주보 12-24 (20121030) Rev. Ken Sudo
- 12-24호.hwp (251byte)
The speech I wish to give today is a testimony regarding my faith and experiences of God and Jesus Christ. As a strong atheist, I was always denying God's existence. It is somehow truly amazing that I'm now standing at the podium of a graduate school of theology. When somebody tried to invite me to a religious meeting, I told him to grant me a request, which he was more than willing to do. I told him that I would go if he could show me God, and he was totally speechless. I felt victorious as I won the talk. Experience with God: Now at one point, I contracted kidney inflammation. At the moment of realization of my egoistic attitude and selfishness, I felt nobody loved me. That was because I didn't love anybody. It gradually became clear for me where I would end up if I were to die. Around the same time, I was given the opportunity to read some testimonies in a religious magazine published by a famous and respectable organization. There were stories of spiritual transformations, and although I thought it was ridiculous, I felt that these people were not telling lies, but the truth. The common phenomena in all the testimonies were that these people experienced miracles only after going through a period of tearful repentance. I felt that there must be something there. So came the moment of mystical experience. I had began to meditate and ask myself existential questions ("Who am I?", etc.). I shed tears of repentance every single night. As I realized the existence of a Supreme Being, I began to pay for the first time in my life. Then, I experienced something like being drenched in a cold waterfall (spiritually). Then, a bright golden light flashed toward me, and a red beam struck me. I didn't know what happened, totally shocked. Then, feeling something on my back, I felt the kidneys on both sides trembling. But I still didn't know what had happened. Next day on the visit to the doctor, I was told that my illness which had lasted for a year and a half was cured. I didn't tell anybody of my experience, not to the doctor, and not to my family, as I knew they wouldn't understand. However, I was very happy inside; "God is alive!" It was confirmed that miracles happen only after the shedding of tears of repentance. I said "Show me God", but I felt He did show himself to me in a way. It was now very clear to me that God is alive. He has personality and is somebody we can communicate with. I also realized God's patience. I had ridiculed God, but He didn't judge me, and waited for me by letting me go through the indemnity course of one and a half year. I know that many people don't believe in God. But we don't understand God not because He doesn't exist, but because of our impurities. We cannot form common ground with God who is a pure being, because of our own sinfulness. After this experience, I felt everything (flowers, trees, etc.) existed for my sake. When the condition was right, God embraced me with such a grace. I want to tell this to the whole world. Experience with Jesus: I attended a Baptist Church for a time as I liked the songs they sung. However, as I attended the church, I began to question the contents of the Bible and the pastor's messages (e.g. What is salvation?). One day, I went to see somebody receiving baptism. There were only two candidates. As they asked who else wished to receive, I was raising my hand without my self knowing. I was baptized on that very day. It was so cold, but felt so good. I felt I was purified. However, soon the pastor assigned me as his assistant, which I didn't like since I disliked standing in front of people. I had graduated university, but gave up my biochemical studies on protein synthesis. I knew now that life did not come from protein synthesis, but from God. I was then assigned to take care of deaf children. At that time, a lady who was somewhat spiritual told me that I might have an experience of Jesus' voice on the Easter day. It was 195x. On the Easter morning, I woke up in a state between sleep and awareness. Then a voice could be heard, and I realized after a while that it was Jesus. I was amazed and devastated at the same time. I began to communicate with Jesus from that day. There are two central issues he told me about. The first issue was regarding the redemption by the cross. Jesus told me that the crucifixion was, though inevitable, neither Jesus' nor God's will. However he told me: "Do not cry for me as that was my most glorious moment at the end of my life." There is a reason as to why he said this to me: Prior to the meeting with Jesus, I had gone to see the movie "Ben-Hur" with the teachers of the school of deaf and had a mystical experience. At the scene of Jesus crucifixion, I was taken by indescribable sorrow and couldn't stop the tears from running my down my chin. It was embarrassing, but I couldn't help it. It was though I was crucified myself. Jesus must have known of this experience of mine. The second issue Jesus told me about was his identity. He said: "I am not God, but Son of God." The redemption by the cross and misinterpretation of Jesus' identity as God are serious issues of Christianity. Now, when I went back to the church, the pastor was preaching that Jesus came to die and that Jesus is God himself. I did cold shower in a waterfall in order to find the answer to this problem. Then one day, as I was walking down the Osaka station, a small lady was shouting a message while holding out some flyers. That was Matsumoto-mama. This was how I was introduced to the Unification church, and eventually led to hear a Divine Principle lecture for the first time.