Dreaming the Impossible Dream
Reverend Joshua Cotter
April 8, 2012
Happy Easter Sunday, brothers and sisters. Happy anniversary of our True Parents’ 52nd wedding anniversary, all across the nation and around the world. And happy third anniversary, Lovin’ Life Ministries. We thank God today for sending his son Jesus as the messiah and that he could resurrect and bring this glorious future of humankind that’s starting right now.
Let’s have a seat. How are you today? We want to welcome all of our guests. Give them a big hand. Thank you for being here today. All across America, this is Lovin’ Life’s anniversary. Welcome to Lovin’ Life, and we are grateful to have you here today. Let’s give the band a big hand. That was an amazing set.
All across America, brothers and sisters, we want to thank you for investing your heart and soul into Lovin’ Life Ministries these past three years. And we want to welcome our True Parents back to America and give a big shout-out to Las Vegas right now. Las Vegas is watching this service today, and they are raving down there. So Las Vegas is doing great.
We want to shout out all across this nation. I wish we could shout out to over 100 locations, large and small, that have contributed to making this great ministry, and we’re just getting started. I can say from Miami, Florida, down here, to Kodiak, Alaska, and from Portland, Maine to San Diego, California, way out to Hawaii, “Welcome. Welcome to Lovin’ Life.” And everywhere in between.
We want to thank our senior pastor, Rev. In Jin Moon, for doing such a tremendous job over these past three years. We love her.
True Parents’ Blessing
There are almost too many things to celebrate today. It’s a great, great day that we celebrate Easter, the resurrection of Jesus as the messiah. We celebrate this day: 77 years ago today, our True Father received his calling from Jesus Christ and from God. 77 years ago today! Amen.
We were with True Parents in Korea a couple of weeks ago for True Parents Day. One thing that Father said as he was speaking that morning was very beautiful and very touching. He said, “In my life [talking about John Lennon, My Life] I was never able to see anyone’s footsteps before me. I was never able to see footsteps before me. So what could I do? I wanted to follow in someone’s footsteps, but there was no one. This was my life. Nowhere to lay my head and nowhere to rest.”
I was so profoundly moved by that. It was a beautiful time with True Parents on True Parents Day, and of course the Blessing. We want to congratulate also once again all the newly-Blessed couples here in America and around the world who took part in the beautiful Blessing ceremony. If you were Blessed this last time, stand up and let us appreciate you. All the Blessed couples. Give them a big hand. God bless your marriage. God bless your marriage for eternity. Especially all the members of the clergy who joined together with us across the nation and received the Blessing, God bless you. It is so wonderful that you can be blessed at this time and part of True Parents’ family.
We also want to congratulate our True Mother on a successful five-city tour of Japan, where she blessed all the brothers and sisters there in such a wonderful way. Thank you to our True Mother. Let’s give her a hand.
When she was speaking all across Japan, Father was watching and listening by video phone, not just by regular phone. It’s a new age. So he was watching her and communicating with her by video phone from Korea. True Parents were so grateful to Japan that they invited 80 of our Japanese church leaders to come to Las Vegas. They’re there right now. In fact, I think they’re listening to this Sunday Service in Las Vegas. And they’re celebrating in a special way True Parents’ 52nd wedding anniversary. So welcome to all the Japanese leaders.
Also at that time in Korea, as you heard, we had the Wongu Peace Cup. Let’s give a big hand. We had about 70 athletes from this nation, young people who really represented all of you. There were 600 athletes from around the world. I was there in the freezing rain while they were playing soccer. I was there when they were playing basketball against a professional team from Europe, and I have to say that these guys were courageous. They were champions.
In fact, they won many awards, gold, silver, and bronze, but one in particular I want to show you. My little box. I always have to have something. This is the champion award that our team won for the Harmony and Unity Game. Let’s give them a big hand. It says champion on there. So we should sing, “We are the champions, we are the champions.” I don’t know the rest of it. I just know that much. They are champions. Thank you to all of our team across the nation, thanks to Naokimi and Yoda and everyone’s prayers because they represented you well. God bless them.
Revealing the Mission of the Messiah
And of course Lovin’ Life Ministries is three years old today. Can you believe it, brothers and sisters? Three years ago today our senior pastor, Rev. In Jin Moon, began this amazing ministry, and it’s been quite a journey. Ever since she began this ministry, her vision has never wavered. Just like her dad. She always talks about Father Moon, who never wavered from the time he received his mission. She never strayed from her vision, no matter what, and we’re going to talk about that today.
But really, we wouldn’t be here if it were not for God and for Jesus, whom he sent as the messiah. Jesus’ heart, his spirit, is with all of us today, and we thank him for his life. Father Moon revealed to us many years ago what a lonely life Jesus had. In fact, if you look at Luke 9:58, you get a sense of some of the loneliness of Jesus’ life. There was a man at that time who wanted to follow him. He said, “Lord, let me follow you.” And Jesus said, “Foxes have holes, birds of the air have their nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest his head.” This is the reality of Jesus’ short life on this earth, 33 years.
I always felt: How can we say Happy Easter? How can we say that, knowing the kind of suffering that Jesus went through? How could it be? I asked myself. How was it that the Son of God, the messiah, the King of Kings, the Everlasting Father who came on this earth 2,000 years ago, instead of being received by those who were prepared to receive him, he was rejected? He was betrayed. He was alone.
He was scorned and covered with scars at the end of his life: crucified for humankind. I said, “No, God, this must be a bad dream, a terrible dream, a nightmare that the messiah could endure this kind of suffering and then end his life before his mission was completed.” But it’s not a dream. It’s a reality.
Father Moon revealed to the world the true nature of the mission of the messiah. Jesus had to come to know God. He had to understand God’s heart at the creation, God’s ideal. He had to come to understand what took place at the Fall and why humankind was separated from God by the Original Sin. He had to become that true olive tree that could engraft all of humankind into him, into God’s lineage.
As David said, more than just that, Jesus was to restore as perfect Adam, to restore Eve, to restore his bride. And as True Parents, Jesus and his bride’s mission would have been to give the blessing of marriage 2,000 years ago. But no one understood that, really, until Father Moon. No one understood.
So Jesus, alone, betrayed at the end of his life, had to go the way of the cross. God had to sacrifice his only begotten son for humanity. He had no foundation to stand on as the messiah. Even at the end of his life he prayed in Gethsemane, until tears, sweat, and blood came from him. He prayed so desperately, “God, give me just a little more time. If I go, what hope do you have? If I leave this earth, what hope does humanity have?” He prayed desperately, but his disciples slept. There was no way for him to continue.
And so he went to the cross. And on the cross Jesus forgave those who tortured him, those who pierced him, those who betrayed him, all of us, and gave his life for humankind. With his last ounce of courage, with his last drop of blood, brothers and sisters, he gave his life for us.
But the victory is the Resurrection. Amen! Resurrection means to rise again: the promise that Jesus would come again, that the messiah would come again.
“The Glory of Jesus’ Resurrection”
I want to read with you about the Good Shepherd, in the tenth chapter of John. It gives you an insight into the heart of Jesus and what he came to do. “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me. Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down: I have authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Jesus is the Good Shepherd for humankind. At a certain point it became the will of God that he go to the cross to sacrifice his life, and he said, “I willingly lay it down and offer my life.” But by the power of God he could take it up again, and that’s the glory of Jesus’ resurrection. That’s the hope of humankind and the hope of God.
So even though Jesus’ heart must have been breaking, breaking because God’s heart was breaking and he saw this dream of God’s, this impossible dream of True Parents and humanity being connected to God, slipping away from him as the blood drained from him, he could offer his life with the hope of resurrection and the hope of his return.
You know, there’s a Gospel song called “Rise Again.” Jesus is speaking, and he says, “Go, ahead, drive the nails in my hands. Laugh at me where you stand. Go ahead, say it isn’t me. The day will come when you will see because I’ll rise again. Ain’t no power on earth can keep me down.” Amen. Can you sing it, Sister Glenda? “Yes, I’ll rise again. Death can’t keep me in the ground.”
Then it goes on, “Go ahead, mock my name, but my love for you is still the same. Go ahead, and bury me but very soon I will be free. ‘Cause I’ll rise, I’ll rise again. Ain’t no power on earth can keep me down. Yes, I’ll raise, I’ll rise again. Death can’t keep me in the ground.”
And then he says, “And I’ll come, I’ll come again. Ain’t no power on earth can keep me back. Yes, I’ll come, I’ll come again. I come to take my people back.” Isn’t that what he comes to do?
So he promised he would come again, and the breaking news is that Jesus appeared to a young boy and anointed him to complete the mission of the messiah. This was in 1935, 77 years ago today, nearly 2,000 years after his resurrection, after Jesus anointed his disciples with the Holy Spirit at the time of Pentecost so that they would have the power and the spirit. In a sense they needed a double portion of Jesus’ spirit, like Elisha asked Elijah, “Give me a double portion of your spirit.”
So Jesus gave the Comforter, the motherly heart of God, the Holy Spirit to those disciples so they could endure and be his witnesses, as it is said in the book of Acts, and prepare the world for this time, 2,000 years later.
The Mission of Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Jesus appeared to a young boy on a cold Korean mountainside, who had been praying all night long the night before Easter Sunday, 77 years ago, praying with tears, desperately, to God. God answered his prayer by sending Jesus in spirit to him, and Jesus appeared to this young boy and called him for his life’s mission. I want to read to you from Father Moon’s autobiography his own words about that morning 77 years ago.
Early Easter morning, after I had spent the entire night in prayer, Jesus appeared before me. He appeared in an instant, like a gust of wind, and said to me, “God is in great sorrow because of the pain of humankind. You must take on a special mission on earth having to do with heaven’s work.” That day I saw clearly the sorrowful face of Jesus. I heard his voice clearly. The experience of witnessing the manifestation of Jesus caused my body to shake violently. I was simultaneously overcome with fear so great, I felt I might die. And gratitude so profound, I felt I might explode.
Jesus spoke clearly about the work I would have to do. His words were extraordinary, having to do with saving humanity from its suffering and bringing joy to God. My initial response was, “I can’t do this. How can I do this? God, why would you even give me a mission of such paramount importance?” I wanted somehow to avoid this mission, so I clung to the hem of Jesus’ clothing and I wept inconsolably.
What was clear was that I had received a special mission from heaven. It was such a huge and tremendous responsibility, no matter how much I tried, I could not free myself for even a moment from the memory of having met Jesus. My encounter with Jesus changed my life completely. His sorrowful expression was etched into my heart as if it had been branded there and I could not think of anything else from that day on. I immersed myself completely in the word of God, and any time I began to waver, I steadied myself by remembering I received God’s word directly.
It was not easy to choose this course because it would require for me to sacrifice the rest of my youth, but I gladly offered my life in order to pursue the way that God desired. I could not have run away even if I tried. It was the only way I could have chosen. What did God see in me? It must have been a sincere heart that sought him with tears of love. God was searching for a person who would live with a heart of love and who, when faced with suffering, could cut off its effects with love. And even now I insist uncompromisingly on sacrificing my life to live for God’s love and nothing else.
So Father, at the age of 16 was anointed by God and Jesus for this mission. Whether he could fulfill it or not he didn’t know, but it was a quest. It was a mission that God had given him, and he knew that he would give it his best unto his last drop of blood, his last ounce of courage; he promised God that he would not fail.
For God and Jesus, it must have been an impossible dream: that this boy, from an obscure place in Korea that no one even knew about, could take the mission of the messiah and complete that mission with the help of God and Jesus, establish True Parents on this earth, break the curse of the Fall, and connect humankind back to God’s heart through the Blessing into God’s lineage. But that’s what he did. That’s what our Father has done.
In the beginning of this sermon, I mentioned that he said, “I had no place to rest my head. I had no footsteps to follow.” Even God’s footsteps, even Jesus’ footsteps ended at some point.
You know about the famous poem, “Footprints in the Sand.” “I wondered where you were, God, in all the times I was struggling,” and God said, “Well, those were the times I was carrying you.” But Reverend Moon didn’t have that luxury. In fact, he had to carry God on his back. He had to carry Jesus on his back. He had to bear the weight of this world on his shoulders in his course.
If you know about his life, you know that it was a lonely life and a suffering life. He found himself in prison so many times for the will of God, going through crucifixion after crucifixion, when the drops of blood drained out of his body, when life drained out of his body. But in those desperate moments he never asked God to think about him. He said, “God, use my blood to save this world. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay. I will not die by something as trivial as being tortured.”
He felt compassion for those who were stomping on his chest until his bowels exploded, for those who were torturing him in unimaginable ways. Day after day, week after week he forgave those people and loved them. And he endured.
Don Quixote, Jesus and the Story of Redemption
There’s a song that means a lot to me. It’s called “The Impossible Dream.” Actually, it’s called “The Quest.” It comes from a very special story about a man named Don Quixote de la Mancha. It was written back in the 1600s by a great author. In fact, it’s one of the great masterpieces of literature. It’s called Don Quixote de la Mancha. Miguel de Cervantes wrote it, and a play and movie were made about the book. It’s called The Man of La Mancha. Have you ever seen it?
The signature song, “The Quest,” or “The Impossible Dream,” for me has such significance. It lays out the course that God has walked, the course that Jesus has walked, the course that our Father has walked, that True Parents have walked in order to accomplish God’s ideal. We used to sing it in our workshops. When we were talking about God’s word, we’d sing this song before we talked about the suffering life of Jesus. We would sing this song before we talked about the Fall or before we talked about Father’s life, and I can never forget it.
I had a chance to sing this song for our True Father in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. That was very special because for me it’s about him and his life, and it’s about Jesus and about God. It’s an amazing story. It’s a story of redemption, of Don Quixote and the love of his life, whom he named Dulcinea, which means “my sweet little one.” She was a prostitute. Her name was Aldanza. She was a sinful woman who had such a difficult life. She worked during the day and then men would use her during the night. For her life, was, as she put it, a dung heap, and people were just maggots crawling on that heap of dung. But when Don Quixote saw her, he saw a beautiful child of God, a beautiful daughter, so he dubbed her Dulcinea, my sweet little one.
It’s really about Jesus and about redemption. Jesus came, as he said, for his entire flock, for all humankind, especially for those who were filled with sin. In the Book of Luke, the seventh chapter is an amazing chapter, where Jesus confronts first of all a Roman centurion and marveled because this centurion had more faith than any of the Israelite leaders. And then he talks about John the Baptist in the next part of this chapter, how even the least in heaven is greater than John because of John’s faithlessness.
And then there’s an interesting part of this chapter. Jesus goes to the house of one of the Pharisees, one of those who was prepared to receive him but received him not. He goes to the house of Simon the Pharisee and has dinner, breaking bread together with him. And when he’s there, a sinful woman, a prostitute who has heard about her Lord comes to the house and breaks in. What does she do? She bursts into tears because she knows who he is. She knows his love.
He’s sitting there with these leaders, but she spends the time dropping her tears on his feet and wiping his feet with her hair and her tears. She has an alabaster jar of perfumed oil and she anoints the head of the messiah with oil. You can imagine what the Pharisees and the leaders sitting around the table are thinking. In fact, they voice their opinion. How can this man be a prophet and not know that this woman is a prostitute, a sinful person? In other words, he should have nothing to do with her.
But Jesus and God are the opposite. Jesus knew what they were thinking, and so he gave them a little parable. He said, “Simon, let me speak with you. Suppose there was a man and there were two debtors. One owed this man 500 silver pieces, and the other one owed him 50 silver pieces. And the man out of the kindness of his heart forgave the debt of both.” And he said to Simon, “Which one of those debtors would be more grateful?” And Simon says, “Well, I suppose the one who had been forgiven more, right?” And Jesus says, “You are exactly right.”
Then he said, “Simon, this woman has not stopped shedding tears, washing my feet with her hair, and anointing me with oil since I came here. You have done none of these things. It is because of her great love that her great sins have been forgiven because of that.” So Jesus was that kind of savior. He came to forgive humanity.
Don Quixote is like Jesus. So much of our great literature is after the model of the life of Jesus. Sometime we’ll talk about Les Miserables, an incredible story. But this story is so beautiful because it’s about a man who redeemed another person, who redeemed this prostitute.
Cervantes wrote in his book: ”One man, scorned and covered with scars, still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars, and the world will be better for this.” That’s the story of Don Quixote.
Don Quixote and Dulcinea
At the end of his life, Don Quixote was a little bit senile. He was a little bit off. He had been reading too many books, and his brain dried up from too much reading. And then he thought, “I need to go out, like a knight errant, a wandering knight, and I need to conquer evil and I need to rescue damsels in distress.”
And so he took his trusty sidekick Sancho, and together they went out. You know the story. In fact he was a little bit nearsighted and when he saw these huge windmills he thought they were giants. And so he began to joust with the windmills. That’s where we get our expression, “tilting at windmills.” If you find someone like Andrew Love who thinks he can end evil and is going to fight the giants, you say, “Oh, he’s just tilting at windmills.”
We have another word in our language, quixotic. It means striving after visionary ideals, but it’s kind of a skeptical term. “Oh, he’s just quixotic, like Don Quixote.” But he probably was the only sane one in a world gone mad.
At the end of his life his family brought Don Quixote back home. They always thought he was crazy, his poor family. At the end of his life he’s on his deathbed. The light has gone out of his eyes, brothers and sisters. The spark has gone out of his eyes. And the priest is there, calmly writing out his last will and testament, probably waiting for him to expire on the bed.
But then at the end of his life, Sancho, his trusted sidekick, with his little mule Dapple come dappling in. And then Dulcinea comes, and they won’t let her in because she’s a slut. But he’s saved her. He’s already saved her life. She forces her way in, and she reminds him of his quest. Let’s watch.
Man of La Mancha
DULCINEA: Please try to remember.
DON QUIXOTE: Is it so important?
DULCINEA: Everything. My whole life. You spoke to me. And everything was different.
DON QUIXOTE: I spoke to you?
DULCINEA: And you looked at me, and you called me by another name. Dulcinea.
(Singing) Dulcinea. Once you found a girl and called her Dulcinea. When you spoke the name, the name an angel seemed to whisper. Dulcinea. Dulcinea.
DON QUIXOTE: Then perhaps it was not a dream.
DULCINEA: You spoke of a dream and about the quest.
DON QUIXOTE: Quest?
DULCINEA: How you must fight, and it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose if only you follow the quest.
DON QUIXOTE: What did I say to you? Tell me the words.
DULCINEA: To dream the impossible dream. They are your own words. To fight the unbeatable foe. Don’t you remember? To bear with unbearable sorrow. You must remember. To run where the brave dare not go.
DON QUIXOTE: The right the unrightable wrong.
DON QUIXOTE: To love, pure and chaste from afar.
DON QUIXOTE: To try when your arms are to weary. To reach the unreachable star.
DULCINEA: Thank you.
DON QUIXOTE: This is not seemly. On your knees –
DULCINEA: But my lord, you’re not well!
DON QUIXOTE: Not well? What is sickness to the body of a knight errant? What matter? For each time he falls he will rise again, and woe to the wicked. Sancho –
SANCHO: Here, your grace.
DON QUIXOTE: My armor, my sword.
[End of video clip.]
See, her love resurrected him, even as his love had saved her. Did you see the spark come back to his eyes, the life come back? It’s so beautiful.
It reminds me of Father, his life. I hope you have a chance to study it. “To dream the impossible dream.” What’s more impossible than thinking about how do we turn this fallen world back into the Kingdom of God? That is the eternal dream of humanity. To fight the unbeatable foe. Who would have thought that someone could win over Satan, as he did? Amen.
“To bear the unbearable sorrow.” As we heard, the sorrow of God, the sorrow of Jesus. Father Moon shed rivers of tears. Even today when he speaks about Jesus he cannot stop crying. “To run where the brave dare not go.” Running into the depth of God’s heart, the spiritual world, to discover the truth. Walking into prison where he knows his life will surely be lost for humankind. “To right the unrightable wrong.” Who could understand what the Fall actually entailed, that it was a sin of love? To understand that and to reveal that to the world, and to right it, to make everything right again.
“To love, pure and chaste from afar,” throughout his entire life. “To try when your arms are too weary.” Imagine what it’s like to have all of your internal organs broken when they were breaking table legs over you and then to have to get up. He said it was impossible. But finally, “to reach the unreachable star,” to establish True Parents, True Family, to open the Blessing of marriage for the first time to all of humanity is what he did.
“It’s about Love”
Brothers and sisters, this is what Lovin’ Life Ministry is all about, in case you wondered. Our senior pastor, from Easter Sunday 2009, has shared this heartbreaking yet victorious and beautiful story, a true story, with the world, with America. The story of one man and one woman who have changed the world through their life and through their love. The meaning of Lovin’ Life Ministries, in our senior pastor’s own words. She actually took it from her own father, who said the highest aspiration of any one of us is to be born in love. You know it. To be raised in love. To live by love, and to leave a legacy of love behind. Amen. That’s our mission statement.
When she got this mission from her parents, they told her, “Please just take care of America’s children the way that you take care of and raised your own beautiful children.” And that’s exactly what she’s done. I’m a witness. I feel like a child with her. I’ve seen how she invests in people and loves people like her parents do. She’s not waiting for her parents to tell her what to do. She knows what to do. She knows how much love we all need.
I’m amazed by her because when a person has a birthday, she will have 60 or 70 people in the room go around and take the time for each person to tell the birthday person how special he or she is to them and to God. It could take three hours. I’ve seen it. That’s really amazing.
When I first married my wife and we were blessed by True Parents, I forgot her birthday one time. And she cried so much. I said, “What’s the matter?” She said, “Well, when I was a little girl I had no one. When my birthday came around, there was no one to tell me that I mattered, that I meant something, except for God. So many times I thought, why should I live? Why was I born? It doesn’t matter whether I live or die.”
There are many people in that situation, don’t you think? We have to let each other know how important we are, especially on our birthdays. So I never forgot after that. It only takes one stupid time for me. I always, always let my wife know on her birthday, and my children and everybody else. Here at Lovin’ Life usually Aunt Heather and I will pray over someone on a birthday and thank God that this person was born: “Thank you, God, for creating this precious son or daughter, and please bless them today and throughout their life.” That’s the heart that our senior pastor has for each person.
She said that loving comes before the word life, doesn’t it? “Loving Life.” It’s because my life is not about me. It’s about love. It’s more what I can do. How can I become a catalyst for other people to want to be better, to do better, to try harder? How can I help my brothers and sisters to appreciate what they may have taken for granted, to see how precious our lives are and the time that we’re living in? That’s her heart behind this ministry.
“The Spark Is Back”
Where it all came from is, as she told me, “I came to America with my parents, and my parents showed up with this entourage of people who looked like you, Reverend Cotter. They were kind of strange. They were a little bit weird, but they had this spark in their eyes, every one of them, like they were going to change the world. And they had love in their hearts. And I never forgot that. I never forgot the spark in their eyes.”
But she said, the spark went out. Like old Don Quixote, the spark was gone. So, she said, “I want to build the ministry so that the spark comes back into those brothers’ and sisters’ eyes.” And the spark is back, brothers and sisters.
In the Revolutionary War, somebody said, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.” I feel like In Jin Nim is saying, “Don’t stop until you see the spark back in their eyes. That spark, if you think about it, is that divine spark that’s in each one of us.
Our senior pastor really has been the engine driving Lovin’ Life Ministry. It’s hard to try to take a huge nation like this and drive it alone. It’s kind of like Jed Clampett and his family. They put all their belongings in an old truck, driving out to Beverly Hills. It’s very hard to do that.
Engines don’t go anywhere without what? A spark plug. That little spark plug that’s screwed in there. It’s amazing. It generates an electric spark that somehow ignites the gas. It ignites the gas so that the engine can have life. If there’s no spark, there’s no life, there’s no car. You can’t go anywhere.
Her spark has been driving this ministry these last three years, of course with all of our help. We’ve come, I think, to the place where a lot of people get it; they get her heart, her vision, and the spark is back: first-generation and second-generation. So before I forget, thank you. Give yourselves a big hand. Thank you for building this ministry.
When she started out preaching in 2009, everybody started complaining, “Hey, we need to see other preachers up there.” And now she’s letting these other preachers stand up here, the district pastors, and everybody’s saying, “Where’s In Jin Nim? But she’s smart. She had to build the unity, the ministry for over two years, but now she’s spreading the responsibility. She took a lot of hits in the beginning. A lot of people didn’t get it, but now many people get it. Do you get Lovin’ Life? Are you loving life?
Today we start our spring quarter, the launch of our spring quarter, and the theme is, “I’m loving life.” That has a great meaning. So now we have a great ministry across the nation. A national live broadcast has been broadcasting for three years. Brothers and sisters, we’re just getting started. The spark is back. Young people are back in church. And they’ve got the spark, let me tell you.
When we were in Korea with True Parents, you saw the pictures of the beautiful GPA choir. I was there, brothers and sisters. Not only was the spark in their eyes, but what’s great is that sparks spark other people. Sparks are meant to catch fire. I saw the sparks in their eyes light up True Parents. And to see sparks in True Parents’ eyes, that’s truly fantastic.
At the Blessing in Korea, there was such a beautiful event. At the very end, there was beautiful dancing on the stage. I was way out in the audience, but I could see the light, the sparks in True Parents’ eyes as they watched those couples dancing. It was magnificent. That was worth everything.
“One Person Can Change the World”
So I think our senior pastor is a genius. How about you? Thomas Edison said that genius is ninety-nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration. That’s true. It’s hard work doing something like this, and we need to work together.
Thomas Carlisle, who was a Victorian art critic, said that genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains. Interesting, right? Have you ever heard of the word painstaking? It’s one of those English-sounding words. I think of Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter: “Mr. Potter, don’t you know that we have taken great pains to provide you a decent education? I would appreciate some cooperation.”
It’s like taking pains. We don’t say that so much. Painstaking. So painstaking means incredibly meticulous attention to detail, hard work, taking great pains. But it also could be having a lot of pains. Our senior pastor has been pains-takingly, if you will, building this ministry in a way that promotes internal and external excellence. At the same time, she’s taken a lot of pains, a lot of hits. But her graciousness and her love, like her parents, is to take and absorb everything and to keep going.
To change the world, you need to have a certain genius. One person can change the world. I’ll give you an example. How many people have iPhones? Just hold them up. Tons of people have iPhones, right? Actually it’s okay to text in church as long as they’re church-related texts. For example, you could say, “Hey God, man, it’s really awesome to be here today. What’s up with you?” And God will say, “Son, everything is up with me.” Something like that. It’s okay to text as long as it’s God-related.
How many people have iPods, iPads? They come from a guy named Steve Jobs, one man who changed the world. We could say, “Steve, job’s well done.” Now he’s with God. It’s an incredible story, how he’s changed our lives for the better in seven different industries. That kind of genius is what’s driving this ministry.
In Jin Nim would say, “Well, why would God choose a motley crew like us? Like you, Reverend Cotter. And even like me?” Somehow God could see our hearts. In Jin Nim, our senior pastor, knows the value of True Parents. That’s why she will always speak the truth about the breaking news. She had to stand strong, like Don Quixote, and fight against those who were trying to destroy what she was trying to do. She had to stand strong even to preserve great assets like this, the Manhattan Center, the New Yorker Hotel, 43rd Street. She saved HSA, our church. She really did. Otherwise we wouldn’t be sitting here.
She wants us to become those engines. She wants us to get the spark back. Stick the plug in your engine and start your engines, brothers and sisters, and go fast and furious across this nation. This is Boost Sunday. We’ve invited our brothers and sisters here, our guests and friends and family, for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do. Just because.
Don’t be an observer. Be an active participant. Be a catalyst. Be that live yeast, if you will. Have you ever baked bread before? Did you know that yeast is a living organism? It’s actually a fungus. When you put that bread in your mouth next time, you’re eating fungus. But if that yeast is dead, there ain’t no bread. So don’t be dead yeast. Be live yeast. Be the catalyst.
Having Faith in Ourselves
It’s time for us to grow up in Lovin’ Life Ministries. It’s time for us to become the miracle, for us to become true parents. The motto that our True Parents give each year is significant. This year’s motto has to do with liberating True Parents. How do we do that? By becoming true parents ourselves. By growing up. By attending to the things that matter to God and matter to them.
So, brothers and sisters, let’s stop waiting for God. Let’s stop waiting for Jesus, for True Parents, for anyone else to do it but ourselves. When Jesus and God called Father Moon, he took it upon himself and accomplished it.
In Acts 1:11, the angel said to Jesus’ disciples after his resurrection, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This Jesus who’s been taken from you into heaven will come back in the same way that you have seen him go into heaven.” Many of us are looking for Jesus to come on the clouds in some miraculous way. I understand that. But that miracle already happened, 77 years ago. God and Jesus called Father Moon to take on the mission of the messiah, and he has fulfilled the mission of True Parents. That’s the breaking news.
So instead of looking up, we need to look to ourselves. Do you like Jim Carrey? I like Jim Carrey. I’m not going to try to imitate him. There’s a great movie called Bruce Almighty. Did you ever see that one? Morgan Freeman plays God. He’s a much better God than George Burns. I really like him. Morgan Freeman did a good job. Bruce takes on the task of being God, and he messes it all up. He’s looking for miracles to change his life. Finally he learns a lot and changes a lot.
Then God comes to him at the end. They’re mopping the floors together, and God says to him, “Bruce, you have a divine spark. You have a gift for bringing joy and laughter to the world. I know. I created you.”
And then finally when he’s about to take his leave, here’s how the scene goes. God says to Bruce, “Bruce, parting your soup is not a miracle. It’s a magic trick. A single mom who’s working two jobs and still finds time to take her kids to soccer practice, that’s a miracle. A teenager who says no to drugs and yes to an education, that’s a miracle. People want me to do everything for them, but what they don’t realize is they have the power.”
Can you say that? “I have the power.”
“Bruce, you want to see a miracle? Be the miracle.” And then God starts climbing into the attic to turn out the lights, he’s about to leave, and Bruce panics. “Wait! Are you leaving?” God says, “Yeah, I figure you can handle things now.” Bruce says, “But what if I need you? What if I have questions?” He says, “That’s your problem, Bruce. That’s everybody’s problem. You keep looking up.” Then the attic closes and the light goes out.
It’s profound. It’s not that we don’t need God and we don’t need Jesus and True Parents, but we need to have faith in ourselves and what God created in us. That’s the point of Lovin’ Life. Can you be the miracle, brothers and sisters? Just because? Reach out to this world and save it?
“We Need True Parents”
So we need True Parents. Some people are saying, “No, we don’t need True Parents. All we need is God.” But we need True Parents. I’m not saying that we should not become true parents, but because of their foundation and their life, we have the Blessing of marriage. Only they have been anointed by God and by Jesus Christ for this purpose.
The work of Father Moon for these last 77 years has been for this moment: so that you could find True Parents and the true value of your life. That’s why we welcome you to Lovin’ Life Ministry. That’s why we celebrate today.
Do we need True Parents? Some people say no. But what about asking God? Shall we text God? “God, do you need True Parents?” What do you think he’d say? He’d say, “Is the Pope Catholic?” He would say, “Yes, I need True Parents. Without them I could not reach my children and bless them in marriage and welcome them back home, which has been my impossible dream. They’ve liberated my heart and that of my son Jesus, and they accomplished my dream. Yes, I need them.”
Let’s grow together as we enter into this fourth year together. Let’s congratulate God. Let’s comfort the heart of Jesus, because without him we could not be here. Let’s thank our True Parents on their anniversary. And let’s live legendary lives.
Our senior pastor said that our lives are a beautiful song; our responsibility is to make our song memorable so that it can be played over and over again and it can be told over and over again so that future generations will sing about and remember each one of us. Each of us is a legend in the making.
So I’d like you to stand with me. We’re going to sing “The Impossible Dream,” for God, for Jesus, for True Parents.
Are you ready? Sing with your whole heart, all across the nation.
To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear the unbearable sorrow,
To run where the brave dare not go.
To right the unrightable wrong,
To love, pure and chaste from afar,
To try when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star.
This is my quest, to follow that star,
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far,
To fight for the right, without question or pause,
To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause.
And I know if I’ll only be true to that glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest.
And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star.
Amen. Thank you, brothers and sisters. Happy Easter. Have a wonderful launch party. God bless you.