The Words of the Nseka Family
[Reading: Blessed Family and the Ideal Kingdom II (pp. 161-162)]
Good morning brothers and sisters.
Today's reading was part of the sermon given by our True Father in Washington, DC on October 20th, 1973. The sermon was entitled "God's Hope for America." And the section read today dealt with the Pilgrims who came from Europe to settle in this new land in search of a place where they could freely serve God.
The title of today's sermon is: "Which One Are You?"
First, I will talk about the Exodus by the Israelites. Next, I will talk about the pilgrimage by the Pilgrims. And last, I will talk about our pilgrimage.
After 430 years of slavery in Egypt, the Israelites were called by God to go to a new land, a land unknown and foreign to them -- Canaan.
Looking at the providence of the Exodus closely, we can see that there were two categories of Israelites in the desert: the first category was comprised of the Israelites (the first or Cain generation) who left Egypt and the second category was comprised of the Israelites (the second or Abel generation) who entered Canaan.
Given that the first generation perished in the desert, I would like us to examine why that happened. Was it God's ideal that the first generation would perish in the desert and not enter Canaan? Was it God's ideal that Moses would only see Canaan from a distance without setting foot in it? No, it was not God's ideal at all.
God's ideal was for the Israelites who left Egypt, under the leadership of Moses, to enter Canaan. Instead it was their children, the ones born in the desert, the Abel generation, who entered Canaan. Why was God's ideal not realized as planned? Was it maybe that God gave up on the Israelites? Was it maybe that God gave up on His ideal? We know that God cannot give up on His ideal. So what happened?
God's ideal cannot be realized by God alone. Neither can it be realized by the Messiah alone. It requires unity between subject and object partners. For example, unity between God and "me", God and humanity, Moses and the Israelites, the Messiah and "me", the Messiah and humanity, True Parents and "me", True Parents and humanity, etc.
This means that regardless of what God does, His ideal will not be fulfilled if human beings, you and me, fail to fulfill our responsibility. This was the case with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the Israelites in the desert, as well as the Pilgrims 400 years ago.
It was in the desert that the transition took place between the first and second generations of the Israelites.
Now, what made it possible for the Abel generation of the Israelites to succeed where the Cain generation failed?
The attitude of the Cain generation was: "God will provide a nation to us." They expected God Moses to do everything for them. They expected God to hand them a nation that was already built with everything in it just waiting for them to come to settle in. They did not realize that God was bringing change and establishing a new history in the world. They failed to understand that they were supposed to be that change and new history. Given that they did not incarnate the "change and new history" of God's ideal, they ended up perishing in the desert.
By contrast the Abel generation (second generation), though they expected God to deliver a nation to them, they understood that they had to fulfill their portion of responsibility. They had to be not only supporters of God's plan, but executors of God's plan. They became the change and new history that God was planning to realize. They incarnated the "change and new history" of God's ideal. As a result, they entered Canaan.
Unfortunately, the second generation of the Israelites forsook God's ideal when they settled in Canaan. Basically, both the first and the second generations of the Israelites failed to realize God's ideal.
What made the attitude of the second generation of the Israelites to be more acceptable of God than was the attitude of their parents?
--> The Word.
The attitude and tradition of the first generation was not centered on God's word. It was centered on the wisdom and tradition their ancestors passed down to them. The first time they received God's word was in the desert when Moses came down with the Ten Commandments.
Unfortunately, the Cain generation failed to embrace God's word as represented by the Ten Commandments. They failed to embrace the new expression of the truth that God gave them through Moses. They stubbornly remained grafted to the same ideology they grew up with. In short, they disconnected from God as they repeatedly failed to adjust their attitude and understanding according to God's word. Hence they fell prey to Satan. As a consequence, God could no longer protect them. He could no longer guide them.
By contrast, their second generation based their attitude and tradition on God's word -- the Ten Commandments. They obeyed God and did not use His name in vain. In short, they disconnected themselves from the old attitude and understanding of their parents and ancestors. They embraced the wisdom expressed in the new expression of the truth inherited from God through Moses. And centered on Joshua, they entered Canaan.
However, when they settled in Canaan, they failed to realize that they had to live by God's word for the rest of their lives. Hence, though they did better than the first generation by embracing the new expression of the truth and entering Canaan, the second generation failed to establish God's tradition and culture in the Promised Land. They failed to transform Canaan in to a nation for God.
Now, let's examine the Pilgrims.
The Pilgrims were also called by God to go to a new land, a land unknown to and probably unheard of by some of them. Their attitude in carrying out their responsibilities was: "We are going to build a nation for God."
Their attitude was that it was within their responsibilities to do something for God. So they put themselves in the position of working with God for they were doing something that God commissioned them to do. In other words, they carried the "change and new history" within them. This means that they considered themselves to be the change and new history that God wanted to realize in their lifetime. And with that attitude, the Pilgrims made it to the land God called them to -- their Canaan. And they prospered.
This does not mean that their journey was easy for it was not. For instance, Plymouth was actually not their original destination. But that is where they landed. Given that they did not expect God to hand them a nation that was already built with everything in it so that they could just walk in and settle, given that they believed that they were the ones to build a nation for God, I believe it did not really matter where they landed in America as long as they would be able to worship God freely and build a nation where people could worship God freely.
The attitude, tradition and understanding of the Pilgrims were shaped by God's word. They based their decisions and ambitions on the new expression of the truth that God gave to humanity through Jesus -- the Gospel. They found the purpose of life in the word of God centered on Jesus Christ. They realized that the new expression of the truth they learned should govern every aspect of their lives. It was not only to be observed on Sundays, but everyday. It was not only applicable in church buildings but everywhere and in everything they did. It was the truth that they lived by for the rest of their lives. This is why when they landed in Cape Cod and moved to Plymouth to settle there, they did neither make excuses nor did they relax until they got to their original destination. Instead, they got to work right there and right then -- for God.
To make a long story short, the Pilgrims who came out of Europe entered, settled, built, and prospered in this new, unknown, and unheard of land -- their Promised Land, their Canaan.
The difference between the first generation of the Israelites and the Pilgrims is that the first generation of the Israelites did not embrace God's word when it was given to them. Hence they perished in the desert. By contrast, the Pilgrims embraced God's word (the Gospel) and survived all the challenges they faced.
The difference between the second generation of the Israelites and the Pilgrims is that the second generation of the Israelites, though they embraced God's word (the new expression of the truth), they only did so until they entered Canaan. By contrast, the Pilgrims embraced their new expression of the truth for life. As a result, they bequeathed that new wisdom, attitude, tradition and understanding to their descendants. Hence, God could be with them and the subsequent generations.
Today, God is calling on you and me -- Unificationists in particular and the whole of humanity in general. Now the question is: when you consider yourself centered on the providence, which one of these people reflects your situation? Is it the first generation of the Israelites, the second generation of the Israelites, or is it the Pilgrims?
Just like the Israelites and the Pilgrims who lived before us, we too are called by God. We are called to build a nation for God. A nation that is unknown and unheard of: Cheon Il Guk. And just like the Pilgrims, we also have given up our families, nations, and more, to come here (in the movement) and to follow True Parents.
Where is Cheon Il Guk? Who is supposed to build it? Will God build it by Himself and deliver it to us with everything in it? Will our True Parents build it and deliver it to us with everything in it to the point where the only responsibility we will have will be to enter and settle in? Will the True Children probably build it for us? Or are we going to build it for our True Parents, the world, and God? Who will build it? We are.
First thing first: Where are we going to build it? In our Canaan. What and where is our Canaan? For us today, working on the wide and victorious foundation of our True Parents, the world is our Canaan. Everywhere we are in the world, we can build Cheon Il Guk -- a nation for God.
What is our attitude in relation to Cheon Il Guk? Do we have the same attitude as the Israelites who thought that God and Moses would do everything? Do we have the same attitude as the Pilgrims who thought that they were to build a nation for God? What is our attitude?
Actually, the attitude of the Pilgrims was better than that of the Israelites. This means that we should be better than the Pilgrims just like they were better than the Israelites. This is because we are called to establish Cheon Il Guk. This is the era of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the era to substantialize God's ideal of creation.
Hence our attitude should be: because we are God's and True Parents' children, we want to give them what they have been longing for -- Cheon Il Guk. We are going to establish Cheon Il Guk for God, True Parents, the subsequent generations, and the universe. How do we do that?
We do that by incarnating the New Expression of the Truth that God has given to us through our True Parents. We do that by inheriting and taking ownership of the heavenly tradition and standard that our True Parents are bequeathing to us. We do that by becoming the change that God wants to see manifested in the world. We do that by becoming channels through which God's new history will come about.
All this is possible only when we change our attitude, when we change the way we think, when we reshape our character, when we start to live for the sake of others (with God and True Parents as the top priority), when we start to eliminate our fallen nature, when we start to create mind and body unity, etc. In short, we ought to incarnate the New Expression of the Truth that True Parents are teaching us.
Which One Are You? Are you going to be one of the builders of Cheon Il Guk? Or are you going to be one of those who sit on the sideline? Are you going to stand up and give God what He has been longing for since the creation? Or are you going to sit back and wait for Him to do it? Are you going to work with True Parents to realize their longtime dream -- Cheon Il Guk? Or are you going to sit back and wait for them to do it on their own?
Which One Are You? Are you a Pilgrim? Are you a first generation Israelite? Are you a second generation Israelite? Which One Are You?
Two weeks ago, Rev. Edner Pierre-Louis said (in his sermon) that we are crossing a river. Under the leadership of True Parents, we have left the shores of Satan and are headed toward the shores of God. While crossing the river, we may not understand everything that True Parents are teaching us. But, but, but when we reach the other side, everything if not many things will make sense.
Now. Are we going to work with True Parents and keep the boat sailing to the shores of Cheon Il Guk or are we going to create a commotion and capsize the boat?
Are we going to be like the Pilgrims who did not know what their Promised Land looked like or what to expect but who, centered on the word of God, knew that it was their responsibility to build a nation for God?
Building Cheon Il Guk is our responsibility. Hence we have to work together with God and True Parents in order to establish it. Where will it be established? Wherever we are. Unlike the Israelites and the Pilgrims, our migration is spiritual rather than physical. In a sense, some of us have already had a physical migration. Not everybody in this congregation is American. Right? Why do you think God and True Parents brought you here in this land? What do God and True Parents expect from you?
Does it make sense for us to say that there is nothing we can do because we don't know where Cheon Il Guk is supposed to be? Does it make sense for us to say that we don't know what to do because we are not familiar with the term Cheon Il Guk? Does it make sense, while we have the Divine Principle and the many volumes of True Parents' words, for us to say that we don't know how to establish Cheon Il Guk because True Parents have never taught us how?
Are we going to be like the Israelites, put more pressure on True Father until he cracks like Moses cracked in the desert? Are we going to repeat the providence of the desert by failing to establish Cheon Il Guk and leave that burden to the True Children and all of the Second Generation?
The change in attitude must start now. The journey to incarnate the Divine Principle must start now. The tasks of uniting the mind and the body, eliminating fallen nature, and living for the sake of others should have started many years ago. Otherwise, they all must start now.
Which one do you want to be? Which one do you choose to be? Which one should you be? A first generation Israelite of the new age? A second generation Israelite of the new age? Or a Pilgrim of the new age. Which One Are You? We should be better than the Pilgrims. We should fulfill more than what the Pilgrims fulfilled.
In order for us to successfully establish Cheon Il Guk, we must have the culture of Cheon Il Guk in us. We must have the tradition of Cheon Il Guk in us. We must have the attitude of Cheon Il Guk in us. We must have the standard of Cheon Il Guk in us. We must have the Cheon Il Guk way of thinking in us. In short, we must be individuals of Cheon Il Guk.
Brothers and sisters, why do you think we are confused about what we should do and where we are in relation to Cheon Il Guk? It is because, spiritually, we are in transition. Some of us are crossing an ocean, some a desert, others a forest, yet some others a mountain region, etc.
In these environments, it is very easy to get lost and distracted. Isn't it? This is why we need a guide, a compass, or something else to help us find the right direction. Thankfully for us, besides having Jesus as the guide and the Gospel as the compass, we also have True Parents as our guides, and the Divine Principle as our compass.
My point is that we can build Cheon Il Guk only when we base our thinking, understanding, attitude, and the like on what our True Parents have been teaching us through the Divine Principle, the Unification Thought, V.O.C., and the many volumes of their speeches.
Are we some of those people who are going to let our race, culture, attitude, tradition, way of thinking, financial struggles, marital struggles, and personal feelings stop us from establishing and going the way of Cheon Il Guk?
Which One Are You? You are a person whose attitude should be: "I am called to establish Cheon Il Guk." You are a person who should look at life and all of its challenges as opportunities given to you to make yourself better so that you could, under the leadership of our True Parents, change this world. You are a person who should strive to inherit our True Parents' vision and God's ideal by dissecting the Divine Principle, True Father's words, True Mother's words, Jesus' words, etc.
Which One Are You? Are you a child who enjoys benefiting from True Parents or are you a child who wants to take responsibility and give True Parents a break?
Which One Are You? You are a person with a mission. You are here not by accident, but by God's design. Tap to your potential, tap to your skills, tap to your passion. Yes, your passion. What are you passionate about? Is it teaching? Is it working with children? Is it singing? Is it cooking? Is it witnessing? What are you passionate about? You got to develop that passion in order to fulfill your responsibility with regard to building Cheon Il Guk. That passion will allow God to work miracles through you.
Don't wait until you get out of the desert. Don't wait until the boat lands. Don't wait until you get out of the forest. Don't wait until you get out of the mountain region. Use your time in the desert (which is actually now) to discover your potential. Use your time in the forest to sharpen your skills. Use your time in the mountain region to develop your passion. Use the time that you are crossing the ocean as a moment to understand God's ideal and word. Use your journey as a time to reshape your attitude and character. Don't wait until it is too late. Don't wait. Think about what God and True Parents expect from you. Think about it. Please.
How do you want the future generations to remember you? What do you want history to say about you? What legacy would you like to leave behind?
Are you going to be counted among the builders of Cheon Il Guk or are you going to be a person who sits idle waiting for someone else to do it? Which One Are You?
It is your call. It is your decision. You have but a limited time here on earth. So start doing it now. Start with yourself first. As brother Robert Hall sang, God will do it again. Meaning that if you do what you have to do, God will take care of you. He will not fail you. [Brother Robert sang the song "He'll Do It Again" before the sermon.]
Which One Are You?
I hope I did inspire you to reflect upon your individual responsibility as one called by God in this new age.
Thank you for listening.
Please join me in prayer.