Parents, on Oct 14th, this Wednesday, and we pray that we may have a prayerful and thankful heart when we receive the incredible cosmic grace and blessing. We thank You so much and we pray all these things returning all glory and thanks and gratitude to You, as central blessed families, we pray in True Parents’ name. Aju!
 
Three Cheers of Eog-mansei:
 
On this special occasion, we thank Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim for leading and guiding us and for the guidance from Dr. Seuk today, and also for the presence of the True Family here. It is a great, great privilege for us all. We want to celebrate this occasion with three cheers of Eog-mansei:
 
Eog-mansei for the victory of the establishment of God’s kingship! Eog-mansei!
 
Eog-mansei for the victorious True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind, the King of Kings! Eog-mansei!
 
Eog-mansei for the 10.14 True Parents’ Cosmic Blessing Ceremony! Eog-mansei!

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Rev. Hyung Jin Nim's Interesting Story

October 20, 2009

I heard a story about an archeologist, and he was digging in the Negev desert in Israel, and he came upon a casket containing a mummy; a very rare occurrence in Israel.

And after examining it, he called Abe, the curator of the Israeli museum in Jerusalem, and he said, “Abe, do you know what, I’ve just discovered a 3,000 year old mummy of a man who died by a heart attack. The excited scientist told him that.

And Abe said, “Well, I don’t know about that. Bring him in, and we’ll check it out.” A week later, the amazed curator called the archeologist [and said], “I don’t know how you did it, you are absolutely right about both, the mummy’s age, and the cause of death. How in the world did you know that this guy died by a heart attack?” The archeologist said, “Oh that was easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, ‘I bet $10,000 on Goliath.’”

 

Sermon: Blessed Integrity / March 7, 2009

 

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Rev. Hyung Jin Nim's Prayer

October 20, 2009

Heavenly Father thank You for this day that You have created just for us, Father!

 Father we thank You that You have given us this time  here in this sanctuary. Father, we thank You that You fresh our mind. Father, you gave us the time to reflect about ourselves, to look back into ourselves, to  cultivate our strength and illuminate the weaknesses that we may see.

Father, we pray that You may give us that kind of wisdom and insight today. Father, we pray that You may give us that kind of strength and confidence today. Father, we pray that as we leave this sanctuary that we may go forward into that world with more hope, Father, and with a stronger spirit, Father, with overcoming power knowing that in 2009  we can overcome the challenges that  are in front of us, and that we will become stronger and better because of that. Father, we thank You in advance for all the victories that You are preparing for us, and we truly wish and desire that we may come into those blessings.

Thank You, Father, for preparing so many things and, Father, we pray that today we may truly see our honesty and integrity as our most precious assets that we may guard and, Father, cultivate so that truly we can bridge the gap between what we say who we are and who we really are. Father, let us always work on that, become better and better each day, just little bit is fine. But, Father, we pray that each day we will have more victory, more illumination and more peace and live that blessed life inheriting Your true love and being that blessed.

Thank You so much. We pray all these things in gratitude and in everlasting love in our own names as blessed true family together here as one family, AJU!

Sermon: Blessed Integrity / March 7, 2009

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Cheap Grace, Costly Grace, True Grace, Salvation by Rev. Michael Brazil

October 13, 2009

October 3, 2009, HQ Church, Seoul Korea

   But actually, we can learn a lot from the Christians. We need to have that same heart of joy. We need to have that same inspiration. I mean, think about it! Think about it! If you really would believe you’re saved—what I mean by saved is that you’re not going to hell, you are not going to hell; you are going to a good place in the next life—wouldn’t you be grateful? Wouldn’t you be happy? (In a low and depressed voice:) “I’m depressed. Ok, good, okay, I’m not going to hell. Maybe heaven. Okay.” But you know, sometimes I wonder, even myself. Actually this sermon is for ME! I look in the mirror and think: “Saved? Huh? Grace? True grace? Salvific grace?” 

 Opening Prayer by Lucilla Gray:

Our beloved Father, today, the [third] of October, is truly a special day—is the day in which we celebrate the twenty-second Foundation Day for the unifying nation of heaven and earth. And as well, in this nation of Korea, we are celebrating the Chuseok harvest day, in which truly we want to give thanks to our ancestors. Thank You, Heavenly Father, because we live in this special time of hope. Because of our True Parents, we know this hope can be realized, and  human suffering can be ended.
Thank You, our beloved Heavenly Father, for the ministry of Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim.  You have blessed this ministry to be one of love. Through it we can feel so much Your presence and so much Your personal care. Today we want to be again together with You.
          
It is also the first Saturday of the month of October, and we know that this new month is really full of events.  We know we are preparing our hearts for the upcoming Blessing.
          
We want to be together with You today. We want to share each other’s heart.  We want to come closer together, and we want to renew our desire and determination to give Your love to the world.  Please be with Hyung Jin Nim and Yeon Ah Nim today, in America, and with our True Parents and with all the True Children.
          
And please, we ask that You can speak through our pastor Reverend Michael Brazil so that we can receive guidance for the week to come.
          
I would like to offer this prayer with all my brothers and sisters, in our own names as a Blessed Central Family. Aju.
 
Welcoming Remarks

Genn Toffey:

Welcome brothers and sisters.  We’re so happy that you are here.  And, we’re so lucky to have you here at Chuseok.  At our house, and in many places in Korea, there are so many beautiful fields of rice, and they’re just falling over—almost ready to be harvested.  One week it is really yellow and then the next week it’s kind of day-glow yellow.  And then the next—now it’s kind of a little bit brown and almost orange, with all the dragonflies running around!  But actually, everyone in this room—every single person—together, we’re more beautiful than those fields of rice, because we are the harvest; we are the special people God has been waiting for. So don’t forget: you are really special, and God really loves you.
 
Rev. Kyle Toffey

Welcome brothers and sisters and yes, thank you for coming on this beautiful Chuseok day. It’s an amazing day, isn’t it? The sun is shining, the air is cool, and it’s a beautiful day to be here. And so thank you very much for coming.
 
Genn Toffey

I’m going to read from the Cheon Seong Gyeong,  page 1417. … “You need to be blessed in order to present yourself as ideal couples that have been victorious in all aspects of life, including culture, politics, and economics—as representatives with Adam’s original authority. You must realize that such is the significance of the Blessing. This is a path that you cannot walk alone. In entering heaven, man is the right leg and woman the left. Alone, you could not be a complete person because you would be one-legged and therefore lame.”
          
And then from the next page (1418): “Couples are blessed to become the embodiments of True Parents and, through their children, reach out to the nation and world, becoming its roots. … The universe is a world of love—it is not a cold-hearted and desolate place, but an enclosure of love. Just as the seeds are all wrapped in a shell, God also wants to reside in that realm of love that is the universe—the enclosure of love—with His plus and minus dual characteristics.”
 
Rev. Kyle Toffey

This morning—we were eating breakfast outside because it was so beautiful today—my wife  was saying that when she first heard about this Blessing ceremony on October 14th, the first thing that came to her mind: “Well, this is another thing that we have to do, another financial obligation we have to have.” And I think, for  a lot of us, you know, that’s kind of the first thing that pops into our mind. But she brought up a very, very good point: she said the more that she thought about it, she realized how wonderful this opportunity really is going to be for each and every one of us.
          
People spend a lot of money and a lot of time planning marriage rededication ceremonies. People get to be about our age and they say, “Well, let’s renew our marriage vows.” And they invite their friends and their families together and have a big party and celebration, as they renew the commitment towards each other. Well actually, this is kind of what we get to do. And not that expensive… (Laughter)
          
But isn’t it really wonderful that we will be together, celebrating, and getting re-Blessed, and going to another higher level together, as brothers and sisters? We got Blessed this way originally, and it’s really a wonderful opportunity—for us to, again, renew our commitment to God, True Parents. And in front of the world we can hold up marriage as being the keystone of God’s kingdom here on earth. So, brothers and sisters, thank you very much for coming today, and please do what you can to help celebrate October 14th as a day of re-Blessing for us all. Aju.
 
Interesting Story by Rev. Brazil:
           
Well, in the tradition of our senior pastor—which I love—he always starts his service with something very interesting. So, a little humor for you today! This might help you in understanding this humor (Acts 2:38 “…turn form your sin…”). An elderly woman had just returned to her home from an evening of religious service, when she was startled by an intruder. As she caught the man in the act of robbing her home of its valuables, she yelled, “Stop! Acts 2:38!” (laughter) …which means “turn from your sin!” The burglar stopped dead in his tracks (stopped what he was doing). The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done.
         
 As the officer cuffed the man to take him into prison, he asked the burglar, “Why did you just stand there? All she did was yell a scripture to you!” “Scripture?” replied the burglar. “She said she had an AXE and two 38’s (guns)!” (Laughter and applause)
 
MAIN SERMON:

Hello everyone. Thank you very much for coming today. Who knows what day this is—in Korea? (From the audience: Chuseok.) Indeed. And, this is a day of thanksgiving, here in Korea, so I’d like for us to do just a little exercise together. This is a day to give thanks, so what are you grateful for? So what I’d like for you to do, in the next 60 seconds, I’m going to give you 60 seconds, and I want you to think of ten things that you are grateful for. So just list them off on your fingers. And actually, if you can think of more than ten, fantastic—keep going!
          
So everyone ready? Think of ten… Begin!
            … Okay, stop.
            Okay, so how many of you thought of at least ten—raise your hand. Okay. How many thought of more than ten? Impressive! How many thought of more than one—no just kidding, haha…
          
Actually, we really know the power of an attitude of gratitude. But today, I want to speak about a slightly different topic.
          
And let’s begin by looking at few World Scriptures. Let’s begin with Buddhism. So if you notice the forth word [on the slide], Tathagata, that actually is the name of Buddha—that’s the name that he actually called himself.

So let’s read together: “I am the Tathagata, the Most Honored among men; I appear in the world like unto this great cloud, to pour enrichment on all parched living beings, to free them from their misery, to attain the joy of peace, joy of the present world, and joy of Nirvana,” from the Lotus Sutra, number five.
          
Our next passage is from Christianity, and I think most of you have probably heard this one before; it’s slightly famous. Let’s read together: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16.
          
And let’s take a look at the next one, from Hinduism. From the Srimad Bhagavatam (11:2): “We who live in the world, still attached to karmas, can overcome the world by thy grace alone.”         
         
 And next, let’s take a look at Islam. And this is from the Hadith, which are the sayings and doings of the prophet Mohammed. “Abu Huraira reported God’s Messenger as saying, ‘There is none whose deeds alone would entitle him to get into Paradise.’ Someone said, ‘God’s Messenger, not even you?’ He replied, ‘Not even I, but that my Lord wraps me in mercy.’ ”
          
 Next one is Unificationism. This is from Reverend Moon, (Mar. 9th) 1991. Let’s read together: “God’s heart of love, God’s heart that belongs with creation, God’s heart of wanting to reside in the heart of every single person—we can inherit all of these things. How precious this is! How joyful it is to discover that great value! It is a most sublime and noble position that nothing can rival. It is an amazing grace.” And one more. … Again from Reverend Moon, (Aug. 9th) 1970. Let’s read together: “A person who has received grace and is receiving love from God looks beautiful.”
          
Well, can you guess what my topic is today? (No response.) Ha-ha, okay. Actually, I would like to talk about grace and salvation.
          
So let’s take a look at the next slide. Today my sermon is entitled, “Cheap Grace, Costly Grace, True Grace, Salvation.”
          
Now, grace can be a very complicated subject. Actually, as we noticed, all the major religions have the concept of grace. But, actually, in Christianity it’s especially significant and important. However, if you study Christianity, and if you study the concept of grace, it’s very complicated.
          
Let’s take a look at this next slide—and take a look at a few different types of grace [in Christianity]. Now, first we have Divine Grace, Prevenient Grace, Sustaining Grace, Actual Grace, Sanctifying Grace, Justifying Grace, Irresistible Grace, Sola gratia Grace; there’s a grace found in Catholicism, the Catholic Church; Protestantism has their concept of Grace; Eastern Orthodoxy also has their concept… And there are many more.
          
So what is grace?
          
Well let’s take a look at a very simple definition [of grace] that I think most Christians would agree upon: In Christianity, GRACE is “unmerited favor” from God. Grace is the receipt of a positive benefit that one does not deserve to receive.
          
Grace is something we receive yet we have not earned it—we do not deserve it. At the center of this idea of grace is the concept of salvation. And salvation means what for Christians? Going to heaven. Congratulations! You are going to heaven. So how is one saved in the Christian faith? By grace, and by faith.
          
With that background, I want to ask you a question. And when I ask you this question … what thought goes through your mind? If I were to say to you, “Congratulations! You’re saved! You are saved!” Okay. What goes through your mind? What did you think of? (From the audience: Saved from what?) “Okay, saved from what? All right, this guy is crazy!”
          
Well maybe many of you, or some of you, thought what I thought many years ago, when I went to visit one of my professors at UTS (Unification Theological Seminary). And, at that time, when I was at UTS, most of the professors were not members of the Unification movement. However, this particular minister was. And I walked into his office—I had some questions to ask about his class—and I sat down, and he looked at me and he said, “Do you realize? We’re saved!”
          
“…Okay?” And, he must have seen the expression on my face—which truly demonstrated what I was thinking inside—and he quickly, he said, “Well—okay, yeah, okay—understand, we have our portion of responsibility—YES, we have to accomplish God’s will. BUT—we’re saved!” And I really thought he was a little crazy. I thought maybe he lost a few of his marbles.
          
And yet, let’s take a look at this next slide. Take a look at a passage from the Divine Principle. And this is from the Fall, section 5.1, “The meaning of Freedom from the Viewpoint of the Principle: Second, there is no freedom without responsibility. Human beings, created according to the Principle, can reach perfection only by fulfilling their responsibility based on their free will.” Ladies and gentlemen, it’s in there. Page 74.
          
Of course we know that our portion of responsibility is very important. So, again when I went to visit this professor at UTS, he really surprised me. What do you think? Do you think I ever went back to visit him? No. I did not. And yet, many years later, as I thought about what he had said, I came to realize… that he’s right! He is right! We truly are saved! Now, I know some of you that say, “From what?” Okay, don’t worry—we’ll get to that.
          
I’d like to call your attention to an amazing man who lived many years ago: a German theologian, by the name of Dietrich Bonhoeffer [1906-1945]. He lived at the time of World War II, and tragically, he died one month before World War II ended. He was executed. First, he was put into prison for helping Jews escape Germany, into Switzerland. And this young man was quite brilliant. … In 1937 he wrote a very famous book, “The cost of Discipleship.” And in this book he talked about different types of grace—two and types: cheap grace and costly grace.
         
 And let’s take a look at what he meant by cheap grace. And please read with me: “Cheap Grace … is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ living and incarnate.”
          
In Reverend Bonhoeffer’s perspective, cheap grace was the type when a Christian accepted Jesus and yet didn’t really change—felt that: “My sins have been washed away. I’m saved; I am going to heaven—regardless of how I live, what I do. I already have a ticket into the kingdom.” But actually, Dietrich Bonhoeffer had a slightly different perspective.
          
Now let’s take a look at what he thought about costly grace. This is just one passage of many in his book. Let’s read together: “Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it costs God the life of his Son. Yes, we were bought at a price, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.
          
These are very famous passages. Costly grace. Actually
the grace that we have received through Jesus came at a very steep price—very expensive. So Dietrich Bonhoeffer asked people to become true Christians, to truly become Christ-like, to follow in the footsteps of Christ … which is a costly grace. Easy to live that way? Is it easy to be a true Christian? It’s very difficult.
          
Well how about true grace? What is that?!  Brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen, have you ever heard of true grace? (No response.) Hello? No! Okay.
          
Well, let’s read… Let’s read together: “Grace provided by our True Parents’ victorious standard of Parental Heart and Love, fully reflecting the love and heart of God.” Now, for Unificationists, True Parents means a man and a woman who reflect the true heart, the true love of God—who have inherited God’s parental heart and express it. That is what we understand. Grace that comes from God through his true son and daughter to us.
          
And with this in mind, I’d like to share with you a story that I heard. It is actually a dream that a member of our movement had many years ago. Perhaps my details are a little bit different but let’s take a look at the next slide. In her dream she was back in the Middle Ages. And she was on trial in a dungeon-like courtroom. She was on trial for the crimes of her life. And she was terrified. She feared greatly that she was going to receive a guilty verdict. And the punishment of being guilty was what? Death. Not just death, but a very painful, suffering-filled death. And she, again, was extremely worried that the trial was not going well. And with each passing day her fear grew stronger and stronger. “I’m not going to survive! They are going to find me guilty.” And towards the end of the trial when basically she had lost all hope and was truly in a state of depression, one day the door of the courthouse flew open, and in walked the queen of the kingdom. And she looked around, and she saw the young woman who was on trial, and she said to the judge, “I know this woman. And I take responsibility for her, for she is my daughter.” Well, at that the judge had no option: he had to proclaim her innocence and set her free.
          
How do you think she felt? What emotions do you think must have been going through her mind? And by the way, who do you think the queen was—in her dream? Any idea? The queen, when she looked more closely, was Mrs. Moon, whom we call True Mother. And when she woke up from that dream, she said, “I really now understand being saved by True Parents, saved from death.”
So how do you think she felt? What type of feelings do you think she must have had? Here are a few suggestions [on the slide]: Joy; Elation, which means great joy; Happiness; Great hope, blank.
         
 Fill in the blank. What do you think—give me some suggestions.  How would you feel if you had been that person? (Repeating audiences responses) “Gratitude!” Absolutely. What else? “Liberated!” What else? “Relief!” Haha…Well that’s true. What else? “Resurrected!” … “Saved!” [Jokes:] “What does that mean?” Haha… “Indebted.” Do you think there was anything that that sister would not, could not do for Mrs Moon?
          
Reverend Moon said one time, “If you were a criminal and your death was imminent, and you were to die in a few days, and someone came and took responsibility for you and liberated you, is there anything you could not do for that person?” Nothing, right? There’s nothing we would not do for that person who set us free—free from death.
          
 Let’s see the next slide. Okay. Let’s take a look at this passage again: “A person who has received grace and is receiving love from God looks beautiful” [True Parents, 1970.8.9]. Would you agree with that passage? (Yes.)
          
Christians talk about salvation. And it is a paramount concept in their faith. So, I am sure many times you have heard, “Are you saved? Have you been saved?!” And how do the Christians think, how do they feel usually, the Christians, that take this deep to heart? Have you met Christians who exude that gratitude, that joy, that confidence? Have you met such Christians? Now, brothers and sisters, be honest, did you envy them a little bit? Do you envy their joy, their happiness? Just a little bit?
          
A very famous elder in our movement happens to be Mrs. Moon’s mother, whom we call Daemonim, “Great Mother.” She said one time, “You must be joyful! You must be happy! And you must express it!” Why?!
          
Well, let’s face it (speaking in a sarcastic tone): everybody loves to go to a church that’s really boring, right?  Everyone loves to go to a church where everyone is depressed… uninspired… Don’t you just love it?
          
Or do you want to go to a church that is filled with life and inspiration and joy and happiness?!
          
Gee, I’m a little worried… Which one is it here?! (Joy!) Is it the first one or the second one? (The second!) I’m not so sure! I’m warning you: Hyung Jin Nim might watch this later. (Laughter) I guess I’d better be worried. (More laughter)
         
 I don’t know about you but I know I envy people who always are happy and joyful and outgoing. And I’ve often thought, “I want to be like that.” And I know, we Unification members, we often say, (exaggerating a cynical tone) “Yeah, but you know, those Christians, they don’t really know. Their faith is so simple. They don’t really understand ‘portion of responsibility’. They’re going to be surprised when they go to spirit world.” (Laughter)
          
But actually, we can learn a lot from the Christians. We need to have that same heart of joy. We need to have that same inspiration. I mean, think about it! Think about it! If you really would believe you’re saved—what I mean by saved is that you’re not going to hell, you are not going to hell; you are going to a good place in the next life—wouldn’t you be grateful? Wouldn’t you be happy?
(In a low and depressed voice:) “I’m depressed. Ok, good, okay, I’m not going to hell. Maybe heaven. Okay.”
          
But you know, sometimes I wonder, even myself. Actually this sermon is for ME! I look in the mirror and think: “Saved? Huh? Grace? True grace? Salvific grace?”
         
 Brothers and sisters, I think we’ve got to feel it. If you think about it, what has our senior pastor here been telling us? Do you realize just recently he started his third year of ministry? He started his third year of ministry. And the first two years, what did he do? He really embraced us, didn’t he? He really loved us. He lifted us up. He encouraged us. He told us, “You’re special! You’re God’s children! Be proud of who you are!” And his message recently, also: “Let’s be proud!” So what do you have to be proud of? “Uh… Well… Um… Yeah… uh…” Yeah, what do you have to be proud of? Anything? Do we understand how incredible the grace is that we have received? Do you really understand it? Do you really comprehend it? Do you really feel it?
          
We should be filled with an incredible joy! Why not? Don’t you think so? Why should we not be filled with an incredible joy that we have been blessed tremendously? Christians think they have been blessed. Our blessing is so much greater in comparison.
          
Again, recently, our senior pastor Hyung Jin Moon has been enlightening us, teaching us about an amazing experience that he had: the revelation that he received. About True Parents, Reverend and Mrs. Moon, sacrificing their lives, dying seven times. For whom? For their children? For the entire world. Is it easy to sacrifice for your children? Yeah! Come on, be h
onest: it’s easy to sacrifice for your own, biological children. But how about, is it easy to sacrifice for children who are not your biological children? That’s not so easy.
          
That’s the grace that we’ve received. That’s the amazing grace that we’ve received.
            
I really want to encourage each of you, when Hyung Jin Nim is here, to come and attend, at least one time, his five a.m. service. It’s really a deep experience, where he celebrates the seven deaths and resurrections. He celebrates the eight-stage completion. If you come, please make sure you come with the English translation. It will help tremendously; help you understand what’s happening. But I really encourage you to come. It’s such a deep, deep experience.
          
Brothers and sisters, we really need to feel, we really need to feel that we have received God’s grace! We have been saved! That means we can go to the Kingdom of Heaven! And we know in our movement—we believe in our movement—that no matter how great  the grace is that Jesus brought, the grace that our True Parents have brought is far superior. I know, I could get burned at the stake for that, if I said that in the wrong place—but this is the right place. But we really have to feel it. We really have to feel it. Why? So people will be attracted to us.
          
And now Hyung Jin Nim’s message to us is “Stand up, become mature, and take responsibility.” Have you noticed his message is changing? It’s very interesting. Have you noticed that? It’s almost like he said (imitating Hyung Jin Nim’s voice), “Okay I’ve loved you enough. You know … It’s time to grow up!” It’s time to stand up and be proud of who you are, proud of what we’ve received, believe in that, and share it. And I know that many of us have felt such a burden. (Sounding tired, overwhelmed:) “Well, okay, I’ve got all this grace, but I have to save the world. It’s too heavy!” But I think that’s the wrong attitude.
          
One brother told me one time—he gave a very good example, which I think is very appropriate here—he said: when he reads an exciting book, and it really inspires him, then, what does he want to do? He wants to share it with another person because he thinks that book might help them. He thinks the same joy he got, that person might get, too. I mean do you do that? Do you feel that way? So how much more should we feel with what we’ve received? So, it’s true—for me, too, for me most of all.
          
Actually, if we feel this amazing grace that we have received—this true grace—we want to go out. We want to attract other people. Out of duty? Out of obligation? No! Why? I want to give to you what I’ve received! And in the past, I know, sometimes we felt like, “I don’t want to bring anyone to this church because all we do is suffer.” But you know: those days are over. I really believe those days are over. Yeah, there are challenges. There will be challenges. But we’re in an amazing new time, where we can really feel God’s love and grace. And we can give that to other people. So that when people see us, when people come to our service, they feel something. Because—why?—WE feel something, and we want to give it to others. Is this easy? No. But I think, I really think, we’ve got to change our thinking. We have to really come to believe: “I am saved! My life is totally different. True Parents have given me new life.”
          
So, I really believe that we as Unificationists, we should exhibit the greatest joy. We should exhibit the most genuine fulfillment, an authentic heart of joy and gratitude for the gifts we’ve received. You know, Reverend Moon said one time, “Ah, you just can’t understand, can you? You just can’t understand the time you live in. You just don’t get it.” Don’t you feel that way sometimes? I know I feel that way.
          
But, what can we learn today?  I really want to challenge you—and challenge me. I really want you to think about: What have we received? Is it great? Is it salvific? Is it our liberation? And what does it mean to you? Should it impact your life? Should it change your life? Should it empower you? Inspire you? Or should it depress you: “I’m really sorry, you’ve got to change the world. You’ve got to save the world. I’m really sorry.” Or should it be like: “Wow! Great, no problem! I can do that! But I need some help! Well, yeah, I can do that!”
         
 I really hope that you can think about this, and take this and receive it, and we can really LIVE this life, so that actually Christians will be jealous of us, will envy us, because they look and they’ll say, “Wow! Are those Unificationists on drugs or something?” (Laughter) Don’t you think so? They should envy us. Our grace, our salvation is far superior.

So when I think back on that professor, he was ahead of his time. He was right. I was the one who was crazy; he was the person who was right. So brothers and sisters, I hope  that today you can, perhaps in your hearts, feel that you are saved. You have been given life that no one can give us. And that life we want to share with others. We want to experience it to the greatest depth. And we want to return it, to bring joy to God, joy to our True Parents, joy to our senior pastor, joy to each other, and whom else? To ourselves, to our families.

So please join me in prayer.
 
Closing Prayer by Rev. Brazil:
          
Our Heavenly Father. We really want to thank You today and we really, Heavenly Father, apologize to You. You have loved us so deeply and so much; and yet, perhaps we have not been able to understand it sufficiently. We haven’t understood the amazing grace given to us. And perhaps we looked at it as a burden! Please help us, to change that heart if that’s what we think. Help us to look at it as an amazing, incredible gift, that, as we read, is a grace that we are undeserving of. But You want to pour out Your spirit, Your heart, Your love, and shower all of it upon us. You want us to become Your true sons and daughters. You want us to become perfect, as You are perfect, as Jesus exhorted us to be.
          
Heavenly Father, we really want to express our gratitude to You today. Today is the day of thanksgiving. What more can we be grateful for than the amazing love and grace that we have received. Please help us to feel it. Please truly, truly help us to feel it, in the depth of our being. So that, what we do is not a burden, is not an obligation, but a joy!
          
We know there are going to be challenges and difficulties. But yet, Father, we want to really be filled with Your spirit and Your love. We really want to inherit the true love, so that we really can understand the amazing heart that our True Parents have given to us. We want to inherit that, so that we can bring joy to You and we can reach out and give joy to others. Heavenly Father, please help us to inherit that true love so that we can really feel how much You love us, and that we can be filled to the brim—bursting with hope, with joy, elation, ecstasy! …Any adjective we can think of that describes how we feel when we understand Your salvific grace.
          
Our Heavenly Father, we thank You so much again. We really want to offer to You our gratitude. We want to reach out to our True Parents, Reverend and Mrs. Moon in America, and thank them. We want to reach out to our senior pastor couple, Hyung Jin Moon and Yeon Ah Lee, thanking them for all that they have given to us. And that, we can be mature and stand tall—stand proud of what we have! And that we can build Your kingdom here on this earth, because we want to share what we’ve been given.
          
Father, again we thank You so much. Please bless each person here. Please guide each person. Please, Father, shower Your love upon each person here; that they will know and understand that they truly are a son and daughter of Yours. Please bless them in any difficulties they face. We know in difficulties sometimes it’s hard to feel You. It may be hard to believe in grace and salvation. But Father, bless and guide each person here, that they really can feel Your love and Your heart and Your truth; so that we really can live it.

Again I thank You and I most humbly offer and report all this to You, together as Blessed brothers and sisters, Blessed sons and daughters from around the world. Aju.

 

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Rev. Hyung Jin Nim's Interesting Story

October 13, 2009

You know, we always like to start with something a little interesting.  I heard a story about a big Thanksgiving Day.

 A certain family received a thanksgiving card with a beautiful painting of a pilgrim family on their way to church. 

Grandma showed the card to her small grandchild and said, “The pilgrim children liked to go to church.  They liked to go to church with their mothers and fathers.” 

The grandson looked up at Grandma and said, “Are you sure about that, Grandma?  Why is the daddy carrying a rifle?”

Sermon: Building your Spiritual Strength / February 21st, 2009

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Rev. Hyung Jin Nim's Prayer

October 13, 2009

Heavenly Father, thank You for this day, we pray that You may bless each one of Your children here today, Father. Father we pray that we may come to enliven ourselves in your strength, Father, we pray that we may come to be energized in Your goodness.
Father, we pray that we may have enthusiasm in our life, for we know that You encourage us all the time. Father, let us open our minds and open our hearts and look at that great blessing and the way you encourage us every single day. Let us be mindful to our children, to our family members, to our community. Father, let us know that You speak to us, in so many ways.

Father, today we pray that we may always understand that in our life we, too, must do our 5%. We, too, Father, must fight the good fight of faith. And Father, we must do our part to support You,  for You have done 95%. Father, we pray that we may truly have the energy and the enthusiasm, that we may continue to surround ourselves with people who challenge us to be better, Father, who inspire us to new levels of growth and maturity.

Father, we pray that at the times when we don’t have that kind of support, we pray that we may always remember that You are with us. Father, let us know that You are always walking with us, showing our path, lighting our way, giving us knowledge to penetrate through the doubt, through the sorrow, through the pain. We pray that those promises that have been broken may be mended, and, Father, we pray that we may bring new light and inspiration to the people around us and to our own lives.

Father, thank You so much for this day. We pray that Your abundant blessing may be with all the brothers and sisters here gathered today as one, from Africa, Father, to America, Australia, Russia, China, all the way back to the fatherland of Korea. Father, we pray that we may know that we are one together here with You.

We pray these things in our own names as central blessed families,  Aju.

Sermon:  Keeping your Power Up / February 7, 2009

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Fearless True Love

October 8, 2009

September 26, 2009, HQ Church, Seoul Korea

  We are here with members from all over the world who want to help stand up for the human rights of our brothers and sisters in Japan.  They ask us, “How do I do that?  How do I stand up for them in Japan? I live in Russia. I live in America. I live in Yugoslavia. How do I stand up?” Brothers and sisters, how do we stand up?  We stand up by being proud Unificationists, sharing our faith, being solid in our faith, knowing that it is our democratic right to believe in our religion.

Opening Prayer by Lucilla Gray:

Let us all pray.

Our beloved Heavenly Father: Father, we’re all here today to say that we love you.  We’re determined, Father, to make this world a better place, with True Parents’ hope, True Parents’ ideal and the Divine Principle vision, Heavenly Father.  We want to open our hearts and minds to be connected, to stay connected to your heart every minute, every breath we take, Father. A very important thing: we all have true love in us. It’s in our DNA. It’s in our blueprint, Father. We all have true love. May we inherit this true love. May we be bold and courageous and tell the world how wonderful you are, Father, how wonderful your vision is, how great True Parents are.  Father, this is a very special day, and from this moment on we’ll be connected to your heart.  Let us all have a great time here.  I pray in our names.  Aju.

Welcoming Remarks

Yeon Ah Nim:

Good afternoon, brothers and sisters.  It is great to see you all. Let us give praise to our Heavenly Father and True Parents, for letting us gather here and worship. Let us give praise and thanks to True Parents and Heavenly Father.  Today we have such a beautiful breezy and bright day. I sincerely hope and desire that your week will be blessed and filled with Heavenly Father’s grace and true love.  Welcome, Brothers, and Welcome, Sisters.

Hyung Jin Nim:

Hello brothers and sisters, let’s begin by manifesting the Principle: give and receive action, four position foundation. May I inherit the true love of God. Aju!
Welcome brothers and sisters. We want to welcome our Japanese ministers; about 40 of them are here.  Let’s give them all a big round of applause.  Nihon kara irashatta no bokaishatachi tate agete kudasi.( Would the ministers who are here from Japan please stand.)
 
 Yes, let’s give them one more round of applause, brothers and sisters – all the way from Japan, our Brothers and Sisters from Japan.  Thank you.  Arigato Gozaimashita.  We’re going to start with Cheon Seong Gyeong today.  We’ll start with Book 13, Father speaks. 

He says:
“From God’s viewpoint, the essence of the universe is love.  With love, unification will automatically be achieved.  If we love at a higher level than Satan, Satan will also be pulled in.  God created heaven and earth in order to give us the utmost goodness and love.”  Can we all do an Aju?  [Aju!]

Brothers and sisters, it’s always so important and wonderful that we’re able to come together to worship. It’s such a blessing that we live in a free, democratic world.  Let’s give it up for democracy!  We have freedom of religion!  This is so precious.  And we know from the Principle that it is the Abel-side realm, the democratic realm that protects religion. It protects faith.  So we’re so very grateful that we’re able to come together in freedom and worship together.   Brothers and sisters, when we do that, we’re going to bring God and True Parents more joy, and our week is going to be stronger. It’s going to be more blessed; we’re going to be wiser.  So brothers and sisters, this week we pray that truly many things can come to fruition, and the many things that have been left undone will come to fruition this week.   

Meditation Practise:

Let’s  unify our mind, body and breath.  Let’s start by unifying our body.  Let’s stretch towards the earth today and receive the Universal Prime Energy that flows through, breathing in, as we pass our beating hearts, let us breathe out, stretch towards the heavens today. Let’s really stretch. Let’s stretch our bodies, stretch our faith. Let us receive what God wants to give us today, His new compassion, new wisdom, breathing in, as we pass our living hearts; breathing out, towards the earth again. Let’s stretch towards the earth, receive the beautiful stable energy, breathing in, as we pass our living hearts, breathing out towards the heavens let’s really stretch, stretch, stretch our faith today. Let’s receive this new inspiration, God’s new future for us, breathing in, and as we pass our hearts let’s breathe out.
 
Let us now unify our mind. Let’s take a seat and let us sit up at the front of our chairs so that we may keep our back straight and enter into our first visualization and meditation practice.   Let us gently close our eyes and let us visualize, not this sanctuary but walking in a beautiful bamboo forest.   It is the morning. We can smell the wonderful fragrance of this fresh bamboo grove.  We can hear the leaves rustling in the winds high up above. We can see the beautiful green stalks of bamboo standing strong, but flexible in the wind. We can feel the soft earth below, and as we feel the morning sun rays and listen to the beautiful sparrows that fill the air with their song, let us walk forward and we will notice a beautiful stream that is meandering down.  We notice that the bamboo grove will continue right down to the edge of the stream, and let us stand now in front of that stream and I want you to pay attention to the beautiful sound of that stream. Notice that beautiful healing water, the cool refreshing water.  Notice its transparency and clarity. Notice the morning sun rays passing through and touching the streambed beneath. 
 
We will notice also the beautiful fish and life that is awakened by the morning sun and as we stand and listen to that sound and feel the presence of this incredible creation, let us gently close our eyes – continue to hear the sound of that stream, and as we breathe in deeply, in our hearts let us say, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out deeply, in our hearts let us say, “Thank You.” Once again, as breathe in, in our hearts let us say, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out deeply, exhaling, “Thank you.”  One more time, deep inhalation, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out deeply, “Thank you.” 

God and True Parents have blessed us with the blessed life, to inherit the true love of God through that life, to become greater blessings to our spouse, to our family, our children, to our community, our nation, world, and to God Himself.  Let us join our hands and manifest the Principle together: give and receive action, four position foundation, coming all together, may I inherit the true love of God, Aju, Aju.

Brothers and Sisters, let’s take this time to pray.  We’re going to pray particularly for those in the spirit world, our “Abel angels”, the angels that look after us and those good spirits that are brothers and sisters, our parents, and grandparents. We want to pray for them, acknowledge them, and encourage them today and thank them for being with us in our daily walk with God.  Let’s all join our hearts and pray – as we listen to the song, let us pray together:

Dearest most beloved Heavenly Father, thank you so much, True Parents.  Father, we’re so grateful to be able to be here today.  Father, we’re here because of your incredible path, the path that you had to walk, through seven deaths. But through the power of true love, the power of the parental heart, the love that will even die and die again for the sake of the children, over and over and continue to give, that incredible parental heart, Father, because of that heart you have been resurrected and give us that same resurrection power, incredible strength from within that we can inherit from your true love.  Father, thank you so much for allowing us to come together here because we know there are many things that we are dealing with in our lives. We’re dealing with relationships, dealing with many different elements in our life, Father, but we know that you want to “in-dwell” and be with us and in us, in everything.  Father, we want to be present, we want to be aware and awake so that we can see your miraculous workings, your supernatural love for us every single day.

Father, we thank you so much.   We want to offer our hearts to you today; we want to ask you to come down, Father, and be with us today.  We want to ask you, Father, to dwell amongst us and within us so that we can manifest your Principle, your true love, in our minds and in our emotions, in our actions and in our deeds, in our words.  Father, we thank you so much for protecting us and surrounding us with angelic beings.  We thank you for protecting us all the time.  We want to thank those Abel good spirits – the spirit world, Father, which is protecting us and looking after us.  We want to give them thanks today and want to acknowledge them.  Thank you so much for this present day.  We are grateful from our hearts.  Once more we pray in the names of our Central Blessed Families, together as one heart we pray.  Aju, Aju.

Thank you, Brothers and Sisters.  I want to ask you all to rise, because we’re not just going to stop at prayer, we’re now going to actualize it.  Brothers and Sisters, let’s encourage the person next to you. If you came with your spouse, it’s now time to give her a big hug, tell her you love her three times. Tell her thank you, three times, let’s encourage the person next to us, come on.

Interesting Story:

We like to start with something a little interesting: I heard a story about a young girl named Jenny and she was just about two. Her Mom just had a new born baby boy.  So happy, happy, happy.  Mom came back from the hospital and now was taking care of the baby and Jenny was experiencing the joy of having this new amazing younger brother.  One day, the mother had to go back to the hospital for a check up. So, Auntie came and took care of Jenny and the Mom went to the hospital and when she came back she asked Jenny, “How was it Jenny?” And Jenny said, “Mmm, mmmm.” So then she said, “Jenny, can we pray? How about we pray and thank God for your younger brother?”  Jenny said, “Ok, ok we can do that.”  So they closed their eyes and folded their hands.  And Jenny prayed, “Dear God, thank you so much for my wonderful younger brother.  You know I asked you for a puppy.  Can you at least make him bark?”
Brothers and sisters, come, let’s stand up!
Oh, that was a little delayed today. But you got it.  

Main Sermon by Hyung Jin Nim:

Brothers and sisters I want to talk to you today about Fearless True Love.  As you all know, as we talked about last week, there are times in a community’s life and in our Unificationist life that there are difficult things that we have to endure, different levels of persecution, because we are still a minority . There are still these difficult things that we are enduring right now and as we talked last week we are still in the midst of this incredible path.  So I want to start with some of the world scriptures today.

Christianity (Luke 23:33~34)
   “There they crucified him … and Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’ ”

Again we see the compassionate love of Christ, the love of Christ, even though he is enduring punishment, carrying the sins of the world. He still forgives those who are persecuting him. 

Buddhism (Dhammapada 2)
“Hatreds never cease through hatreds in this world; through love alone they cease.  This is an eternal law.”

The Buddha talked about how only goodness, how only positive action and thoughts can overcome hatred etc.

Let’s look at Islam.  This is the Koran (Qur’an 60:7)
“It may be that God will ordain love between you and those whom you hold as enemies.  For God has power over all things; and God is oft-forgiving, most merciful. “

And let’s look at True Parents’ Words today.  This is from the collection of sermons, 121 (DP Predestination 121:173).  We will read this together.
“True Love has influence on the enemy.  If you overcome the first, second, third and fourth difficult situation with love, the enemy will disappear.”

Today I want to center my words on the book of Psalms. This is Psalm number 3.  And this is a Psalm of King David when he fled from his son Absalom.  Absalom was the son that betrayed his father and ended up trying to kill David and ended up mobilizing forces to destroy his father.  So David is in a very akward situation because  out of   all the enemies that he has faced – and he has faced many battles – this puts him in a very difficult situation because this is one enemy that he does not want to kill. This is one enemy that he does not want to destroy. And so here we see the song of David. He is singing from his heart with incredible chaos arising in his mind.  He is praying and singing this at the same time.

Let’s read this together.
1.   Lord, how many are my foes!  How many rise up against me!
2.   Many are saying: “ God will not deliver me”.
3.  But you are a shield around me, O Lord: you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
4.  To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.
5.  I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6.  I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.
7.  Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God!
8.  From the Lord comes deliverance.  May your blessings be on your people.

Aju. Let’s look at these first two verses; “Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying: ‘God will not deliver me.’”
When one walks the path of the Lord, when one walks with the Lord, there are many foes that rise against that kind of person, “Who are you, who do you think you are?  What makes you think that you can say that?  What makes you think that you can think like that about yourself?” 

Not only do they become numerous but many times they will rise up to stop us in our tracks.  This happens whenever you do something that God has called you to do.  It can be something as simple as having a new creative idea that helps you build a new invention.  It could be starting a business or it could be something as serious as declaring your faith and professing your faith.  Whatever we do that God is asking us to do we will always find people that are around us who say, “You can’t do it” or “God will not deliver you, you won’t make it. It is not going to happen”.  We’ll have naysayers in our lives. 

 In the second verse it says that many say that God will not deliver David, that He will not bring success to him, that God will not let him have glory.  And very openly we face this as Unificationists here in Korea.  We face this many times.  Particularly many evangelical Christians view us as a heretical cult.  They call us “heretics among heretics”. They say this very publicly and openly.  And so for us it is important to understand that this is part of the landscape that we live in.  It  is part of our reality on the ground that we are actually seen as heretics.  It is important that we understand that we are a minority and that as such we have rights in a democratic world.

In the last couple of years Korean evangelicals have come under a lot  of “fire”.   In the 1990’s there were the burnings of Buddhist temples.  This (picture) is Hwagyesa in 1996.  There was a minister that was arrested, a pastor who was arrested for burning down the Blue Dragon Temple, burning it down to the ground.  We were just out on the street at that time.   As you walk the streets you’ll  very frequently see people with placards that say, “Jesus is heaven, if you doubt that is hell.”  These things were plastered all over on temples and other religious places here in Korea. Even in the land were there is relative religious harmony these kind of things happen.

In the last couple of years also the government has  come under a lot of pressure, particularly for the “gospelization” of the police force.   They were making posters that they were using like this, that said “Gospelization of the police force”.  An electronic map  was created that omitted all Buddhist Temples.  Even all of the National Treasures were omitted but the  recreational fishing sites were all there and the gas stations and convenience stores were all there.  Churches were all there, of course, but no temples and none of the National Treasures.   So, we can see, this is the kind of landscape we live in.  As Unificationists we have to be aware of this,  otherwise we are going to be surprised when we start sharing our faith.

So let’s look at verse 3 today of David’s Psalms (Psalms 3:3) This is a critical verse.
“But you are a shield around me, O Lord: you bestow glory on me And lift up my head.”

You see, what David is saying is that the Lord is our shield.  Only the Lord can protect us.  Only our faith in God can protect us.  No immature actions, like violence or lashing out. These things cannot protect us. These things would only confirm our inability to stand with dignity in persecution.  It is very important to understand what David is saying about being persecuted. It is so important to hold strong to our shield, which is our faith and which is God, faith in God.  The only way we win in this kind of situation is by our faith. 

I was talking to Rev. Fauntroy.  He is a human rights activist.  He walked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He’s a civil rights leader and he told us how one day in the south, they were in a church. They had been protesting that day, peacefully, and they were resting in the church.  They were actually having service that morning.  The children were singing hymns that morning.  They were in Sunday school and all of a sudden a huge explosion occurred, a huge explosion, which literally tore that church in half, literally, physically in half.  It was a bomb.  It was the white supremacists that exploded that bomb and blew up that church.  And he said that there was so much weeping on that day.  He told us how there was so much crying. You could hear the kids crying and you could hear chaos. There was so much  havoc.  Rev. Fauntroy was there.

The dust settled. The day went on, and at night time it was so quiet.  It was so quiet and Dr. King asked Rev. Fauntroy, “Could you please sing a song that will inspire us and give us strength?”  And Rev. Fauntroy sang the Impossible Dream, a song that really touches my heart every time I hear it.  I am just so moved by that song.  And they listened to that song with the people that survived that terrorist attack. They listened to it, they wept, they cried tears of sorrow for those who had lost their lives on that day but they also cried tears of hope because they believed.  They once again realized what they were doing.  They were standing up for something that was so important.  And you know the lyrics of the song:
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afarTo try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star.

This incredible song brought this church to tears in the midst of this kind of tragedy.  And what was amazing, he told us, is that they slept through that night and the very next morning, they went out again, they went out to protest again, the very next day after their church had been bombed.  They went out and protested for their human rights. 

You see, freedom of religion and belief in God and our True Parents is our RIGHT, brothers and sisters, it is a right that we have as democratic citizens living in democratic societies.  And the government must uphold this constitutional right. It must protect its citizens regardless of creed, color or religion.  It must protect its citizens.  And by being proud Unificationists, at this time particularly, by understanding with certainty that it is our democratic human right, our God given right, to have our faith, to practice our faith,   we bring awareness and justice to the many, many families that are receiving persecution because of their faith.

 I want to go to verse 4 (Psalms 3:4)
“To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.”

David is singing this song.  He says to the Lord, “I cry aloud”.  Brothers and sisters we can cry, we can cry if we are persecuted and we are hurt. We can cry.  It is OK for us to cry.  The Israelites were persecuted, they were enslaved for 430 years in Egypt, says the Scripture, 430 years they cried.  They were under slavery, they were under oppression. They had tears streaming down their faces. 

You may know the situation we talked about  last week. 1966, starting with Pastor Murayama, an evangelical, and a group of pastors, an illegal organization was created and the abduction of Unificationists began in Japan.  This was in 1966.   At first it was very small like ten abductions per year.  We have the graphs, the statistics.  But by 1993, it was reaching a height of 375 illegal kidnappings in one year.  That is one Unificationist per day, being kidnapped illegally, forced into confinement against their will in a free democratic society.  More than one per day.  These incredible crimes happened. 

In 2009 Kook Jin Hyung was assigned to Japan. He went to reorganize the church there.  And when he discovered what was happening he could not believe it.  We were just briefed (informed) on this a couple of weeks ago but he was so shocked at the severity of these human rights violations.  The  amazing thing is that  since it started in 1966 exactly 43 years have passed.  It mirrors exactly the 430 years of persecution that the chosen people of Israel had to face under oppression. 

Why didn’t the members do anything about this?  This is an egregious crime in a democratic state.  Why didn’t members do anything about it?  We were so shocked.  What is happening? Why are members not doing anything about it?  But we realized that  a certain culture  had developed. 

Brothers and sisters, after being kidnapped, running for life, many had to jump through windows, as you know with the Goto-san’s case.  We have Goto-san here [picture].  Goto-san was abducted and kept for 12 years and 5 months. It was illegal kidnapping, forced confinement.  Twelve years. He was kidnapped when he was 29.  He emerged (came out) when he was 42.  He is over six feet tall.  He weighed 39 kilos when he got out.  He was completely emaciated. 

This is  in Tokyo in Japan in an apartment; he was confined for12 years, all through his thirties.  His entire life during his thirties is gone.  And he emerged, left that area, was able to get out, 12 years 5 months later.  He went to the police and they did absolutely nothing about it.  And then he went out into the street and tried to find the UC HQ building. Because  12 years and 5 months had passed  he did not  know where to go; we could have moved, we could have changed.  So he was walking in that general direction. 

 The first person he bumped into, he asked, “I need to find the Unification Church headquarters.   Could you point me to their headquarters?” and amazingly that first person he met happened to be one of our sisters. She brought him to the church but it was very amazing.  When he arrived at the church everyone was shocked.  Here is this man.  He is straggly, he is totally emaciated.  He’s got these ragged clothes on.   He’s got 12 year old shoes on and people at the HQ were saying, “Who are you? Are you sure?”  And so, he explained his story.  He was taken to Ilshin Hospital, this is one of our hospitals in Japan.  This is where these pictures were taken. Here, he weighed 39 kilos and for 50 days he had to be treated with nutrition and exercise in order for him to get to some normal health. 
But this was happening, brothers and sisters, not in Africa, not in China, not in North Korea.  This is Japan, the second most powerful democratic nation in the world. Brothers and sisters, as you heard last week, we have cases of sisters that had been confined three months.  They were systematically raped.  One father, who paid for those abductions, found out what happened to his daughter.  And the father actually committed suicide because he was so guilt ridden to what happened to his daughter. 

This kind of incredible crime against humanity has happened because of their faith, because of the fact that they are practicing the Unification religion.  This (kidnappings) is not permissible in a democratic society. This is not permissible, this is not correct.  This is not upholding the democratic principle. 

You know,  we were so shocked because the brothers and sisters had contacted the police many times.  The police had done nothing about it.  The police had turned them away every single time.  So then this culture developed:  Pray for your enemies at least, pray for your kidnappers.  So, they were praying, they were living the religious life.  They were praying for the persecutors as Jesus said, as True Parents said, to do.  But see, for us, in our perspective, we both grew up in America, we both grew up in a democracy, we both are American citizens and for us, we can pray for our persecutors. That’s fine, but we cannot throw away our human rights!  We cannot throw away our human rights, Aju. We cannot throw those away.  That is our God given right as democratic citizens.  And we cannot let people take away our rights and just say we pray for them.  There comes a point when we have to say, “No! No longer will we endure abuse because of our religion.”  Stopping these  “pastors” from these illegal enterprises means to be compassionate with them.  It is compassionate. Because if they think they can rob people of their right to believe in God, to believe in the religion of their choice, this is a violation of democracy and religious freedom. 
So, the scriptures say that God answers us and that He calls us, that He is our shield when we come to him, when we remember that He is the one who can protect us.  No other force can do it.  He reminds us that  when we have faith  we are valuable as his children. We are chosen to be brave in standing up to declare our True Parents as Messiah and Lord.   Remember, we are like the apostles of Christ who declared that Jesus was the Lord even though they were persecuted.  Stephen was stoned, in the Acts of the Apostles.  He was stoned to death.

Let’s read verse 5 together.  Let us read this all together.
     Psalms 3:5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, Because the Lord sustains me.

It was September 11th, 1906, in Johannesburg, South Africa.  That is a very interesting date coincidence: Nine eleven.  This was the first real time that  Mahatma Gandhi stood up and started  organizing the Satyagraha movement.   “Satya” means Truth and “graha” means “holding firm”.  So “Satyagraha”  means “Holding firm to Truth” – when there is injustice. He was facing the promulgation of a new act (law) that made the Indian population register themselves to the government.  They were opposing that.  They were saying that there is prejudice against the Indian population.  And so Gandhi stood up and he called the fellow Indians to defy the new law, to suffer the punishments, but not to resist through violent means. 

Seven years they struggled, seven years. Thousands of Indians were jailed, including Gandhi himself, flogged, even shot for holding strikes, for refusing to register, for burning the registration card, etc., for engaging in other forms of non-violent resistance.  But while the government was successful in repressing these Indian protesters there was an outcry because of the fact that the government reacted so harshly in the face of peaceful protesters.  And this actually forced a negotiation, a compromise between the South African government – particularly General Jan Christiaan Smuts – and Gandhi’s side.  And so Gandhi expressed what Satyagraha means: in other words, a kind of love force,  soul force – he used those words. That it is a force that stands strong in the face of injustice, it is not weak.  It does not react in violence but it stands strong, it is firm, it holds strong to its place and it loves and it is love and it is based on the spirit. 

Until May, as you may know, the police in Japan were imprisoning Unificationists.  They were coming to our church and imprisoning Unificationists under the allegation of violation of commercial law, and this was all over the news, on NHK etc.  But there were -so far – over 4,300 confirmed cases of criminal abduction, forced confinement, psychological torture, even rape.  And there was not even ONE  media article about it, not one apology.  This is religious persecution.  Some make allegations that Unificationists donated a lot to the Church.  Well,  we have to realize that our members are as serious as any other religious tradition, as serious about religious life as any other major religion.

When Buddhist monks or Catholic priests become ordained, there is a vow of total renunciation that they practice toward worldly attachments.  Many donate their entire possessions, even houses, things that maybe could have been inherited, to the Catholic Church, to the Buddhist Temple.  In the same way, many of our members around the world have practiced this of their own free will.  Now saying that Unificationists are “guilty” of this means to not understand that there are these practices all over in other religions as well.  But to say that because this exists in the Unification Church it is OK to rob Unificationists of their human rights, their freedom of religion, their democratic right, that it is OK to kidnap and force confinement and even rape Unificationists… this is not permissible in a democratic state.  This is outrageous and egregious. 

We are here with members from all over the world who want to help stand up for the human rights of our brothers and sisters in Japan.  They ask us, “How do I do that?  How do I stand up for them in Japan? I live in Russia. I live in America. I live in Yugoslavia. How do I stand up?”

Brothers and sisters, how do we stand up?  We stand up by being proud Unificationists, sharing our faith, being solid in our faith, knowing that it is our democratic right to believe in our religion.

Let’s give it up for UC. Come on, let’s give it up!

Nobody in the free world can take our religion from us.  Not the President, not anybody else.  This is our freedom of religion.  We must be very clear about this as our right as democratic citizens.  And someone will ask us, “Why are you going out and sharing so much about UC  now?”  We are going out and sharing pamphlets, sharing, talking about the Church.  That’s what we believe.  Lots of people don’t know that the Unification Church still exists.  “We do not know what you guys believe.”  We are sharing what we believe. We are sharing this as our democratic freedom.  We have been persecuted so much that we have kind of lost our identity.  We’ve forgotten that we can stand up for our faith, that we can have belief as our democratic right.  This is so important to understand. 

We were talking to a brother.  He is working in business, the president of a very successful clothes manufacturing company.  He is a Unificationist.  As you may know, in Korea and Asia there are many issues within the business world.  They are drinking, when they have business partnerships and negotiating. There is drinking, there is a smoking culture, there is even an infidelity culture, where there is infidelity while business is being done.  He told us that he was very upfront about his faith in the very beginning.  He said, “I am a Unificationist, I am not going to drink with you guys, I am not going to smoke with you guys.  I am negotiating with you, I’d love to do business with you but I am not going to drink with you.”  He said that he was very upfront (open) about it in the very beginning.  He said that it was so difficult at the beginning, so hard because everybody said, “What’s wrong with you? You want to do business… don’t you want to make money?”  They kind of ostracized him.

He is now in his fifties, and very successful.  He has a wonderful business, very successful, and he said, “At first it was tough. I was ostracized a little bit, looked at as strange, but in the long run it became easier and easier.  Over time people said, “You know, he is one of those Unificationists.  He doesn’t drink, leave him alone.”  They ended up defending him in his faith.  When we do the opposite, when we aren’t upfront about who we are, when we aren’t upfront about our faith in this situation, then, as he said,  it only gets harder. Because every time those situations occur in the business world, in the drinking culture, another excuse has to be made. It is endless.  It gets harder and harder to continue to make excuses. So he said that he is so happy and he is proud that he was upfront about it from the very beginning. 

The reason why I talk about this is that in the long run it is so important for us to know that it is our right to be Unificationists, that it is our right to practice our faith and our religion. It is so important to declare that it is our right, to declare that it is our faith.  This is so important so that in the long run we can practice our faith freely without illegal persecution, so that the day will come that the Unificationists can practice their religion without persecution.  And I long for that day.

Let’s give it up once more for the Unification Church.

And let’s read the 6th verse of David (Psalms 3:6)
“I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.”
You know, brothers and sisters, when we take our stance, when we declare to the world that we have faith, that we are proud of our religion – when we do that, when we stand strong, when we stand up for our minority rights, then we can expect that there will be majority groups that will persecute us.  In fact, this is something that we have to expect as a community.  We have to expect that there will be narrow minded people that will persecute us because we are proud of who we are.  

But we must remember, brothers and sisters, we have had a very long history with the evangelicals here in Korea.  Brothers and sisters, we were persecuted many times by evangelicals. We were called heretics, Satan, Satan’s church, etc. etc.  “Moonies, Moonies, antichrist!”… these kind of things, you know, and we were physically abused, too. 
But we must remember this, brothers and sisters, that Christians, evangelical Christians, are not our enemies.  This has to be clear, they are NOT our enemies; they are our brothers and sisters.  The enemy is fear, the enemy is intolerance.  The enemy is abuse of human rights, abuse of freedom of religion. It is not Christians.  We have to be clear about this. We must not fear them as enemies.  We must instead stand up against injustice and for human rights and tolerance for the religions. 

Just as the Scriptures say, “I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side,” so  we will not fear them because we believe and we have faith.  We believe in the freedom of religion.  We believe in our human rights, we believe that True Parents are the Messiah, that they are Lord.  That it is part of our religion and our religious belief. We stand with the great human rights activists and the leaders of faith for the freedom of religion and democratic rights. 

And  I am  particularly grateful to my many Buddhist brothers and sisters, my Buddhist friends, who stood up to protest for religious freedom when they were being misunderstood as a religion.  As you remember, that happened about two years ago in Korea. They have set a precedent.  Korea had to honor the democratic rights of a religion. All democracies must uphold these constitutional rights of all of their citizens regardless of creed, regardless of color, regardless of gender or religion.  And it is for this reason, brothers and sisters, that we must remember that God is our shield. If we have faith, if we  believe, if we are proud Unificationists, then God is our shield, God is our redemption.  God will deliver us. 

Let us see the last two verses of that song and I want to invite you to read these two verses with me. (Psalms 3:7)
“Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God”

(Psalms 3:8): “From the Lord comes deliverance.” And let’s say this last one together, I have to say it with you, come on, all of you…  “May your blessing be on your people.” Aju

Meditation:

Let’s enter into our resurrected homeland practice. Let us close our eyes and let us now visualize ourselves not in this sanctuary – let us visualize ourselves now walking in a beautiful meadow, a beautiful meadow that is lush and green. And as we listen to the verses of this song about the seven deaths and resurrections, about the eight-stage perfection, about the victory of True Parents and the victory of true love, that we are alive and we say thank you that we are alive, let us walk in this field.

This meadow used to be deserts which are now bubbling springs. The parched, dry lands are now wonderful refreshing streams and overflowing rivers.  When we look to our left we notice a beautiful stream that is meandering down. We will notice that the stream has a vibrancy and a life that is so purifying and as we walk in this meadow we will notice that with each step that we take, that right around our feet beautiful flowers are blooming. We notice that this land is being resurrected with the power of true love.  As we walk we will notice those incredible miracles.  As we look up ahead we will see True Parents in those incredible beautiful holy robes and they stand waiting there for us. Let us walk towards them. Let us kneel before them, True Father with his right hand, True Mother with her left hand, place their hands atop our head and they anoint us and they bless us.  They pray, “May you inherit the true love of God.” As we receive that blessing let us feel the energy that flows from the top of our head all the way down through our feet, almost like a wave of the Holy Spirit moving through us, resurrecting ourselves and resurrecting our body, and resurrecting our spirits and our hopes.  As we breathe in deeply, in our hearts let us say, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out deeply, in our hearts let us say, “Thank you.”
Once again the second inhalation as we breathe in, in our hearts, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out, second exhalation, “Thank you.” 

One more time, final inhalation as we breathe in, “I am alive,” and as we breathe out, final exhalation, “Thank You.” God and True Parents have blessed us with the blessed life that is to inherit the true love of God and to become greater blessings to our spouse, to our brothers and sisters, to our world and to God.  Let us join our hands and manifest the Principle: give and receive action, four position foundation, coming together – may I inherit the true love of God.  Aju, aju.

Altar Call:

Thank you, brothers and sisters.  I want to invite you all to stand, and, brothers and sisters, we’re going to have  time now for the Altar Call. This is the time for us to pray together as a community.  We want to invite all the Japanese ministers to come up to the front. We want to pray for you, we want to pray for your ministries in Japan. Also, anybody else who feels called to prayer, who wants to pray for the brothers and sisters who are having so much difficulty or suffering, please come up to the front, where we want to join our hearts together as one heart and one community, one spirit.  Please come, brothers and sisters. Nihon kara irashatta no shikutachi minnasama mae ni kite kudasai.( Would those members who are here from Japan, would all of you please come up to the front.)

Let us join our hearts in prayer, let’s pray; let us close our eyes and lift up our two hands towards the heavens and let us touch the face of God.  Let us wipe away the tears of our brothers and sisters of True Parents and let us pray: 

Heavenly Father, thank you so much. Father we thank you for this day that we can come together once again, that we have the freedom to live, to practice and worship you in this incredible world. Father, we thank you so much for the democratic world which was prepared by the American forefathers, guided by your hand. Father, we thank you so much, because democracy is truly freeing people, allowing us to experience our faith without persecution.  And we pray that those ideals may come to pass, that they may come true in all democratic countries. 

Father, we pray for our brothers and sisters, particularly in Japan, who for 43 years have endured so much persecution, illegal kidnappings and crimes against human rights, because of their faith, and their religion.  Father, we pray that you may console those hearts today. We want to pray for those persecutors, we want to pray like Jesus prayed, for those persecutors. We pray that they may have forgiveness and that they may repent of their ways. We pray that we may all be delivered into your hand and your love and we want to pray particularly for our brothers and sisters who have suffered these atrocities. 

Father, we want to pray for those brothers and sisters who are the true heroes of our faith, who have endured intense suffering but  still hold strong with love, with conviction and with faith. Father, we thank you so much for them, because without them we would be so unable to see how blessed we can be.  We pray for them today, we pray that you have your hand with them today, and that you may protect them today. We pray that Unificationists all around the world may be proud of their faith; that we may understand our right to practice our religion, our right to be proud of our faith, proud of True Parents; that we may understand our right to declare that they are the Lord, that they are the Messiah. 

Father, we thank you so much, and we want to come together as a community, we want to offer grace to you and offer thanks.  We want to ask you to come down and be in our lives, Father, to give us courage and strength to stand up in the face of persecution with peace, to stand up in the face of injustice with truth and stand up in the face of hatred with true love.  Thank you so much.  We pray, Father, that you may be with us today and as we move forward.  Please guide us and give us your spirit.  Thank you so much.  We pray all these things in our own names, as Blessed Central families we pray.  Aju, Aju.

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