In Revelation 22:14, when referring to the Second Coming of Jesus, it reads, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.” On Saturday, April 30th, 2016, members of the American Clergy Leadership Conference of Los Angeles and their guests truly experienced a blessing from Jesus and the Holy Spirit at the Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremony held at Christian Light MBC and officiated by Bishop J.L. Briggs and First Lady Peggy Briggs. In preparation for this Blessing, ACLC Los Angeles committed themselves to preparing couples to understand more deeply the significance of the Blessing; the change of blood lineage and the indemnity conditions involved with the Blessing.
This preparation began with 40 days of prayer and devotion before the Blessing, which included a texted Bible verse every morning for the 40 days along with an excerpt from Father Moon’s words on God’s original plan for couples, parents and children. For example, the scripture verse on Day 3 was Matthew 10:37 and Father Moon’s words on this verse were “Jesus said, ‘Love me more than anyone.’ It was indeed a most revolutionary statement. As a result of the Fall, God lost his children, the brother and the sister, even their parents, husband and wife, and all the related relationships, all these were instantly lost. This is where God’s pain lies. Humanity inherited Satan’s blood lineage. God needs people who can connect with God’s heart, unite their mind and body, and make a lineal relationship with God’s love.” Also, during this 40 days of preparation, Bishop Michael Sykes and Rev. Zena Sykes visited Los Angeles to teach on the significance of the Blessing and the “Six Steps to Elevate Your Marriage.” Dr. Nicholas Benson, ACLC Los Angeles Co-Chair, and his wife Dr. Eva Benson held a similar seminar the next weekend at Christian Light.
Along with our ACLC elder clergy couples in the Los Angeles area, a group of 12 potential new couples joined with the 40 Days of Prayer and Devotion in preparation for the Blessing. However due to schedule conflicts and various restraints, only one couple, Deacon Phil Maxwell and Mrs. Maxwell could attend the Holy Marriage Blessing on April 30th. There is rejoicing in Heaven over one precious couple who washes their robes, inheriting the right to the Tree of Life and standing as a Blessed Central Family for the building of God’s Kingdom. Musicians from Sadoc Christian Peace Family Church harnessed the Holy Spirit and many dedicated volunteers devoted themselves to the program.
Dr. Nicholas Benson graciously expressed congratulatory remarks and gratitude for everyone involved. We truly had a sanctified and glorious time in the Lord. After the ceremony Deacon Maxwell and his wife asked; “When will the next ceremony be? We have at least 4 couples who we would wish to participate.” A pastor and his wife, who were attending an ACLC event for the first time, were enthusiastic about being involved in the Blessing movement. All of the elder ACLC clergy couples who were in attendance were inspired with the overall level of enthusiasm.
Ten days before the Blessing, Bishop J. L. Briggs had collapsed in weakness and exhaustion and was rushed to the hospital with a serious case of pneumonia. Five days later, after being released from the hospital, he still had a sincere determination to officiate the Blessing Ceremony on April 30th with his wife, First Lady Peggy Briggs. He said, “Father Moon has allowed us to “right” or correct what Adam and Eve had wrong from the beginning and for couples to go beyond the realm of sin and conflict. Father Moon has finished his course on this side but he has left us detailed guidelines and conditions on record that we can follow, such as the 40 days of separation and sanctification after the Blessing. He has left a legacy for us to carry on.”
Submitted by Min. Susan Munsell, ACLC-Los Angeles Coordinator