May 9, 2010, Cheon Bok Gung, Yongsan Seoul Korea
Good evening brothers and sisters.
I hope that this will be a wonderful time we can share together this evening. Thank you for having me to share with you. I’m really sorry I can’t speak to you in English myself, since I can’t speak English quite long enough we’ll use a translator today. My sermon today is 35 minutes long but if we do that and translate it, it’s going to be more than an hour, so I’m trying to shorten it. I hope I will catch all the spirits and these spirits will go to you.
I’ll do my best (He knows his thoughts won’t get to you unless I’m passing them on correctly so he wanted to thank me for helping).
In July, it will be three years since I started working with our international president, and that was after his spending ten years offering devotions before he started to do his life of ministry. So my experience during this last three years has involved many, many, many mornings of early, early morning service and devotion.
What I like to talk about today is how we bring the Cheon Bok Gung victory through our devotion and love. If we’re going to talk about how to do devotion, the first thing we have to do is understand the word devotion “Jeongseong”.
First thing we need to understand is this “Jeongseong” devotion, that this originate from God or is this something that man started? I can tell you that devotion started from God. If we look at the fist book of the Bible in Genesis and we read about God’s creation of the earth, and how God said that it was good at each juncture, we can understand that God was offering devotion and “Jeongseong” in His creation act.
We may see that His greatest act of devotion was creating Adam and Eve as His first children, so devotion definitely started with God, and if we look at providential history, for every central figure that God chose, He gave them an act of devotion to complete as part of their task. And True Parents had given a mission to our international president as he took up his ministry. The main missions that our True Parents gave to our international president are to establish the growth stage and perfection stage Cheon Bok Gung and to establish Cheon Il Guk. Among that, our president is focusing on creating the victory here in Cheon Bok Gung.
You know he’s not just the president of Cheon Bok Gung, he’s the international president for the entire movement, and so sometimes we ask him “Why do you spend so much time here? You need to take care of the whole world.” He says, “Without victory here in Cheon Bok Gung, we can’t have a worldwide victory, so I need to focus here.”
So let me explain a little bit about what is Cheon Bok Gung. This is the temple where God’s blessing comes to people, we share the blessing of people, and we collect the blessing; a place where religions can become one. It’s the Temple where God’s ideal families can gather together and become one family under God. This is the growth stage Cheon Bok Gung and the measure of victory for the growth stage Cheon Bok Gung is our gathering 21,000 people here.
Our next victory will be the completed stage Cheon Bok Gung where we will try to gather 210,000 people, so the international president’s whole consciousness is full of strategies for accomplishing this victory.
When True Parents gave the blessing to the opening of the Temple, they gave special instructions. If you listen to what they said in their prayer to bless the Temple, we can understand the Temple better.
He spoke of the four Saints in the spirit world and the devoted people on the earth and how we must work together, and that we need to witness to the devotees of the different faiths, that these four saints comes from. And we need to become the temple that can bring heaven’s victory. And we need to become the source and home of the love that can protect our True Parents and the place where all of our families can offer devotion and receive spiritual protection. So these things from Father’s prayer tell us what kind of place this Temple is. The international president has taken up his ministry to bring victory here, in this Temple. What kind of ministry is he doing? It’s a ministry of love and devotion.
Before he started his ministry he asked True Parents, “What is the most important single Chinese character among all of them? And True Father said it is the “seong” in “Jeongseong”, and True Mother said the character for love “saranghae” character, so Hyung Jin Nim put these two characters together and started his ministry of “Seonghae”.
In the body the very first stroke and the very last stroke, they should be the same, it’s exactly the same with “Jeongseong”, the beginning of your devotion, the end of your devotion should be the same. If we see people who are changing all the time, we can’t feel that they’re true people. The person who stays the same is the true person. So the way to stay the same is to offer lots of devotion.
Eighty of our church leaders left us today for this big event in America and sitting in first class. Until now I have never seen that part of the plane, only the back part, economy section. Hyung Jin Nim, he’s always been taking economy class because he says that he has to sit in a crowded seat and that way he can offer devotion the whole flight.
He’s thinking about devotion 24 hours a day all the time. His devotion is like this, every morning at 2:40, he’s standing here. I’m not going to tell you about all the kinds of devotion he does, just what he does in the morning. He comes at 2:40 in the morning and meditates, and the elders meditate together. And then he does devotions to inherit the love of God, and then we do bows to Heaven. Then he finishes their devotions that are done here. He goes to the devotion room downstairs and blesses Holy Wine that is used in the “Seung Hwa” ceremonies, to help people go to Heaven peacefully; and then 210 bows. 210 bows is a lot so you’ll be sweating a lot and doing a lot of physical energy to accomplish them for the victory of Cheon Bok Gung.
Downstairs there’s a drum, there’s a gong and there’s a bell that they use during the devotion. So they beat the drum along with the devotions and then they march around the Temple three times. Heavenly Father please take care of this Temple and please take care of the members who come here for service because they are all sweaty from the bows and when they go outside it is quite cold. These are the kind of devotions Hyung Jin Nim does every morning here.
I will tell you a little bit about what the elder brothers and sisters are doing during the rest of the day. These elders that participate in the morning devotions and then they do it again at 12 O’ Clock, at 3 O’ Clock and 6 O’ Clock. It is 21 minutes each time. They did 21 bows. There is a reason for this 21. That’s to support the victory of 21,000 people.
He would like to explain some experiences he had that receiving inspirations from Heavenly Father while he was doing his devotions. Among the 210 bows, the first 60 bows are for True Parents’ Family. Because Jesus lived for 33 years, 33 bows are offered to gain the support of the Christian spirit world for witnessing. The 108 bows are to gain the support from Buddha in the Buddhist spirit world to witness to Buddhism. After offering that kind of devotion for a whole year, Heavenly Father gave him a direction to witness to Christianity and witness to the Buddhist Church. (Applause).
All of us need to offer Jeongseong that will give us the power to do our witnessing. In the Bible we can hear what God says about this. If you pray to God, He will give you the answer. God will answer you if you pray. Since Hyung Jin Nim is focused on the victory of Cheon Bok Gung, we also need to gather our hearts together and focus on the same victory. We made a new organization to support the work to make the victory for Cheon Bok Gung. We made a system so that when we bring guest, there will be someone ready to teach them and we can have lectures going on to them all the time. It’s not going on all the time yet but we have the whole system ready and in place.
So what I want to say about devotion, Jeongseong, is that if you offer devotion the results will come. The more you offer devotion, the more your spirit self and your spirituality will develop. This means your spirit body will grow and be stronger. Through devotion you come to know more deeply, “Who am I?” You know how you can bring your victory, you know your mind, you understand how to dominate your mind, and you understand how to develop your mind. If you are a person who is very urgent all the time and can’t wait for anything, if you do some devotion you will be able to breathe deeply and think deeply and plan ahead.
You are about to yell at your husband or to your wife but if you know how to breathe deeply and think first, then you will not have to fight anymore. This is an example of how devotions will grow your spiritual self. It helps you to find God, to resemble God and to live for God. It helps you to know love, to find love, to be able to give love. It helps you to grow your spirit and come to resemble God.
When I listened to Hyung Jin Nim speak about devotions, I came to understand why we must do them. Last week, Hyung Jin Nim said, “Although I am a son of True Parents, I also am a sinner.” So of course, this made me feel even more deeply how much we have still sin. If I am too deep in sin, I cannot find even the direction to go. After the fall, we lost the way. So in that fallen state after we die, we have no choice, we will end up in hell. We received the Blessing, which means we’re supposed to be stripped of our original sin and we have some chance to begin living without sin but it doesn’t just happen like that.
We have to make constant effort to become a daughter of filial piety or son of filial piety who is seeking for Father’s heart. So at this moment, to find Father’s heart we need to pay attention to Cheon Bok Gung. We have the building, now we need the 21,000 people. Hyung Jin Nim made a great level of devotion to get started, we need to offer our devotions and we need to give ourselves a goal to bring one person into the church during this year. It is very difficult to bring a person and maybe even more difficult than it is for us Koreans.
I told the Koreans this afternoon, “There are 2,000 of you here, so if you each bring one person, that’s 2,000 more people.” I told them, “This is the time you must give your devotions; this is the age of liberation of God. We must do it.” We are really happy people. True Father is right here, right now. In our lifetime we are born, we are married, we die, and that’s the basic course of our life. Our Seung Hwa Ceremony if True Parents officiate, you will go to heaven.
It is really a special blessing to know that you are here in Cheon Bok Gung in the Unification Church and with Father’s blessing we can go to the spiritual world. Who else has this opportunity? (Applause). It’s exciting! We should be excited about this. You are going to heaven! (Applause).
We need to learn from Hyung Jin Nim, his way so we can always see Shim (heart). In this tree, you can see the Chinese character for heart all the time. So whenever the wind blows, you can watch it moving. This means every time that Hyung Jin Nim looks at this tree, it enters his heart because the heart is there. If we find that he is living right in front of True Parents and he has True Parent’s heart. Every time he goes pass that place, it reminds him that he is living with God, living with True Parents. We need to be like this also.
First, we need to each one of us become a son or daughter of God. We need to them make our family, a family of God. After that, if we become like sort of people who really care for the world and take care of the world and complete the Three Blessings, we will have Cheon Il Guk. If Cheon Il Guk comes and we are not one of the Cheon Il Guk people, we will have no place in Cheon Il Guk. The fastest way to accomplish that is to offer devotions every day. Just the way that Hyung Jin Nim is doing every day, we must do the same every day.
He really wants to offer his love to all of you. (Applause). Usually, he is the kind of minister who likes to bring a lot of people along with him all the time, but it’s not easy for him to become close to foreign members. Because he can’t speak English, it’s not very easy to come and stand in front of us one by one and speak, it’s impossible. He’s almost to the point where he goes the other way if he sees us coming because he knows he has nothing to say, but in his mind and heart he loves us very much. (Applause).
So we will finish up today and asking all of you to become really owners of this Cheon Il Guk and work together.