The Words of the Gehring Family

Let our hearts meet Jesus and His People with Godís True Love

John and Yoshiko Gehring
December 2003

Godís Chosen People, the Jews, paved the central road to the salvation of humanity.

A young man, Jesus of Nazareth, was the most significant leader and central figure of the Chosen People. All Providential victories were harnessed so that he could be born and succeed in his mission.

It was Jesus that God was waiting for throughout the painful history of restoration. For God, Jesusí birth offered the potential of welcoming a new age, and age when truth, justice and love would begin to reign eternal. Jesus came as a True Man; True Parent and True Teacher and he came with a mission to embrace the whole world beginning with his family and his people, the Jews.

Today, Christianís often think of Jesus as if he was a Christian born in a Jewish land. Unfortunately, Christianity has in many ways severed itself from its Jewish roots. In part our work as Unificationist is to reconnect and revitalize Judaism and Christianity.

To accomplish this historic task it is essential for Christianity and Judaism to rediscover Jesus of Nazareth, Not as a crucified God but as a man, a man who loved God, and loved his people as no one in history had every done before.

Many in our Unification family, with our varied cultural and religious backgrounds did not discover Jesus until they meet with the teaching of the Divine Principle. We who joined in the 70ís and 80ís joined in order to dedicate our lives to the Living Messiah. At that particular time, the place and role of Jesus in Godís Providence was at best, under-emphasized. Our understanding of Jesus did not gain the rich compassion of True Fatherís countless sermons about Jesus, the Lamb of God, during the 1950ís in Korea. Instead, many of us went around telling people, especially Christians, that Jesus failed his mission and now we have a new Messiah who will not fail!

At best we can call our approach, one of youthful inexperience!

As a movement and as families, we have grown in recent years through our relationship with the Christian ministers. As each of us grew to understand and love Jesus more our ability to introduce True Parentís and the Principle to Christian leaders grew. Our relationship with Christianity has allowed both Christianity and Unification members to broaden our understanding of who are "my brotherís and sisterís."

Today, we find ourselves bonding in a literal march to Israel. Have we grown, and matured our own hearts so that we can embrace our Jewish brothers and sisters or will we go into Israel and judge our Jewish brethren as the Chosen People who failed?

Our effectiveness in Israel is linked to our ability to relate and deeply respect our elder brothers, the Jews. The essence of who we are as True Parentí children will be tested in Israel and we will find our fortune bound to the fortune of the Jews, Moslems and Christians of that land.

If Jesus came to visit us today what would he say to us to help us in our work? Possibly he would say something like this:

My Name is Jesus and I am a Jew

My name is Jesus. Just about everyone has heard my name before. Many people have an image of who I am; they have a concept of why I lived and why I died.

People around the world for nearly 2000 years have rallied around my name, sometimes to do the most selfless things for the sake of God and humanity but also I have been the rallying point for conflict and division.

Who really knows me? To understand who I am it is important to understand my people, the Jews. Throughout history, many nations and people, far greater in number then the Jews, far stronger in worldly power, have walked onto the map of history but walked off in a few centuries leaving little impact.

We Jews, although small in numbers, have created revolutionary changes that have impacted the world for nearly four thousand years. When God is working with you, numbers are secondary.

Our contemporary world is indebted to the Jewish people for what we have introduced to civilization and how we have impacted all aspects of life. The way your government functions, your laws, your religious understanding, much of your cultural assumptions about life, liberty and justice have been enriched because of the inheritance we Jews have left as our legacy.

Our story is filled with peaks and valleys. It is a living history whose most significant chapter is now being written. The new peace movement that is coming to Israel is the fulfillment of the great dream of my people. It is no coincidence that the New Jerusalem will come to lend a critical hand to this success.

Let us take a glimpse at that history:

As a tribal people, we moved in response to Godís calling. It was never easy. Not for Abraham, a man who had to leave behind all he knew, to journey into the unknown. His journey was based on his response to the inner voice calling to him, that inner voice was as the voice of God calling, the voice of our conscience is a quiet voice, for only the owner can hear it.

Abraham had to convince his wife Sarah that this voice was to be followed. How hard was it for Sarah to leave her homeland? How difficult was it for Sarah to later in life to Offer her Only Begotten son Ė as a living sacrifice?

The faith of elderly Abraham and Sarah was beyond belief, its quality is what gives humanity the ability to rise above the limits of the rational and enter into the chamber of the supernatural. It is the faith that makes miracles.

Jacob offers us a key to Peace Building in the Mid East Let us look closer at the example of Jacob. Do you remember how often True Father shared about Jacobís course in his early yearís here in America? It is as a result of Jacob that our people could earn the heavenly title of Israel.

The example of Jacob offers a profound insight into the pattern of behavior that is needed to heal the current division in the Mid East.

Jacob was a man who planned a path to accomplish his goal, he was willing to offer all the things in life that are most disposable, His wealth, his servants, his pride in order to accomplish the Will if Heaven. Jacob was able to bow to his brother Esau and say, "when I see your face I see the face of God" At this point; God could move the heart of his brother Esau.

The question I need to ask today is; "Can we Jewís once again offer our wealth and our pride and bow down to our brother Esau? Today, Esau is the Palestinian people. The Palestiniansí need to receive Godís love and we Jews are in the position to offer it. Only by uniting together can we establish the Foundation to Receive the Messiah and receive the fullness of Godís Blessing.

Jacobís victory was limited because his family and Esauís family did not unite and live together in peace, cooperation and co-prosperity. They were not able to provide the model of unity, and service for other families, tribes and nations. This remains to be accomplished.

Today, Jews and Palestinians are building walls, physical walls and walls of fear and anger which are separating their families. My people are not meant to be divided by walls!

We who love God are needed to work together to tear down the physical and spiritual barriers to live as one family under God!

When I came to my people they were under bondage. Foreign powers ruled over us, our Jewish rulers were Jews in name only. Each ruled over the people with an arrogance and hardness that caused righteous men and women to cry out for relief. Many of the religious leaders instead of offering a path to the Living God, were they themselves slaves to the letter of the law. Their hardened hearts and closed minds added to the suffering of my people.

New wine broke their tight skins. They could not handle the Truth of Love.

They could not handle that I, Jesus was bringing God to them and in a sense, when they saw me, they saw God. I was not in their legal codes; I was the essence of life, the pathway to a new salvation.

I had learned as a young, lonely boy about the heart of God. I called out to God to understand why I suffered so deeply. It was in those hours that God revealed Himself to me. My Father shared how much He loved me and assured me that He would never leave me. I was in a sense reborn and I determined to love my Father God for the rest of my life. I kept true to this promise to my last breath and beyond.

True Parentís have taken on my cross and moved heaven and earth; they are building the realm of heart and the Chun Il Guk nation.

True Parents are pointing to my people and saying, "Come and accept Jesus and recognize him as your good brother."

For the Jewish people to accept me, they will need to know the real Jesus. They need to know how much I have loved them as God would love them. Who can show them this love?

I need our Unification members to show this love through their words and deeds. We will model for our Christian Family the path of Jesus and then together as 2nd and 3rd Israel we will go to Israel and love deeper then Jacob. We will create an environment where the True Love of God can come down. We will show those that are willing the path.

Please, come and unite with me because I need you, I need you so much. I love you all more then you will ever know. Thank you.

As Blessed Central Families, let our hearts meet Jesus and His People with Godís True Love and bring to God His 4th Israel.

Rev. John W. Gehring

∑ Pioneered in 1975 churches in Jamaica, New York and Lafayette, Louisiana.

∑ He completed three years on MFT before being assigned to work with the International Oceanic Enterprise.

∑ In 1985, John graduated the Divinity program at UTS and became a State Leader in Massachusetts and then in Maine.

∑ John joined the IRF in January 1, 1986 and worked with the 1st RYS project. Since that time he has been organizing RYS interfaith service projects in over 40 nations.

∑ Through lecturing and running training programs he has been to 70 nations.

∑ He was an Adjunct Professor at UTS from 1994-97.

∑ In 1996, his family was assigned as part of the National Messiah team for Sierra Leone.

∑ He has written training guides on Interfaith Service Projects

∑ He is an advisor to Service for Peace and is on the Board of the IIFWP.

∑ Since 2002, he has served as the International Director of the Interreligious Peace Sports Festival.

∑ John and Yoshiko Gehring were Blessed in 1982 and have 5 children

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