Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted the August Monthly Service on the 26th at the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. After expressing his gratitude for God the Parent’s blessings, the Shinbashira said in the Service prayer: “We always take serious problems occurring around the country and overseas as our own concerns and ponder over the deep parental heart embodied in them so that we can renew our bracing sense of commitment and focus on the teachings. Bearing in mind that all human beings are brothers and sisters, we are determined to devote our sincerity to helping one another so as to make great strides along the path as befits this pre-anniversary season.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements while the worshipers joined together in singing the Songs for the Service with their minds in unison.
After the Service performance, Honbu-in Yoshiyuki Nakano took the podium to deliver the sermon. He began the sermon by touching upon the annual summer events held in the Home of the Parent, including the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba and the High School Division of the Students Training Course. He then spoke about the importance of passing down the faith to the next generation, quoting the following passages from the Divine Directions: “In this path, faith must be reflected in the minds of children while they are still young” (Osashizu, November 16, 1900); “Parents are for a single lifetime, but truth is eternal” (Osashizu, April 3, 1900). He said: “The key to passing down the faith to children is to actively reflect to them the joy that can be savored through practicing faith. In order to reflect the joy of faith to our children, it is important for us to live each day in a manner that makes them feel like following in our footsteps.” In this regard, he quoted the third Shinbashira, Zenye Nakayama, as saying, “We must fully understand the truth and practice the teachings.”
Honbu-in Nakano further pointed out that, compared with the way the early followers practiced their faith, followers today may be less focused on the essence of the teachings—which we must settle in our minds above all else—including the teaching of “a thing lent, a thing borrowed.” Stating, “Our faith is always about following the path of making repayment,” he explained that an effort of contribution and dedication motivated by the spirit of making repayment for God’s blessings is indeed a way to implement the key to passing down the faith to the next generation and that this also helps us “understand the truth and practice the teachings.” He then concluded his sermon by saying, “I am sure that we can find joy and happiness through following the path of making repayment.”