Dear brothers and sisters, and friends.
People try all kinds of tricks to bring peace and happiness into their lives. And next month is the time when many of us get tricked the most. Recently I have been reminded how the deepest peace is experienced when we come together to connect to God. At the moment Chieko and I meet early every morning in our HQs church with a few members to greet God and read His word. Then on Wednesdays I get the chance and blessing to meet in the same place with brothers and sisters for our weekly evening prayer for those who are sick. We sing, read and pray. Though we may live in a religious community many of us easily forget the power and grace that comes into our life when we gather together in God’s name and reach out to him. The thing about these smaller meetings, or small groups, is that they are very personal. This can be a challenge; when we are not used to praying by our self, then praying, studying, or singing with others can be uncomfortable. But it is worth persevering, because eventually if we make it a habit, it is in this setting we discover the most precious thing that we all have in common: we are all created by God and our identity rests in Him.
The truth is often very simple, and most times when we try too hard in our own narrow way we never get near it. But when we are able to humbly meet with one another to genuinely worship God, then the rest of our day will come into perspective and we can have confidence and clarity about what we need to do in our work, in our family and in our church.
I know many of you do this. But please do it more. Please seek out your family members (your spouse, your parents, your children, etc) and also your spiritual brothers and sisters, and do more to put God at the centre of your life and your relationships. I know specifically for Chieko and I that whenever we have slacked off in this area we have not been able to grow in our relationship. Whenever we have reinvested into this part of our life things just start to work themselves out in a very enjoyable way.
I was hoping at the start of 2009 we could reach a point by the end of the year where at least 30% of our congregations would be actively engaged in a small group. The hope was that this would also be a natural and genuine way to reach out to friends, neighbours and guests. I have been in several small groups this year. Some worked, some didn’t. Some lasted for a long time, some lasted barely a couple of weeks. But I know my life is being enriched through this search for fellowship which involves God.
As we find ourselves in a central role to support our True Parents in expanding the realm of God’s blessing for this age we need to be able to see spiritually if we are to have any confidence or ability to testify effectively to others. What are you going to do about this?
Next month the tricksters will be out in force to trick you. In December will you be swamped by the material needs that always come in this month to find enough money to buy presents, the relentless ‘selling of Christmas’, the advertising, the Christmas office do, the parties, the food, etc? In this holy month of December let’s first prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who ironically came to save mankind from all this materialist confusion. Let us also prepare for the first of our four major Unificationist Holy Days on the 1st January: True God’s day. How? Do something with others to enhance your spiritual life. If you do not go to church, then go, and make a difference. Why not also meet up with friends and members of your community and initiate some small group activity.
We want to give True Parents marriage blessing to 180 new couples before True Parents birthday in February. That is the best present we can give them from our UK family rather than all the crystal vases or ornaments they will also receive. So let’s get into the spiritual zone that will empower us to share the blessings we have. In the next week we will be sending out more detailed information from HQs regarding supporting this blessing providence.
Please leave a request in the comments section below if you would like me to send you some very good small group study material designed earlier this year by Rev. David Hanna.