Painting: The Angel Concert and Nativity Isemheim Altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald, c. 1475-1528
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
Former Church Headquarters
Chung Pa Dong
Reading: Luke 2:1
By virtue of Jesus’ birth, the providential will that God had been working to fulfill for the 4,000 years since Adam had come to pass. Moreover, we can also say that the wish of our ancestors in the history of the dispensation of restoration since the fall of Adam was also realized through Jesus’ birth. We must think again about the fact that Jesus’ birth was the moment when both the will of God and the will of humanity were accomplished.
Since the birth of Jesus, 2,000 long years of history have passed. Now we feel we are living in the same kind of historic, universal and intense period as the time when Jesus was born 2,000 years ago, when the will of God and the will of humanity were realized.
The Meaning of the Birth of Jesus
Although Jesus was born in the small, bloody body of a baby, he was the incarnation who could represent the Will of God. His crying voice and movements represented God’s grief of 4,000 years. They manifested the pattern of all the things that God tried to carry out on the earth. They expressed the sorrow suffered during the 4,000-year course of history when indemnity was being paid for the sins of humanity. Therefore, through his birth, we could usher in a scene of joy when a new history of goodness began.
When we think about how, due to one man, Jesus, the worries of God, the worries of humanity throughout the course of history and the worries of that time could all be gotten rid of, it is clear that Jesus was truly an immense personality. We stand in awe of him. However, in his time, there was no one who bowed before him with utmost sincerity on behalf of the heart of the Father, the hearts of all people and the countless prophets. You must feel indignant about this.
What kind of mind-set then is appropriate for those of us who have gathered to celebrate this birthday of Jesus? We must be able to represent the heart of the Father and the hearts of the countless prophets who came throughout the course of history. Moreover, we must feel the desire to offer a gift to baby Jesus on behalf of the hearts of the chosen people, who longed for the promised day at that time and yearned and prayed for the Messiah. You have to understand that only then can we comfort God’s heart and the hearts of the faithful believers of that time. Though history has passed by, you can attain the right to participate in the glory of the Father with the qualifications of the chosen people in place of the Israelites.
Furthermore, you must offer gratitude with the feeling that the birthday of Jesus is the day that all things in Heaven and earth can express joy. It was the day of God’s liberation from grief, as well as the day that the wish of all people was brought to fulfillment. While doing so, you must offer the gift you have prepared through your life of faith, with a nervous heart. With the heart that represents the heart of Father, the historical heart and the heart of the time, you must bow before Jesus and congratulate him.
Let us then examine who worked and how hard they worked for the birth of Jesus Christ. First, God worked for 4,000 years. Our ancestors, many prophets, wise men and heroes also worked hard. Moreover, the followers of Judaism, who represented the chosen people of the Israelites, also toiled and offered their lives. Similarly, until the birth of Jesus, you can find many hidden historical efforts that do not seem to have any direct relationship to it.
That is not all. Jesus lived his thirty years of life after coming to the earth. Since then, 2,000 dispensational years have passed for the sake of the will of the heavenly principles. Here we can find the historical grief of the past that existed before Jesus, as well as the 2,000-year history after Jesus that has been added to it.
The hope of Jesus, who was born for the sake of historical liberation, the liberation of the period, and the liberation of the future, has not reached fulfillment even now, 2,000 years later, because of the mistakes of the people during his time. Therefore, the sorrow of the 2,000 years after the death of Jesus has been piled on top of the sorrow of the 4,000-year history before his time.
God’s True Intention for Having Jesus Come
What kind of mission do we bear on our shoulders today? We bear the mission to alleviate the bitter grief of God which remains, even after Jesus came and passed away. Likewise, we are living in an intense time when we are faced with the will of God’s dispensation of salvation for the last time since the creation of the world.
In this moment of Christmas, if we are to express congratulations and take the responsibility to return the grace of celebration to Heaven, then we must embrace the heart of Jesus, who was concerned about this world. We must embrace the heart of God, who felt concern as He guided the dispensation for 6,000 years. We must build the altar of celebration for the glorious birth that came into being for the sake of the will of the dispensation. Otherwise, there is no way we can manifest our value as people who have accomplished, on earth, the glorious will in which God has been celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ until now.
Moreover, we who have prostrated ourselves before the altar of the Father must be able to represent the heart of Mary, who celebrated the birth of Jesus before Heaven 2,000 years ago. At the same time, we must go one step further and represent the blissful heart of God, who allowed the birth of Jesus. We must represent the hopeful heart of the prophets who worked hard for several thousand years until the time of Jesus’ birth and actualize their long-cherished will.
Similarly, we must feel the sorrowful heart of God, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds at the moment when Jesus was born on earth as the one who was prepared to liberate the historical heart of the whole. We must feel the heart that agonizes over the fact that Jesus had to lie in a horse manger. Making the preparations to greet Jesus, who is coming with a new determination, we must step forward as the prepared people of glory about whom God can be happy. Otherwise, you must understand that Heaven’s intention for having us celebrate Christmas cannot be brought to pass.
Until now there were many people on earth, but it is not an exaggeration to say that there was no one who truly celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, the one who came with the mission to fulfill the whole will of God’s dispensation. What kind of mind-set then must we have today? We must be able to represent the heart of God. We must be able to represent the hearts of the many millions of believers, heavenly soldiers and angels in Heaven. We must cultivate the resolution and sense of responsibility to put to rest all the bitterness and grief of God for Jesus. Similarly, if we do not offer bows of congratulations with a heart that prepares for the day of hope that will come in the future, then the hope of God will end with us. It will not be transmitted to our descendants. You have to clearly understand this.
Although, at the time of Jesus, all the people looked upon Christ, they did not think about the will of the dispensation that would unfold after Christ. Although they watched the birth of Jesus, they did not think about the will of God that would come about after his birth.
Therefore, although it is good to celebrate the birth of Jesus from the position of the Israelites, it is better to celebrate his birthday by figuring into the picture the will of the dispensation after the coming of Jesus; in other words, by substantially understanding the whole value of Jesus.
The birth of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago begot the result of increasing the sorrow and grief, because of the faithlessness of the followers of Judaism. What must we do today to alleviate all this on behalf of the 6,000-year history? We must become the prepared incarnations who can remove all historical sorrow. Furthermore, we must also become connected to the heart of Jesus who is to come. Only then can the significance of our celebrating the birth of Jesus go beyond us and become linked with the eternal, historical ideology of our descendants.
The Believers of Judaism Did Not Understand the Will of God
As you can see, although God wanted to be congratulated for the birth of Christ, He did not want to be congratulated only in the present moment. He wants someone who possesses the ideology that can pierce through the past, the present and the future to offer congratulations with a heart that can relate with His heart.
What kind of people then should you be? You must become people who can represent the heart of God, Who toiled for the birth of Christ. Moreover, you must represent the hearts of the prophets and patriots who came before Jesus and have been exerting themselves in the spirit world since then.
How then must God’s heart have been as He looked down upon the birth of Jesus? Angels prophesied the birth of Jesus to the shepherds, but there was no earthly person who prophesied the birth of Christ. This was God’s sorrow. If there had been people who watched the birth of Jesus and proclaimed it as the advent of the Messiah in place of the angels then, then, just as there was celebration of the birth of Jesus in Heaven, the same celebration could have taken place on earth. On the contrary, we know that because the believers of Judaism, who represented the Israelites, did not accomplish this mission, Jesus had to die on the cross.
Therefore, you have to reflect upon whether you are capable of paying indemnity for the condition of faithlessness made by these ancestors and can actualize this will with a sense of responsibility. Moreover, when we reflect upon whether we can actualize this task and even pass that will to our descendants, we have to realize how intense is this moment today. We must reflect, and make a new determination and resolution.
If the Israelites at that time had connected with the heart of the angels and represented the rejoicing heart of Heaven, if they had embraced the heart of God who mobilized and sent the angels, Jesus would never have died on the cross. Had the chosen people been prepared to face death to carry on the fight of testimony and had shouldered the cross of Jesus to fulfill their responsibility, Jesus would never have died on the cross. Since the believers at that time listened to the prophecy of the shepherds and the testimony of the three wise men and John the Baptist, they should have been able to fight for the faithless people with a celebrating and glorious attitude from the day of the birth of the historical Messiah for which humanity had been yearning. If there were such believers, then the sorrow of having lost Jesus would not have been transferred to us.
Heaven made this move on that day, in that hour, 2,000 years ago. Yet human beings on earth have not been able to stand before Heaven with this kind of heart even after 2,000 years. As you have gathered with the intention to celebrate the birth of Christ on behalf of Heaven, you must understand clearly that this is the source of God’s sadness.
This moment when we are celebrating the birth of Christ, God will examine whether He can find the same ardent heart He possessed within each of you. He felt irrepressible joy over the birth of Christ, for whom He had yearned as the only hope and about whom He had given prophecies through the angels and shepherds.
If we can receive this day with this kind of attitude, then even if we did not directly witness the birth of Jesus, and even if 2,000 long years of history have passed by, our heart can transcend the historical distance to connect with the heart of God and the angels. You have to understand that now is this kind of historical moment. If you have truly reached this state of heart, then you will feel the welling up of sorrow.
We are the pitiful people who cannot testify to the glorious Messiah with overflowing joy. Instead, we must testify to the sad story of how he died on the cross. You will feel this today.
When you consider this, you must come to the realization that throughout the passage of the long 2,000-year history until now, countless believers have celebrated this day. Yet there is almost no one who truly celebrated for the heart of Heaven. Moreover, in regard to the issue of restoring this day through indemnity on behalf of the 2,000 years, you must now step forward in their place and testify to the death and sorrow of Christ. Just as 2,000 years ago, believers testified to the imminence of the arrival of Christ after listening to the voices of the angels, wise men and shepherds. Only when you realize that it is your fate to accomplish this task will you not be ashamed to stand before Jesus, whose birth was historic.
The Way to Truly Celebrate the Birth of the Messiah
You who have gathered here today with a new will! You must think about the situation of Jesus and understand that inside Jesus’ heart, there was the penetrating sorrow of the 4,000-year history before his birth. Moreover, you have to understand that penetrating deeply into this day is the sorrow of the thirty years of his life after his birth, as well as the sorrow of the 2,000 years after he died with the words of promise that he will return.
What kind of mission then must we fulfill today? You must, first, make a deep reflection as to whether you have made it possible for God to comfort you with the same sorrowful heart He felt toward Jesus. You must stand in the position from which you can take over the sad situation of Jesus. Next, you must become people who can receive comfort from all the prophets and patriots who came in history and who can be guarded by and receive the testimony of the heavenly soldiers and angels.
You must represent the value for which Heaven mobilized all heavenly soldiers and angels at the time of the appearance of Jesus. You must be able to grab hold and give comfort to Jesus with a heart that can represent the concerns of the countless prophets and patriots at the time of Jesus’ birth. If you have not made this kind of preparation and determination, you cannot inherit the will and ideology of the dispensation of the present and the past centered on the day of Jesus’ birth.
Due to his death, Jesus’ intention to realize the purpose of God’s dispensation of the 4,000 years was prolonged 2,000 more years. It became a 6,000-year history of restoration. The hope of the ancestors, which should have been fulfilled through Jesus, was prolonged for 2,000 years. The concerns of many apostles and believers and millions of angels were added to the concerns of God. You should feel a sorrow that is more intense than that of God, Who handed Jesus over to the cross, and that of Jesus, who was walking toward the cross. You should feel the sorrow of the millions of believers and angels in Heaven at the time of Jesus’ death, as well.
By doing so, while reflecting on history, you alone must make preparations, on behalf of all things of creation, to alleviate the sad and grieving heart of Heaven and earth. You must earn the qualification to celebrate Christmas in the way Heaven wants by longing for the one day of the Second Advent and by making thorough preparations. Only when you understand the ideology of the coming Messiah and make the determination to shoulder even the mission of the angels to testify when the will is manifested, can you celebrate Christmas in the way Heaven wants.
You, who have gathered here today to conduct this service of celebrating the birth of Jesus, must realize that only when you eliminate the grief of God, Jesus and the millions of heavenly soldiers and angels can God finally behold the one day of eternal celebration. You must become qualified to inherit the will of Heaven and materialize it on the earth. God can then celebrate eternally.
As you can see, today you stand in the important focal point of history. Therefore, you are living in a time when you must prepare for the one day of hope when Christ returns. You must reflect upon the birth of Christ and celebrate it as historical witnesses and the heirs of God’s dispensation. Only then can God look down upon you and be liberated from all the bitterness and grief that have plagued Him until now. Moreover, while you feel the joy of accomplishing the will of Christ in his place, at the same time, Jesus can also return his glory to God because of you.
This is a summary of an article in Sel-Gyo Mal-Seum Nae-Yong Yo-Yak, published by the Witnessing Department of the Seung- Hwa Youth Association.