March 2013 Monthly Service

The March Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters took place in the Main Sanctuary on the 26th with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. In various parts of Japan, the warm weather had continued for a while, helping cherry trees to blossom earlier than usual this spring. The worshipers sang the Songs for the Service in unity of mind in the Sanctuary precincts where many cherry trees bloomed in beautiful pink color. In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira said: “Deepening our understanding of this season for actual implementation, all of us Yoboku, including church head ministers will reflect on ourselves constantly, help and encourage one another to strengthen the conviction of single-heartedness with God, and devote our sincerity high-spiritedly to sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and saving others. We will thus strive to bring forth the fruit of our spiritual growth that is appropriate for the season.” The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service, Honbu-in Kaneo Takeya took the lectern to deliver the sermon. He began by referring to the truth of the everliving Oyasama as the foundation of the path, saying, “I would like us to ponder over the fact that Oyasama shortened Her term of physical life by 25 years in order to hasten our spiritual growth.” He pointed out that, although we are taught that we can accomplish anything if we settle our minds and work hard, we can nonetheless be easily swept along by our anxieties, the current of the times, and outward circumstances. He said, “This is contrary to the intention of God the Parent.” Rev. Takeya remarked that we will be able to understand the significance and preciousness of serving in this season if we realize that everything happening in our lives is guidance from God the Parent and firmly believe that devoting ourselves to God in difficult situations is how we can build virtue that will last forever and sow seeds of sincerity that will multiply ten thousandfold. “I believe that we will then be able to receive any and every blessing from God the Parent,” he said. Rev. Takeya next spoke about the way of following the path to the Joyous Life so desired by God the Parent while quoting from the Mikagura-uta and the Divine Directions. He said that, in order to make it easier to follow this path, it is important to listen to the truth of the teachings with a mind of simple openness like that of a newborn and to let go of human thinking so that we can purify our minds completely and work with our minds in unison. He then said that an important aspect of our work today is to take a proactive attitude. He explained, “It is necessary to have a strong will to accomplish whatever we set out to do.” Noting the importance of sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and saving others as a way of sowing seeds before reaping the harvest of joyousness, Rev. Takeya said in closing the sermon, “During this season, we will heighten our awareness of being Oyasama’s instruments and make every effort to serve through our own roles and positions.”

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