August 15, 2010, Cheon Bok Gung, Yongsan Seoul Korea
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! Welcome to the Headquarters of the Unification Church. Today I heard that a lot of our Japanese Sung Hwa students came to our Cheon Bok Gung. Can you wave your hands and make a big noise? (They do) Thank you. Welcome, welcome brothers and sisters!
Today we sincerely hope and pray that we always remember the greatness and goodness of our Heavenly Father. No matter what obstacles we are facing, we are always in God’s hands. Aju!
Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! Let’s first manifest the Principle! Give and receive action; four position foundation; may I inherit the true love and word of God! Aju!
Today we read from Cheon Seong Gyeong 1:44, and Father says:
“What lies within the sermons, core teachings and the words you hear from the Unification Church? Its teachings can liberate God, whose heart is in confinement.”
I have been studying a little bit on Islam recently and looking at the Prophet Muhammad’s life. Such an amazing and rich tradition! Muhammad is seen as the perfect human being, the perfect servant of God, the slave of God -as it is put- and seen as having complete obedience to God’s will. It is of course a very deeply inspiring way of life, and no one can deny that our Muslim brothers and sisters live a very devout prayer life.
One thing I felt when I saw that was that, of course True Father has also lived the servant of servants’ life, followed every will and direction of God as a servant of servants. But also True Father, as the son seeing God as the eternal parent, sought to do something unfathomable which is to liberate God. That can be seen as very audacious and almost incomprehensible. How can one liberate the Creator?
But if we see God as an intelligence who has an intelligent ability to feel also emotions then we can see that God, when his children fall away from him will feel sadness. He will ponder why the children did such things, and He will feel pain. If we ever had anger or anxiety in our minds or in our hearts we know that it can overwhelm us, even cripple us completely. But when we are cured of that internal anger or anxiety we can feel a tremendous peace and joy. When we talk about True Parents who liberate the heart of God, it is not as if God were in a physical prison. Because God is of the mind beyond material and matter, then we are talking about the world of heart, mind and emotion. And our True Parents have liberated God from that kind of pain, disappointment, even from the anger that is welling up inside when He sees humanity. And thus we speak of True Parents not only as the slave or the servant of God, but also as the son who has liberated our Father in Heaven. Let’s give it up for True Parents and Almighty God because it is time! It is time!
As we have many guests at our service today we are going to do a little bit of practice. You know, one thing I love about the Muslim tradition is that they have a real appreciation for the original language of the Prophet. So whenever they speak anything they always try to speak it in Arabic, which is really an amazing tradition. So, when we hear them speak about the Prophet and say ‘Peace be unto him’, they’ll say it in Arabic, even though their native language may be English or Chinese. They always go back to the original language of the Prophet.
For us, this is also very important because we also have an original language for scripture which is of course Korean. So, when we usually say ‘Halleluja’ and ‘Amen’ – let’s try that: ‘Halleluja’ – ‘Amen’; that is how we usually do it in the West. In Hebrew Halleluja means ‘Praise be unto God’ and Amen means ‘Truth’, “I agree, yes!”
When we do it in our original language we can feel the spirit of Aju. The first character ‘A’ means ‘me’ or ‘my’ and then ‘ju’ means ‘Lord’. So when I say ‘Aju’ I am saying ‘my Lord!’, I am praising God. When I say ‘Na-e junim’’ that means ‘my Lord’ – “ju” that is an explanation of ‘Aju’ – you all say ‘Aju!’ OK, let’s try! Are you ready? So let’s try: ‘Na-e junim’ – ‘Aju!’ Wonderful, shall we try it one more time? ‘Na-e junim’ – ‘Aju!” OK good! Or let’s try ‘Hana Nim, gamsa hamnida’ which means ‘thank you God’. We can also say “Aju” there too. Let’s do it! “Hana Nim, gamsa hamnida” – “Aju!” And in this way we are returning back to praising God, returning Him all glory.
Now let’s meet one of our brothers and sisters, the beautiful Yoriguchi family today. This is such an amazing family! We had a chance to meet them when we did a family visit. They have never left our hearts or minds. They are such a wonderful, beautiful family, and we have the privilege today of meeting them here via video. Let’s see and meet them today!
Three generations living together with a total of 18 family members headed by Toru Yoriguchi and Kyoko Yoriguchi These are excerpts:
“I am a proud Unificationist”.
The greatest blessing is that many grandchildren were born. I think, there is no greater blessing than grandchildren. The oldest grandchild is in the 8th grade. He says,”This is a good place to live because there is no war, there is no conflict.” The father of my third daughter’s husband recently passed away. When he visited us here for the first time, he said that this place always feels like spring.
One of this family’s mottos is, “Don’t put too much emphasis on worldly success, since fallen people do not have the internal content to deserve it.” My in-laws always said,”We should become fools to live.” We shouldn’t seek only external achievement but live like simpletons. People should not pursue only worldly success but live like fools in the world. Being foolish actually means to live with confidence and overcome things without conflict; whatever situation we are in, not to be shaken but to have confidence centered on our relationship with True Father. If we have a solid faith that is not shaken easily then I believe that we will be guided to have a wonderful life.
There is something we felt after moving to Korea. I do not know how Korean-Japanese families will do, and wives may get older but there is definitely hope for the future. So these families can go forward, hand in hand with their children and they will be alright. When we see families with hardships, that is what we feel.
This is the third daughter and her husband. I wish my in-laws would rest more. My mother-in-law is in the last stage of rheumatism and cannot walk well. They are so grateful that there is even an elevator in Cheon Bok Gung. Once or twice a month they go there to discuss the situation of their spiritual children. Also there are opposition groups that have the wrong view of us. My in-laws visit members who were kidnapped and explain and testify to them about True Parents. They straighten out the wrong understanding people may have. I received so much from them and I like to return more.
Next week Monday I’m going to Japan. The situation in Japan is so serious that I visited the spiritual children every month. I conveyed to them the words of our International President, saying, “Let’s go this way until the end.” To spread the grassroots movement I visit every month.
I heard this from my spiritual child that is in Hiroshima. The police tried to investigate our church about the finances, but because of the kidnappings and confinement issues many orders to the police became postponed or discontinued. I think that the results of our protests are beginning to appear. The police tried to enter the church because of the spiritual sales method. But as there are many kidnappings and confinement cases in Hiroshima I heard that the police doesn’t have time to investigate the financial issues.
Now I am going to make yakisoba, Japanese fried noodles. This is the grandfather’s and grandmother’s wish. We hope, that not only our grandsons and granddaughters, but the next generation of great grandchildren can also receive the marriage blessing. We wish for and hope for our great grandchildren to go beyond nations and borders and to become helpful somewhere in the world, and that that kind of true children will be born. We are proud Unificationists and to everyone, “We love you! Thank you.”
Hyung-jin nim’s Main Sermon
Brothers and sisters, you’ll notice today that we moved the podium up to the front and one level down, so we can have the eight text curriculum open here as we have service. And, as you can see, we prepared water and other offerings as if True Parents were truly here. We moved the podium down so now I can see you a little more closely. We hope that it works out today.
Today I want to talk about the power of trusting God. We usually start with our World Scriptures but today we will read them at the end of the sermon. But first let us start with our core scriptures from Isaiah 26, and let’s start with verse 1 and 2. Let’s read together:
A Song of Praise
1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
God makes salvation
its walls and ramparts.
2 Open the gates
that the righteous nation may enter,
the nation that keeps faith. Aju!
So here we have the Prophet Isaiah speaking of the Land of Judah which was the Southern Kingdom, south of Israel, and he is speaking of the strong city, of the song that will be sung when we enter the strong city. And the city will get its strength from the pieces and the parts that work together and then its purpose which is to preserve the tradition of God. It says that God makes salvation the walls and the ramparts, that God protects the righteous people from the enemies from outside and gives them safety with the walls of salvation. It says that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. And here we see what kind of nation can enter into the land of promise, the salvific land. The righteous nation may enter that land. But the core, the center, the key of the righteous nation as the nation that keeps faith, is the faith of the nation.
We can see this metaphorically in our own lives. In order to be in the land of God’s safety and under God’s protection and strength we must first be a righteous people, that is people who know what is right and wrong, and who behave as such. Of course that doesn’t mean we are perfect at it, but we know and we behave in that direction constantly.
In our life, whether it be in our normal daily life, in our business or career, education, work, home, etc…behaving with maturity and honesty, patience, justice and sacrifice, these are key practices, key life paths for God’s blessing.
But the key to these practices is what Prophet Isaiah says; it is keeping faith. It’s faith. It is our faith that prevents these things from just becoming worldly principles, good behaviour and makes them a pathway into resembling God’s nature.
When we are practicing these traits we are moving into a realm closer to God’s internal nature and resembling Him. Believing in such a God, believing in a God of goodness, patience, compassion and justice calls us to move forward in those actions and cause us to resemble Him.
These are not just simply actions or commands that are put upon us to burden us and make our life difficult just simply as laws, but these are gifts of God because we have the gift to resemble his internal nature.
The Prophet Isaiah, in the third verse, says a very important thing. Let’s look at the third verse! Let’s read together!
3 You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.
4 Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Here we see the key to perfect peace. The key to the peace of mind that everybody is seeking, the key to perfect peace, says the prophet, is a mind which is focused and steadfast and which is full of trust in God. See, when we focus our life on the things in our life, then we are not focusing or trusting in God.
So, we are left to face the uncertainty of life and the future by ourselves. When we face such things, we are filled with fear, because that is the inevitable nature of life that it is uncertain, that there is fear involved when we cannot see into the future. I have a personal example of this. We are on plane rides quite often nowadays, and we are flying around different countries. I understand of course that riding a plane is safer than riding a car but when you are up twenty thousand feet in the air, and you hit turbulence, and you hit big clouds, and you start shaking, and the whole plane begins to shake, and everybody is being lifted out of their seats, and everybody is tightening their seat belts, you cannot but feel fear. You feel fear very, very powerfully, especially when the plane suddenly makes a big drop. As soon as it makes a big drop, you can even hear yourself praying, “Oh my God! Save me, God! Don’t let this thing go down!” And then, as it comes back up, “Oh! thank You, thank You, God; that’s better!” Then it goes down again, boom, “Oh my God! We’re going to die!” And then it goes back again, “Oh! Thank You, thank You, thank You!”
When we examine our mind in such a state, which can actually resemble our life, we can see that we are at the control and at the dominion of the situation. Whenever the plane goes down, we feel fear; whenever it comes back up, we feel safety. It goes back down, we feel fear. It goes back up, we feel safety. We are completely at the mercy; we are slaves to the situation.
When we see this in our own lives, we can see how important understanding this dynamic is. Because it feels like you are in a raging sea, and that you are at the complete mercy of this ocean, the ocean which has tremendous waves, and winds that hits you, and beats you down in life.
But in that situation whenever we are flying, we make a practice -when we start feeling fear, and saying, “Oh my God, we are going to die!” and start praying for God – we make a practice to change our mind, and start focusing, to keep the mind focused, and steadfast, and trusting in God. So instead of saying “Oh, my God! We’re going to die,” we say, “God, You are GREAT! You are the creator of the universe; You created the planets, and the Heavens and the earth, this little rain cloud is nothing for You. You are leading us through. You are guiding us in Your providence!” etc.
And we see that as soon as we shift our mind’s focus, then what Isaiah says is completely true. We see that no more fear is in our mind, and we have perfect peace. Whenever the instant moments of fear comes back, we combat it with trust in God; and again, peace comes in our minds and in our hearts.
See this is why Isaiah refers to God as the Rock, the Rock of salvation, the Lord is our Rock; because whenever we are facing a difficulty, or an obstacle, or a challenge, it feels like we are in that ocean, where the waves are beating at us. And if we have no rock to hold on to, we must try to grasp at the waves, or even try to grasp at the winds; but we cannot hold onto those things. So we will be at the mercy, we will be tired, we will be made weary, and we will drown in that circumstance…at the total mercy and dominion of the circumstance.
But when we have the Rock to hold onto, we have something that can lift us out of that. We have a power that is beyond us that lifts us, and allows us to stand on the solid Rock that is the Lord. “Na-e junim!” Aju! One more time,”Na-e junim!” “Aju!”
I remember when we were young; we used to go fishing with True Parents up in Gloucester. At the time we were too young to go tuna fishing. So True Father would do tuna fishing. That was quite rigorous, that was all day tuna fishing. And some of you may remember, if you caught the tuna, you would have to fight it for hours and hours, until it wore out. Since we were young, we were able to go to the beach; instead of staying on the boat, and fishing and spending days on the boat we were given the permission to go and play on the beach.
So I remember that we used to bring up the New Hope boats, as close to the beach as the boat could get, because it can’t go right up on the beach. So we would be maybe twenty meters away from the beach, twenty yards, or thirty, or maybe fifty yards away from the beach; and we would have to swim in from the boat. We would have to jump into the water, and swim in.
But I remember that whenever I looked into the water–because the water where the boat was, where the anchor was down, it was still deep, it was twenty-thirty feet deep- it was very dark water. So I remember that before we jumped into the water, we would always feel fear. At least I did. I would always hear the theme song of Jaws playing as soon as I was right about to jump into the water, “I know that there is a shark in there. I know it. We have been catching them all day. There’s a shark in that water!”
But everybody’s jumping and everybody’s going, so you would jump in and go. As soon as you hit the water, I swear, there were sharks swimming around my feet. I could feel them moving by my feet. I could see them watching us, like little seals swimming up at the surface, and there was right next to us a great big white shark like Jaws that was going to come up and bite us in half.
And I remember feeling so much fear as we were swimming in the ocean, and our other brothers are teasing us saying, “The shark is coming; it’s coming.” Just to make life a little more interesting! And we were going and going, swimming and swimming… And I remember the moment that our foot touched the sand – when it got shallow enough that we could put our foot down and touch the sand – we would feel this incredible relief, incredible peace. Swimming in that ocean, nothing below us and then you get close enough that you can touch the sand! How much peace filled your mind! Then you would say, “Jaws is not going to get me now!” and run back onto the beach.
You see, in the ocean of life, it’s the same thing. Even though it may be a clear day, no winds, no waves, still we are floating in life. But when we are able to stand on the sand, or even better, on the Rock, when we can stand on the solid Rock, there is an tremendous peace that arises, a tremendous sense of safety that we can feel. We know that when we climb up on the Rock, when we are on the Rock, we have the strength of the Rock to rely on, not just our strength, and we know that the Rock cannot be defeated by the winds and the waves. We know that the ocean’s beasts cannot come and get us, and steal us away into the dark ocean.
So as we center our mind, and train every day to focus and remain steadfast on trusting God, thanking God, having faith in God, in God’s plans for us, this Rock in our life becomes bigger. The Rock that we can stand on becomes more prominent. And then it becomes bigger, until it can even become a mountain. When we can be standing on such a solid foundation of faith, then no wind, or no wave can even touch us. And this is where we can feel and see the great power of God in our life.
But the Prophet Isaiah gives us a warning, in the fifth and sixth verse. Let’s continue to read! Isaiah 26:5, let’s read together, “He humbles those who dwell on high; He lays the lofty city low. He levels it to the ground, and casts it down to the dust.” Verse 6: “Feet trample it down, the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor.” Aju!
See, one of the things that the Prophet Isaiah is reminding us of, is that when we are able to stand on the Rock of God, when we are at the strength of the foundation of faith, where even the waves and winds can’t reach us, and we receive a level of success and victory in our life, there is always the temptation that comes. The temptation that says to us, “Oh, we have created this success on our own. We are stronger than the winds and the waves, because of our own power, because of our own ability, because of our own greatness.”
And we can start to become deluded, just as Lucifer was. And so if that situation happens, as soon as those thoughts come into the mind, and we let our mind focus and remain steadfast on those things, “I am the great one. I am the one that can beat the winds and the waves; they can’t touch me,” when we start focusing on those things, then the Rock begins to shrink. It may even totally disappear from beneath our feet.
We may have created cities, or businesses, or successes and riches, but if we forget the God who gave us the fortune, who gave us the networks, the right people, all the situations that were set up, we will quickly lose our blessing. This is the secret that Isaiah is talking about today.
So many people pray to God, trust in God when they are moving up, when they are trying to find success, when they are trying to make it. And they rely on God, they hold on to the Rock, they pray and say, “God You are great!” But as soon as they reach success -they may not do it instantly at the moment – but over time they may feel, “Hey, I am doing this actually on my own. I am putting in all of the work. I am putting in all of the sweat, I’m putting in all of the tears. I’m putting in all of the effort. My team is following my leadership”, and we can start forgetting the great heavenly fortune that God has bestowed upon us.
As soon as we start falling into this path, then God will tear down the city, as Isaiah says. He will bring the success down, the business down, your work down; not out of spite, but He will do it out of love. Why would He take it away if He truly loved us?
See we forget that in this world everyone works very hard. Everybody works hard. It is not a matter of working hard that is the key to success, or happiness in our life. It is always a combination of hard work and sacrifice, and Heavenly fortune that brings success. If we are working for ourselves and our family only, then no matter how hard we work we will never reach the level of blessing that God wishes for us to reach, or even has prepared for us because we are not moving with heavenly fortune, with God’s anointing and blessing.
So, no matter how much we work in that circumstance, we are doing it on our own power and effort, which cannot reap the result that we can reap when God is in the picture. So the Prophet Isaiah reminds us that if we fall into that mindset and remain steadfast on that, the successes that we created, the cities that we have built will be torn down. And that even the most low of society, even the ones that we shun, even the ones that maybe we have even mocked on our way up, will trample on the city that has now been leveled to dust, if we forget God.
Thus the higher you go, the lower and smaller you must become. The higher we go, the more we have to reject praise. When people send us praise, when they say “You are great, fantastic; you changed my life.” You must immediately send that away, and say, “No! God changed your life. God made it good in your life. I have nothing to do with that” or, “I’m not the sole one responsible for that.”
There is a great saying that we must treat persecution and praise the same way. When we receive persecution, we must deflect it. When we receive praise, we must also deflect it away; deflect it up to God. You see, if we are working for God’s kingdom, and God’s will first, before our kingdom and our will, if we set up our trajectory and our mind remains steadfast on that focus, then our life has divine purpose.
Then our life moves from the individual’s contentment that we seek, into the larger picture of the cosmos, and the universe beyond that. And when we take that step, and when we move our entire frame of mind, our frame of reference into that step of “God’s will first, God’s kingdom first”, then our life is used and made in a different way, and we are created into new beings.
You see, it is only through this kind of thing that the Prophet Isaiah reminds us that heavenly fortune will come. When we focus and trust and have steadfast focus on God, when even in times of great difficulty, – of course we focus – but even in times of great success, we continue to focus on God, continue to give Him praise, continue to send all of the goodness towards Him; and that is when God blesses us in the ways beyond what we can even imagine.
Let’s give it up one time for God and True Parents who give us this kind of incredible insight! (Applause)
We know of course our True Father always has guided us to live a life that is not only for my will, or my kingdom, but first always for the kingdom of God; always for God’s kingdom and God’s will first. Then also, Father has told us to pray for the nations and the world, etc. Not saying that our prayers or our personal lives are unimportant, but that we must see them in the context of all things. We must see our personal struggles in the context of larger and larger pictures.
Brothers and sisters, as we are now in this forty day period of witnessing, and giving sincerity and jeongseong, let us truly remember who brings us success and victory. Our effort and our work are essential. They complete the picture that makes the hundred percent of God’s ninety five percent and our five percent. But we must not forget that, even though we have done the five percent, which requires tremendous effort, and work, we must not forget who has prepared the ninety five percent.
When we meet the person that is prepared during this period of prayer, witnessing and sharing our faith, let us remember who is truly doing the bulk of the work. Of course we must do our part in loving that person, sharing with that person, studying Principle with that person, being honest with that person, living our prayer life and our life honestly; but we must also trust in the Rock that is holding all of us up. We must also keep our mind steadfast on the God that is doing all the things in our life.
When we do that, then as the Prophet Isaiah promises, we will find true peace. We will find perfect peace, and despite the waves and the winds that try to take away that peace, we will have the Rock of our salvation to stand upon, a Rock which no wave, or no wind can ever destroy.
Let’s give it up for God, the Almighty God, who gives us that strength! (Applause) And today, let’s end these words with the World Scriptures. Let’s start with Christianity Mathew 5:5, chapter 5 verse 5. Let’s read together, “Blessed are the meek or the humble for they shall inherit the earth.” Aju.
Let’s look at Islam today, from the Koran, the 23rd Sura 1-5. Let’s read together, “Successful indeed are the believers who are humble in their prayers, and who shun vain conversation, and who are payers of the poor due and who guard their modesty.” Aju!
Here’s Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita. Let’s read this 13th chapter together, “Be humble. Be harmless. Have no pretension. Be upright, forbearing, aware of the weakness of mortal nature.”
Let’s end with True Parents’ words. This is from the Collection of Speeches 3, 187: “Satan’s basic nature is arrogance and wrath. Jesus on the other hand, came before the people with meekness and humility. Satan ultimately acknowledged Jesus, because he knew that humility is in accord with the heavenly law. Examine yourself. Are you living Jesus’ teachings of gentleness and humility, meekness and obedience, and sacrifice and service. If you are not practicing these teachings in your daily life, know that you still belong to Satan’s tribe.” Aju!
Brothers and sisters, let’s all rise now, and end in our final prayer, reflecting on the powerful words that True Parents have given us. Let’s lift our hands up towards the Heavens. Let us end with our prayer.
Dearest, most beloved Heavenly True Parent,
Father, for us, You created the entire universe. For humanity, You created this world. You created time and space and all of matter. Father, it is for us that You prepared all things. But Father, we have failed You many times. And Father, You have been at the point where You surely must have lost hope in humanity, in the selfishness that drives humanity, in the self-centered perspective that drives our nature. But Father, when You sent Your only son, and he was crucified, and two thousand years later You sent the next anointed one that was to fulfill the mission of Jesus, Father, now You can have hope in humanity again.
Father, You can see through the life of True Parents, the total inheritance of Your true love, that is the total inheritance of Your sacrificial heart, the heart and the love that will seek, even give it’s life away, its spirit and soul away for the salvation of the children who are far away from You.
Father, we pray that today we can understand that Satan’s basic nature is arrogance and that Jesus and True Parents came before the people with this correct mindset, their minds focused on You. Their minds are always giving You glory; [focused] on the One True God that all of us bow to.
Father, we thank You so much; and next week Father, we pray that You may bless our brothers and sisters because next week we will be donating our blood in a blood drive that will be at this church. We will do it to inherit the seven deaths and resurrections of True Parents, the heart of True Parents that even bled for the world, so that the world may enter into Cheon Il Guk. We want to inherit that. Father next week, when we donate our blood, we want to remember that that donation will serve to save the lives of three people.
Father, we want to do this in Your name, and for Your glory. We want to elevate You and praise You; not so that we can get some reward. Father, You give us life. You allow blood to flow through our veins, and when we share it, Father, let us do it in the spirit of Your nature. We thank You so much, Father, and we pray that You may accept these offerings today, spiritual and material; that You may multiply them and bring them to abundance; and Father that You may guide us through every wave, and every wind that comes against us. Father, may You let us hold on to Your grace, and Your mercy, as You are the Rock of our salvation!
We thank You so much, and pray all of these things with gratitude, in our own names, as Central Blessed Families. We pray these things before You and True Parents, Aju!