Note: This blog post is the final part of an ongoing series. If you have not done so, we encourage you to read previous posts for the best reading experience.
This 16-part DPlife series, takes a deep dive into the life and legacy of Jesus of Nazareth. Thomas Ward, a Unification Scholar and Co-Chair of the Research Institute for the Integration of World Thought, will be our guide.
This series may bring surprises, uncover new perspectives, and challenge largely held beliefs. With curious minds and open hearts, we invite you to take this journey with us as we deepen our understanding of Jesus and how his life informs history and society today.
Generations have come and gone since Jesus’ passing. Humankind still finds itself still torn by “wars and rumors of wars.” Good Christians have died in defense of their faith and in defense of the proposition that we are children of God.
Other Christians have come and gone and brought great harm, especially to the pure of heart, and the disadvantaged. These Christians did so thinking that they were greater than those whom they oppressed. They prided themselves on their abilities rather than seeing that the world could be a better place through sharing the blessings that they had received.
Centuries ago marginalized Christians pioneered to the Plymouth Bay Colony of Massachusetts. They chose starvation over religious oppression in Britain. Today Americans have forgotten the central role played by those first European settlers. They came to this land to freely practice their faith, and prayed this place would become a “city on a hill.”
Some may say that many if not most who came to America were surely tainted by greed. Yet to spare Sodom and Gomorrah, God only needed Abraham to find ten righteous men and women. Could God not also bless America based on the “ten righteous men and women of Plymouth?” So long as America has a Godly voice that can call out in righteousness, America must have hope.
Earlier in his mission, Jesus had said, “whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven (Matt 10:33).” Yet even though he said this, Jesus could not abandon Peter. Likewise, God has not abandoned America.
Plymouth’s Pilgrims acted not first and foremost for themselves but to attend the life and legacy of a man who had offered what the British economist Adam Smith once referred to as “the most dreadful atonement.”
As the last days of his life ticked away, Jesus lamented his own disciples’ blindness to his mission. When they put social justice before attendance to him, he warned them that “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me (Matt 26:11).” Jesus understood that so long as humankind remained corrupt, unfairness, insensitivity and cruelty would continue to stain and compromise human culture.
Jesus’ trial and crucifixion were the defining moment of Jesus’ life. The hour when he determined to sacrifice his own future for those who not only failed to recognize him but actually engineered his untimely death, is greater than any effort that has followed since then to address the injustice of the world.
The task of Christianity is to inherit Jesus’ Heavenly heart of love in order to liberate God. This can only happen when we are awakened to our true identities as members of God’s Royal Family.
Thomas Ward is a Unification Scholar who has served as Dean of the University of Bridgeport’s College of Public and International Affairs and is the Co-Chair of the Research Institute for the Integration of World Thought, an academic institute created by Reverend Moon in 1999 to oversee the development of Unification Thought in the United States.
Be sure to tell us what you think in the comments. Most of all, we look forward to learning and starting a discussion will all of you!