On May 26, Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted the May Monthly Service in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant.
In the prayer, the Shinbashira first expressed his gratitude for the daily blessings of God the Parent and said: “We are almost at the halfway point of the ‘three years, one thousand days’ period designated for us to make decisive efforts to prepare for the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama. Making the best of this season, all of us Yoboku are determined to follow the path of the Divine Model with simple openness and dedicate our full measure of sincerity to sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings, helping others be saved, and providing them with care and guidance time and again so that we can ever more proactively conduct our pre-anniversary activities.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were performed following the prayer. The Home of the Parent was in the season of new green leaves with the temperature reaching 21°C (69.8°F) at 9:00 a.m. Although it rained occasionally, the followers joined together in singing the Songs for the Service joyfully in unison.
Following the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements, Honbu-in Tadao Tosa took the podium to deliver the sermon. He started by quoting the Shinbashira’s new year’s address and reaffirmed the significance of observing the anniversaries of Oyasama. He said: “Let us first reflect upon the steps we have taken thus far and thoroughly examine whether or not we have fallen short in our efforts to prepare for the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama. If we have, we should renew our resolve to take steps that accord with the divine intention. It is important to carry out the anniversary-related activities and implement the teachings in high spirits for the rest of the pre-anniversary season so that we can mark the upcoming anniversary of Oyasama without any regret.”
He went on to explain how we should conduct the pre-anniversary activities and what it means to attain spiritual growth. He said: “Attaining spiritual growth is as if a child grows into an adult. The mind of a child only asks a favor, whereas that of an adult feels delight in doing a favor for the child. In other words, through attaining spiritual growth, we transform the mind that desires to be saved into the mind that desires to help save others in need, thereby making progress in pursuing our faith.”
Further, quoting a Divine Direction that says: “Sah, there was a thing I had intended to give to My children but I was not able. I shall bestow this truth on you step by step hereafter” (Osashizu, February 18, 1887), Rev. Tosa mentioned the parental love embodied in the truth of the Sazuke and said that it is our mission as Her instruments, Yoboku, to devote ourselves to single-hearted salvation. He said, “There is no other way but to follow Her Divine Model single-heartedly in order to respond to Her parental love.”
He then encouraged all Yoboku to work for the salvation of others and also pointed out the importance of nurturing new Yoboku. Emphasizing that the important thing is to have a generous heart in nurturing them while keeping an eye out for them, he said, “Only when efforts are made to nurture the mind of sincerity that seeks the salvation of others can the path continue and expand.”
Rev. Tosa then touched upon the Oyasama 130th Anniversary Yoboku Gatherings, which are underway, and said that we can conduct the pre-anniversary activities in a more high-spirited manner by making efforts to increase the number of Yoboku who can implement salvation work. He concluded his sermon by saying, “If you know any Yoboku or followers who have not attended the gatherings, please visit them and encourage them to participate in the event.”