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God's Will and Christmas



A sermon given by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon on December 25, 1977.

A sermon given by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon on December 25, 1977.



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God's Will and Christmas God's Will and Christmas Document Transcript

  • Gods Will And ChristmasRev. Sun Myung MoonDecember 25, 1977Today is Christmas, and people around the world are celebrating the birth ofJesus Christ. When we think of Jesus, we know that he was not born with anindividual purpose, like the average person, but rather that he came to thisearth to save the world. Because of the fall, humankind clearly needs a Saviorin order to return to God. Humankind is alienated from God, and everyonemust go through Jesus in order to return to Him.It is most important in celebrating this day of Christmas to know the purposeof the coming of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago. Without knowing that purposeclearly this celebration is meaningless, so this morning I would like to delivera message on the topic, "Gods Will and Christmas."When we ask if Gods original intention for this world has been completelyfulfilled, the obvious answer is no. The will of God was originally thwartedbecause of the human fall. Through history fallen humankind has beensearching for the ultimate fulfillment of the will of God and the purpose ofcreation. As this providence has been advancing on many different levels ofthe individual, family, society, nation and world, Gods original will orblueprint has never changed.God is eternal, unchanging, absolute and unique; therefore, the will of God isalso eternal, unchanging, absolute and unique. God cannot compromise Hisoriginal standard because of human failure. He cannot come down to the levelof sinful humanity; humans must be lifted up to the level of God.Jesus Came to Realize the Kingdom of God on EarthSince the fall, Gods will has focused on the goal of restoration. God isdetermined to save mankind, to show people how to get out of the fallen stateand into the original ideal of creation. That is restoration or the providence ofsalvation. Throughout history people have not been in a position to savethemselves. salvation comes instead from God. God must send a Savior to
  • reveal Gods original ideal of creation to the world. That man was JesusChrist.As you know, Gods original intention for this world would not only havebeen the perfection of an individual, but would have brought the perfection ofthe family. That would have expanded into the perfection of the clan, society,nation and the world. Had Adam and Eve reached perfection without falling,todays world would be entirely different. We would not see all the disgustingsights that we witness every day. Neither would we see the language barriersand the national barriers separating people. Furthermore, every individualwould live to realistically attain perfection and could clearly map out his orher own way of life to reach the ultimate Kingdom of Heaven. The problemtoday is that humans do not know the living God and lack proper direction.People live random, wandering lives. In the original ideal this would never be;everyone would be guided into perfection in a way perfectly parallel with thewill of God, and no one could or would wish to live outside that will.If there had been no fall, humankind would be citizens of the Kingdom of Godon earth. The citizens of the Kingdom of God will start their lives here onearth, and after they consummate their lives here they will automatically beelevated into the Kingdom of God in Heaven, where they will continue asfamilies.There was always a blueprint in the mind of God, the original plan that alwayshas been and will always remain perfect, even though the physical realizationof these plans has never yet been seen. Jesus prayed, "Thy Kingdom come,Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Jesus knew the perfection ofGods will in Heaven and he brought that will to earth, coming to establishperfection here. That was Gods plan.The Living Jesus Was the Perfect Mediator of SalvationJesus Christ came for the will of God, to transmit Gods will to the chosennation of Israel. God was moving in a certain direction and Jesus Christ wasmoving parallel to that direction, so certainly the people of Israel weresupposed to move in a way parallel to Jesus. If all three had been movingparallel in one direction, Gods ultimate will could have been fulfilled in that
  • nation. God and Jesus were united, and all that was needed was to have thepeople of Israel unite with Jesus. After fulfillment on the national level,expansion of that fulfillment to the worldwide level would have been assured.Jesus came as priest to be received by the people of Israel. He brought thegreat opportunity to fulfill the condition for restoration of the garden of Eden.Everything was lost in the garden of Eden, but everything could have beenrestored by the chosen nation of Israel if they had united with the Messiah.The bloody battles that occurred for many centuries after Jesus appearanceshould never have been. God had prepared Israel for many thousands of yearsto be ready to accept the Messiah when he appeared. Although Jesus did notappear in the way that most of the Jews of his time expected, they still shouldhave had the wisdom to accept and work together with the Messiah the day hecame. Thus, John the Baptist in preparing the way for Jesus, declared to theworld, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." Jesus repeated the samewarning, with his first words being, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is athand."The Messiah was able to understand and reason with the heart of God so thathe could be united with Gods love. The exceptional human qualities of hispersonality allowed him to connect with the people of Israel. He was thebridge between God and all the fallen world, and by accepting him the peoplewould have been accepting and uniting with God. Gods will was theacceptance of the Messiah, not his rejection. Jesus was truly the Messiah, andthrough the total obedience of the people he should have been given the powerto lead Israel.Jesus death was not suicide; it was an execution. Today the Christian doctrinepreaches salvation by the blood of Jesus. But it must be asked whether Godand Jesus subscribe to this doctrine. In the Bible is recorded the story of aprostitute who was condemned to death and about to be stoned. Jesus said tothe people gathered around her, "Whoever is without sin, let him cast the firststone." Everyone self-consciously dropped their stones. After everyone haddrifted away in shame, Jesus spoke to the accused woman, saying, "Has noone condemned you? Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." Whatdoes this mean? By his own words Jesus offered forgiveness. Even beforeJesus shed one drop of blood there was already salvation. No one had to wait
  • for Jesus to die. There was salvation in accepting the word of Jesus. Thats inthe Bible. He did not give a rain-check by saying, "I will forgive you and saveyou, but wait until I die on the cross." Jesus offered salvation to everyone bythe word of God. Gods plan of salvation does not require bloodshed. Theword salvation means that the garden of Eden shall be here on earth, withliving men, women, and families. What we need is living consummation, notbloodshed and death.Adam, Jesus, and the Second Coming Are for the Same PurposeGod has not yet seen the perfection of His original plan here on earth,however, even after the coming of Jesus Christ. Because of the crucifixionJesus could not accomplish the full purpose of his coming, the realization ofthe ideal of Eden. It was not at all Gods original plan to fulfill the ideal bykilling the Messiah. If that was indeed Gods method, then just sending him toa nation that was unprepared to understand him would have been sufficient.Sacrifice is sometimes necessary, but God did not intend the sacrifice ofhuman life as the key to complete salvation. Because of the crucifixion JesusChrist was not able to bring humankind to the fullest degree of individualperfection or to family, societal or national perfection. Therefore, it is mostlogical that the Messiah must come a second time.What will Jesus do when he comes? Will he come to wipe out the world? Theword "judgment" is frequently misunderstood to mean that God will wipe outeverything in anger. That is not the purpose of the Messiahs coming a secondtime. The whole purpose is to fulfill the mission that was left undone 2,000years ago, to work for individual, family, societal, national and worldperfection. Judgment is the constructive work of God to see the fulfillment ofthe Kingdom of God here on earth.The work of God is realistic and physical. By interpreting the Bible literally,many Christians anticipate Jesus appearance in the sky, but there areproblems with this view. People perceive God as being supernatural, someonewho could perform even the miracle of bringing Jesus on the clouds. But whywould Christianity be necessary in that case? Why would faith be necessary?Why didnt God use supernatural power to build up the Kingdom of God inthe first place? Why has He had to wait for 6,000 years to accomplish this?
  • I want you to know that Gods will in sending Jesus Christ 2,000 years agoperfectly parallels the coming of Adam in the garden of Eden. The Lord of theSecond Advent will come for the same purpose. In other words, Gods will,Adams purpose, Jesus purpose and the purpose of the Second Coming are allthe same. Truth is unchanging, being the beginning and the end. The will ofGod cannot be changed or tarnished by time but will be the same forever. Godhas a formula, and when it is fulfilled God will seal it. That particular formulais still there, unfulfilled; God is waiting for man to fulfill that pure,unadulterated standard.Jesus the True Man, One with GodWhat is a true man? Is the President of the United States automatically a trueman? The true man is one who perfectly fits Gods framework, meaning that ifGod is round, that true man is perfectly round, and if God is square, that trueman is perfectly square. From day to night, from eternity, to eternity he willnot deviate from that standard.How do we know Jesus was a true man? He didnt write a big sign on hisforehead or get a Ph.D. He didnt have any extraordinary size or power. Whydo we know him to be a true man? We know Jesus was a true man because hisway of life was parallel with the will of God and fit perfectly the descriptionof Gods way of life. We know that Jesus Christ was born solely for the will ofGod, that he lived solely for the will of God, and that he died solely for thewill of God. At the critical moment of Jesus death on the cross he died as aMessiah and with the dignity of a Messiah, not as an ordinary man, a sad man,or a man taking cover. Jesus could not give up the will of God by resentingthe peoples adamant opposition to his efforts to save them. He deeply felt,"Even though the Roman Empire opposes me now, it shall receive my mercy.Even though the Israelites oppose me, they shall receive my mercy."Therefore, Jesus had room to forgive them, room to pray for them and toembrace them.Jesus was a true man because he perfectly lived the life of God. He was awalking God. There was no separation between God and Jesus, and becauseno one can destroy God no one can destroy Jesus Christ. The crucifixion was
  • not his destruction; God manifested the power of resurrection so that theworld could see that Jesus was never destroyed.What Attitude Is Needed in Order to Receive the Messiah?Since the fulfillment of perfection was not obtained in Israel, God preparedChristianity as the second Israel, as the foundation upon which the secondMessiah could come. To lay that foundation is the task of Christianity. Theultimate goal of Christians the world over is to receive the Messiah. ManyChristians think that the Messiah will command extraordinary miracles tohappen which will solve all the worlds problems in one moment, instantlymaking the world the Kingdom of God. This is their ambiguous understanding,but it could not possibly be so.When the Messiah comes the second time, he will start from the very bottomof mans situation and advance step by step to the height of the Kingdom. Hebrings the pattern which the rest of the world should follow and he will notcompromise with the world. He will initiate the final showdown between goodand evil. According to Gods original standard, are modern-day Christiansready to be lifted up to the Kingdom of God in heaven as perfected men andwomen? Not at all. They must transform themselves and change to fit into thepattern that the Messiah will bring; as the second Israel, Christians are to bethe first people to change themselves into that model.Many Christians have been steadfastly waiting for Christ to come again -- ona cloud. If he came on a cloud, perhaps wearing a parachute, he would berecognized and honored as the Messiah, undoubtedly. But isnt there anychance at all that he would not come on a cloud, but would appear as a regularperson? After all what kind of a Messiah would mankind need: one whodescends from the clouds as a supernatural virtually non-human being; or onewho is one of us, with the same flesh and the same mind? Certainly, peopleneed a real person to relate with in the position of Christ.Jesus described himself as "the way, the truth, and the life." It really didntmake any difference which manner he came into the world - even if he hadcome on the clouds, clouds are not the way, the truth and the life. It was Jesushimself who was important, nothing else. However he came to the world, he
  • taught clearly about the way to live, the truth for mankind and how to gain life.Also, Jesus was "the love; he did not say that, but he was the love for theworld.Would humanity prefer to receive a Messiah who came dramatically on acloud, without teaching and being all those things which Jesus was, or aMessiah who came normally but was able to convey those preciousunderstandings? Certainly, humanity would value the second kind of Messiah.How well do you know the will of God? Many Christians are convinced thatGods will for them is to seek only their own chunk of Heaven, and they couldcare less about the fate of the rest of the world. Meanwhile the nation and theworld are crumbling, and instead of feeling responsible, they expect God tohandle everything. That is not true Christianity.I want you to know clearly that Gods and Jesus target is the world, not justone man, one race, one people or one nation. God intended the Messiah toaccomplish the fulfillment of perfection, not to create a multitude ofdenominations. He still is determined to achieve that one ultimate goal ofperfection and unity between people.How can a divided and bickering Christianity exemplify Jesusideal?I have seen what the Kingdom of God is like in the spirit world, andultimately you too will see that Gods Kingdom is not organized in the samedivided way that religions are here. Such separation is truly contrary to thewill of God. The conflict and division between religious people has beencarried over into spirit world and brings grief to God. Yet that has beenconventional faith.How Can You Become True Sons and Daughters of Christ?We believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior and Messiah because we also want tobecome the sons or daughters who can fulfill the will of God. Jesus died forthe sake of the mission, not just to acquire his own chunk of Heaven.Therefore, dont ever worry about your own heaven, but worry about bringingdown the Kingdom of God to your society and to this world. If you are like
  • that, when you say to God, "I dont want to go to the Kingdom of God," Godwill chase after you and personally install you in the highest position in HisKingdom.Jesus never complained to God about the rebelliousness of the very people hehad been sent to save and never ceased caring about them. That was not Jesusheart. Jesus knew clearly that his mission was not just the salvation of Israelbut of the world. Jesus as the son of God was perfectly united with God in willand in heart. Because of that oneness, Jesus Christ could willingly die for therest of the world.How can you become the true sons and daughters of Christ? By becomingperfectly one with Jesus Christ, one with his spirit and one with his heart. Ifyou are perfectly united with Jesus Christ, you can be a willing sacrifice forthe salvation of the rest of the world. God would be most pleased to hear Jesuspray, "God, Your goal is world salvation. Please use me and my Christianbrothers and sisters as Your sacrifice to fulfill Your work." The true Christiansare those who are willing to sacrifice themselves, their own church and theirdenomination for the fulfillment of the will of God for world salvation.Looking at the 2,000 years of Christian history, we can see that millions ofChristians have prayed deeply and unselfishly to God. In the beginning ofChristianity, what do you think was the predominant prayer? Their constantplea to God was, "Oh, Lord, please send Your son again as You promised."That was very different from the kinds of prayers most people are prayingtoday: "Lord, please help my family to be prosperous; bless my church," etc.A true Christian could not pray for Gods help and blessing for only his family.Those who pray only for their own chunk of Gods blessing will not end up inHeaven. After knowing the truth of Gods situation we can only pray, "God, Iam ready to be Your sacrifice. Use me as Your instrument; fulfill Your willfor world salvation through me." Such people will create the Kingdom ofGod.The Reality of the First Christmas
  • To better know the heart of Jesus, let us recall his situation at the firstChristmas. Today there are so many churches which are observing the birth ofChrist with celebrations and rejoicing. The traditional attitude has been one ofpraise for the way in which the Messiah was born in a stable and laid in amanger on straw. But how could humankind be proud of the son of God beingborn in a stable?The Jews were prepared by God to receive and assist Jesus, but did peoplereally have the slightest idea of who Jesus was and what they were supposedto do in order to help him fulfill the will of God? They did not know a thing.Was there anyone who understood Jesus mission as an individual, his missionto restore his family, the nation around his family, and finally the wholeworld? It is very clear that there was no one, either secular or religious, whohelped Jesus accomplish his mission.If there was anyone at all who understood Jesus and helped him it was GodHimself. God knew, but no one else except Jesus understood his responsibility.Was God content and happy while looking down on His son born in a stable,crying out in the cold, with no one around him knowing what they weresupposed to do, and with Satan searching intently to find some way to stophim? Could God feel easy in that situation?Let us go back and think in a little more detail about what the immediateenvironment was like. Mary was Jesus mother, but Joseph was not his father.When Joseph married her, Mary was pregnant and Joseph knew that it was nothis child she carried. Joseph did not know anything except what he was told inone short dream. He was a righteous man so he married Mary as he wasinstructed to do by an angel, but how long do you think Joseph could feelrighteous and happy about it? Dont you think he kept on wondering andrepeatedly asking her, "Whose baby is it?" Could Mary just casually answer,"Oh, it was conceived by the Holy Spirit, so you should be happy? Even ifMary had truthfully said that, do you think that Joseph would have respondedwith joy?Be realistic and imagine yourself in that position. Suppose everyone respectsyou as a very generous man, but you have to marry some woman who ispregnant with someone elses child. If she told you that it was conceived by
  • the Holy Spirit then perhaps one day you would not have resentment, butcould you still feel generous for all the years afterward? If one of you were inJosephs situation, hearing gossip and criticism all around, would you feelvery happy and content with Mary? Would you be glad to serve the child oncehe was born and sacrifice to protect him from evil?It is likely that Joseph asked Mary many times whose baby she carried,because he was curious and because he tried to understand. But remember thatat that time an unmarried woman who became pregnant was required byMosaic law to be stoned for committing adultery. At first Joseph probablythought he would understand, but in the long run he could not accept thesituation. Do you think that their relationship was happy for very long? It isprobable that they quarreled and distrusted each other rather than fullyunderstanding and cooperating in love.Once Jesus was born the rift no doubt became even greater, and Joseph lookedupon Jesus as something which was not wanted and which had ruined hisrelationship with Mary. Judging from the reality of human nature this was thesituation that probably existed all through Jesus life. Because of their parentsattitude towards Jesus, even his own brothers and sisters would not haverespected him, much less have thought that he was the son of God. Theywould have even treated him worse than other children because he wasdifferent.The Bible records that Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalemfor Passover, and when they left the city, they didnt even bother to checkwhether Jesus was with them. They became aware of his absence only after afull days journey. Even in an average family, can you imagine parents leavinga boy of Jesus age all alone in a crowded city?We can safely assume that Mary and Joseph quarreled over this. Joseph mighthave said, "Forget about it. Lets leave," and Mary had to go along. Butbecause Mary was insistent, and Joseph knew that she would not yield, theyturned back again to find Jesus and bring him home with them.While Mary was pregnant and while the disharmony between Mary andJoseph continued, dont you think that rumors went around the whole
  • neighborhood about how they often fought? In a neighborhood as closetogether as an ancient Jewish village, chances are that everybody knew thatMary and Joseph did not get along for some reason. The high priest Zachariahand all the relatives at least knew and disapproved of the situation.Josephs family knew that Jesus was not really one of them, and even thoughthey might not have discussed it in front of him, Jesus was not respected. Evennow in a society as permissive as Americas, if a girl has a baby whose fatheris not known then there is some talk about it. A much harsher situationprevailed in Jesus time, when an unwed mother was punishable by death.Certainly there would have been cruel gossip. Could Jesus have grown uphappy and contented like an average child under these circumstances, or canyou imagine that Jesus was caught in an unbearable situation? Every child thatJesus played with certainly must have made comments about things heardfrom his parents. Jesus just could not have had normal relationships with otherchildren.Nevertheless, the fact remains that Jesus was born to save all of the people. Hewas the only begotten son of God, and his object of salvation was exactly thepeople who ostracized him. The way the King of kings was mistreated andmisunderstood by the people around him was vastly different from Gods idealfor Jesus.What Kind of Person Could Have Consoled Jesus?Did anyone around Jesus try to defend him? There is not one account whichrecords such dedication. Jesus was mistreated and persecuted by his ownfamily because they completely lacked any understanding of who he was.Even without his being King of kings and the son of God, was he even treatedas well as an ordinary child?Common sense would say that even on holidays or special occasions no onemade special clothing or gifts and presented them to Jesus. The brothers andsisters who were more favored by Joseph might have gotten something, buteven Mary was reluctant to anger Joseph by giving anything to Jesus. Ofcourse, Jesus must have wanted to wear the special clothes and eat the specialfood of that time, as we all do, but no one would give him any.
  • Jesus definitely knew that he was special. He heard what the people aroundhim thought about him, but his own self-image was completely different.From the time he was small he could never talk openly in his own way. Theonly consolation he could seek was in communication with God, and he spentmost of his time praying to God and seeking His guidance. As a result, Jesusbecame stronger and stronger in this period, and circumstances compelled himin only one direction -- toward God and the realization of His ideal. He knewthat mankinds thinking was vastly different from Gods and that it had to becorrected; he also knew that society understood nothing about what Godwanted and that he himself would have to change it. Because of his adversecircumstances Jesus prayed intensely to God, to the point where God couldtalk to him and teach him what he would need for his future work.Under these circumstances, do you think that during Jesus years on earthanyone celebrated his birthday with real joy? As Jesus grew older and knewmore and more clearly who God was and what his own mission was supposedto be, his heart became heavier and more agonized and his environmentbecame more difficult to tolerate.The most precious friend for Jesus would have been the person who came tohim, not with many presents or words of congratulations, but rather with atearful heart to console him in his situation and to discuss with him what hewas going to do in the future. If someone like this had been there then Jesuswould have been far happier than if someone had come with presents. Thatperson could have been one of his own brothers or sisters. Knowing hishidden suffering, he or she could have brought just a small piece of cakewrapped in a handkerchief to give to Jesus on his birthday, saying, "Thepeople dont understand you, but I will try to help you. You must not bedisappointed." Jesus certainly would have welcomed such a person far morethan someone who came with a fancy present for him and then went away. Ifthere had been one such brother or sister in Jesus family, then Jesus wouldhave remembered him for a long time and would have spoken about it.When Jesus felt despondent, he had to pray to God more intensely, and beingmoved by Jesus fervent prayer, God taught him, "You will later become greatin this way and rise to this particular position." Thats the way it was supposedto be anyway, with God telling him many things in detail. Because of these
  • experiences, Jesus knew that God was his best friend and the one closest tohim, quite unlike Joseph or Mary, or even his brothers and sisters.Jesus was very serious in thinking about the national situation at that time,praying about how to change things. He knew what God had in His plan forhimself, the Israelites and all humankind. God is spirit, but by having a bodyJesus could understand the existing situation of the world, and he knew that hehad to be the central point to bring that world back to God. Do you think thathe wanted very much for someone to show some understanding, or that hewanted to hear even one word of love spoken to him, knowing that withouthim no one had any chance to return to God? Jesus yearned to hear the highpriest say, "We must prepare ourselves to receive you, because thats the onlyway for us to return to God."Do we know of anyone who understood and said this? To the last, the peopledid not understand him, and as a result Jesus was crucified. When Jesus diedon the cross he was unspeakably despondent. Jesus was made absolutelydesperate by the peoples lack of understanding, but how would God have feltat losing him from the earth, and at having to prepare once more for thousandsof years to send the Messiah?When Jesus was in the deepest anguish on the cross Gods feeling matched hisexactly. There could not be any difference whatever. When you are reallyindignant and absolutely furious inside, can you even think about givinghappiness or blessing? When someone comes near you at such a time do youfeel like being generous and open-hearted? This is exactly the feeling God hadas He watched His son dying on the cross.With this understanding, we know how much deep pain God is caused by thetraditional belief of Christian churches that Jesus came to die, As I said, it isour relationship to the living Jesus that brings fellowship with God. Hence oursalvation comes through the resurrection and our relationship with theresurrected Jesus, not through the blood of the cross. Yet even the resurrectioncould by no means compensate for the damage done by Christs lonelycrucifixion. Gods ultimate will required Gods chosen people to unite withJesus in the flesh and go with him to fulfill the Kingdom of God on earth. His
  • death blocked the providence for world restoration and made a SecondComing necessary.In this desperate situation Jesus realized the significance of what hadhappened and said, "I will come back again." Can you now understand that itis not possible for Jesus to come again on the clouds in a happy way andmagically restore the world? When millions of people sing hymns andexchange presents and wish each other good fortune on his birthday, is Jesusoverjoyed and happy? While he loves his people, there remains deep in hisheart the painful memories of the failure of that part of his mission, which heonly could have fulfilled if people had welcomed and consoled him while onearth.The True Celebration of ChristmasIs there anyone who can celebrate Jesus birthday in its true meaning,understanding his situation and what he was supposed to do? There aremillions of people who celebrate Christmas because everyone else does; butwho knows Jesus situation and then commemorates the day? The onlycelebration which would have meaning for him would be when one whosuffers more than Jesus and is more despondent than Jesus himself comes toJesus, were to say, "I have a difficult situation but your situation is muchworse. I would like to celebrate your birthday nevertheless. Forget about yoursorrow for a moment." When Jesus sees Christians like that, he will burst intotears and momentarily celebrate his birthday.There are many people here in this auditorium, but what kind of people areyou and what are you supposed to do? Shall we get many good things byusing Jesus name, or shall we help Jesus? What is this church designed byGod to do? What is the purpose of sacrificing ourselves? By sacrificing we areto fulfill the idea which Jesus pursued and thus bring everyone into unity.At Jesus time the people did not understand him, but today everyone canunderstand this realm of heart. If someone in the most lowly servant positionhad come to console Jesus and talk with him, Jesus would have felt muchcloser to him than to all the other powerful people at that time. Because thatpersons heart would have been closer to Jesus, he would have been close in
  • every other way as well. Jesus wouldnt have stopped that person from comingjust because he wasnt in the same noble position as Jesus; he would haveembraced him right there and burst into tears. That is the realm of the heart,the standard of value which surpasses any national or societal boundary andwhich can link people forever.Can people feel complete oneness simply by sitting around a plush banquettable eating steaks and good food? It is rather in the really desperate situationwhere everybody sheds tears together that heartfelt unity with Christ isrealized. Why would you prefer the second setting? You feel drawn that way,not because you like struggle, but because Jesus feels that way and God feelsthat way. The only reason why everyone must also do such a thing is in orderto share in whatever God has for you.This is also true for me. People would prefer many other things, but eventhough the family may drift away or the society may not give a readywelcome or the world may not understand, we cannot abandon the way whichGod has opened for those who would follow Jesus, no matter how difficult itis. This is why I am doing what I am doing. The sole purpose for my beinghere is to have you follow exactly the same path as God Himself. Do youagree with that? Sometimes it is very difficult but this is the only sure way tobecome a friend of Jesus and of God Himself.We chose the same way as Jesus did and in that way we can understand andparticipate in the friendship of God. If a woman is going to follow Jesus shecan follow with the heart of Mary and relieve that situation of 2,000 years agoby trying to be the best possible Mary. If it is a man, then he should try toserve Christ in the position of Joseph. To follow Christ, a person may alsofollow like Jesus own brothers and sisters, who were meant to understand himcompletely and love him and do the most difficult things for him. By doingthis and becoming one with Jesus, Jesus and God Himself will never be ableto say in the future, "I dont know you." Those who are following Christ as areal friend can console him, going over the path of thorns in this world andfeeling fury at ail the injustice done to him. Such people can say, "They dontunderstand. I will compensate for their mistakes, so dont blame them or beagonized at the situation. Try to forget about them and lets do it together." Ifthe Messiah had had such followers then certainly God would have been able
  • to come and unfold the rest of the dispensation. If someone came to Jesus toexpress regret at his difficulties then Jesus would answer, "Well, it is difficultbut I can bear it. But how about you? Your path is more difficult." Such aflow of heart is the foundation for Heaven on earth.The world is celebrating Christmas in its best way, but let us celebrateChristmas in the truest sense, understanding the true situation of Jesus and themeaning of his second coming, devoting all our heart and love to becomingone in love with God. Then we are the participants in all that belongs to God.We should remind ourselves that Jesus never had one real birthday celebrationwhen he was on earth, and it will be immensely meaningful to him to see themany people who are gathered here to celebrate in the true sense. Wouldntyou be grateful to participate in the true Christmas celebration? Do you thinkJesus would be happy to see that the people gathered here have had tears andsweat staining their faces, and have gone without beautiful clothes to do Godswork? Do you feel confident that Jesus would be deeply moved to see yougathered here to sing Christmas songs and wish him happy birthday?You must know for sure that you are on the road to becoming sons anddaughters of God, to whom even God and Jesus can be thankful for what youhave done. Such people are the most beautiful women in the world and thegreatest men. Those of you who are determined that for the rest of your livesyou will stay close to the path of Christ, embracing the past and present andfuture until Gods will is fulfilled, raise your hands. God bless you. Let uspray.