excerpted from Sunday Service
Becoming Good Soil
Rev. Henri Schauffler
Washington Family Church, November 19th 2000
|I want to offer you a list of ďSeven MísĒ as sort of
spiritual checklist. Going back to the statement of vision and purpose
that we wrote, itís been reworded a little bit and I want to offer it up
ďVision: We are a community of faith, working together to expand true love by living and teaching the ideal of True Parents.Ē
ďTo help people MATURE in their relationship with God, build MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS with each other, attain their MARRIAGE BLESSING, MASTER THEIR ENVIRONMENT, develop their gifts and abilities to serve in MINISTRIES for our community and MISSIONS in the world, and develop a personal MAGNETISM that attracts others to our community.Ē
If we do those seven things, weíll be healthy individuals and we will also be a healthy community. As Rev. Lee likes to say, a healthy church.
First, Maturing. Second, Meaningful Relationships. Third, Marriage Blessing. Fourth, Mastering your Environment. Fifth, Mission. Sixth, Ministry. Seventh, Magnetism. Letís take a look at each one.
MATURING: My relationship with God, Christ, and True Parents, my vertical relationship. We need spiritual discipline. Iím not by nature a disciplined person, so if I act upon the idea of humility and fighting arrogance, I need to admit that I donít easily practice spiritual discipline. Some do, and Iím impressed with people who naturally and easily and joyfully do cold showers and fasts and prayer conditions and hoon dok hae, tithing, attending Sunday service. Thatís a wonderful gift to have but not everybody is like that. Some of us have to push ourselves. Itís not always fun and enjoyable, but by doing those spiritual disciplines we are tilling our spiritual soil.
MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS: Our significant human relationships. This is the family is the school of loveĒ idea. It starts in our family with spouse and children, then friends, grandchildren, relatives Ė every significant relationship we have starts in the family. This makes the 90 degree angle complete. Some of us are more vertically oriented people, right? They love to pray and study, love True Parents and the Word, but a lot of people like that actually are not very successful in horizontal relationships. Others of us are great with human relationships but weíre not vertically oriented and we struggle with spiritual discipline. Either way we need to grow. I believe thatís what True Father means Ė vertical spiritual disciplines, horizontal personal relationships. That makes the 90 degree angle. If one of them is in trouble, weíre not actually becoming fertile soil.
Itís not enough to say, Iíve got this great prayer life and I read the Word every day, but I have problems in relationships with my spouse, my children, my colleagues, my parents. Itís not enough to say, my family life is great, unless Iím challenging myself to discipline spiritually. We need to challenge both. Maturing meaningful relationships are the beginning point to get that 90 degree angle and make it complete.
MARRIAGE BLESSING: Attaining and maintaining holy marriage under the grace of True Parents Ė and it is under grace, isnít it? This is our highest sacrament in the Completed Testament Age, like a baptism, or communion. We have the ceremony once, but itís something we need to renew every day. This is where we meet God in the deepest way. We need to put tremendous energy and heart into making our blessing work. Iím all for marriage encounter groups and marriage development. Absolutely. But itís not enough. We have to understand the spiritual significance of our blessing. Thatís where we can get the power and motivation to make it work. But we do need to work on making it work. ďWhatever it takesĒ has to be my motto in the blessing.
Some of us have good marriages but we struggle with our children. Others of us have a terrible relationship with our spouse, but weíre doing well with our children. The Evil One, as Jesus calls him, is there waiting to mess things up in the blessing. We need to invest a tremendous amount of energy. Itís not enough to say, ďIím going to pray and do a mission, read hoon dok hae, witness and make great friendships, but Iím going to let my blessing go.Ē Some of us are more challenged than others, but ďwhatever it takesĒ needs to be our motto. Donít give up until we find the way. This is really step one in living for the sake of others. It starts in my family, in my blessing life.
MASTERING MY ENVIRONMENT: Do you ever feel like your life is out of control? Organizing the external details of life is, I believe, a spiritual discipline. How can God plant the Word in my soil if itís all jumbled up? A farmerís preparation of the soil for planting is beautifully organized in its own way. We have to think about the external aspects of our life Ė time, finances, our environment.
If your time, finances or environment are out of control, you need to work on that and spend time getting your life under control. Goals, plans and needs need to be put into place so that we can organize our lives and be in control and master our environment.
MINISTRY: The concept that we all have something we can do to take care of one another. Jesus gave the great commandment Ė Love one another. That doesnít just mean greeting one another at Sunday service. It means serving and taking care of each other. There are ways that each one of us can do something to help each other. I believe a lot of that responsibility falls upon the church to create opportunities, and thatís a calling I feel personally. Weíre going to have programs in the next month two, but especially developed after Godís Day, enabling people to unlock the potential that they have inside. Uncover their gifts, capacities and calling.
There are ways we can unlock our calling even though weíre crusted over, if weíve lost hope, if we donít feel value any more, if our lives are too tough, or if we never felt that we have much to offer. We can still unlock it and there are specific ways to do that. There are so many ways we can minister in our community. Some people are doing it every day of the week. Some are doing it one day a month. What these brothers are doing with music is a ministry, but also those who set up the chairs and in other ways prepare the service is a ministry. Mopping the floors at the church is a ministry. What I do up here may look like the big thing, but I think the person who mops the floors with a glad heart is doing something more important in making it all work. Certainly weíre all the same, and we all have an offering we can make.
The next step in living for the sake of others starts in your family, and then in our spiritual community. We will be offering assistance in how to unlock gifts, abilities, passion and calling.
MISSION: This is the great commission from Jesus Ė ďGo and teach all the world.Ē This means we need to go out. We have no lack of inspiration from True Parents that we need to be out in the world as tribal messiahs doing something in the world. This is the third step in living for others Ė in the neighborhood, the city, the state, and the nation. This is what we might call outreach.
MAGNETISM: If you become an absolute plus, True Father said, then minus will be drawn to you like metal filings to a magnet. If we have the Word deeply rooted in our soil, then we will be indeed a magnetic person. People will be drawn naturally to us. Iím sure youíve experienced that somewhere in the providence, when your spiritual energy is so pure and good that people are drawn to you. If weíre living the other six Mís then this one will be automatic.
If we are mature in our life with God, then building meaningful relationships with other people, developing our blessing, mastering our circumstances, developing our ministry and mission, then we will become magnetic people. This will be true for individuals and for our church community. This is my vision. I hope somehow it touches some of you. I refuse to believe that we just have to become elderly together alone. I want go live through my elder years with many new people that are learning from us, and their children and our children. Then we have to become magnetic people again. We have been. Magnetic families, magnetic churches.
Itís been a long time, but we can do it. It wonít start in the
great programs we create, but with every one of us getting back to cultivating
my spiritual soil to be a person in whom God can dwell. Thatís what
we call natural witnessing. We donít have to drag people into programs.
Youíre working with people you know and they ask you, where do you get
this quality? How come youíre so hopeful and your family is so great?
Well, itís what I experience in my community of faith. How can I learn
about that? Well, you can come to my small group this week, or come
to Sunday service. Thatís how it works. People will be asking