The May Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was conducted on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant.
In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira expressed his gratitude for the parental love with which God created us human beings and the world in order to see us lead the Joyous Life and has constantly guided us by showering free and unlimited blessings upon us. He then said: “We Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku will firmly settle our minds with our sights set on the Divine Model of Oyasama, make sincere efforts in our respective roles and positions, and exert our utmost to advance single-hearted salvation by cultivating human resources who will shoulder the path in the future and by striving to fulfill the essential mission of Tenrikyo churches.”
This was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements.
After the Service performance, Honbu-in Toshihiko Yamamoto took the lectern to deliver the sermon. He began by touching upon the Besseki pilgrimages organized by directly supervised churches or by church affiliation–based groups in the concluding year of the “three years, one thousand days” season last year. Pointing out that a large number of people had returned to Jiba to attend the Besseki lectures, he said, “Those who attended the Besseki lectures last year can be expected to become Yoboku this year.”
He then reflected upon the sermon delivered by the Shinbashira at the Oyasama 130th Anniversary Service and said, “I look forward to seeing people become new Yoboku and working with them in helping others be saved.”
He referred to the importance of conveying the joy of faith. He said: “First, you come to experience the joy of faith and then, by learning where the joy comes from, you come to understand how indebted you are to God’s blessings. When you see how indebted you are, an overwhelming feeling of joy will prompt you to follow the path of making repayment.” He went on to say, “Let us savor an abiding joy that remains at all times, no matter what our circumstances may be.”
Quoting passages from the Ofudesaki and other Tenrikyo Scriptures, he emphasized that our source of joy is “an awareness of the parental love that we are receiving throughout our body.” He went on to say: “In our daily lives, when the morning comes, we get up and eat. When the night comes, we go to bed and sleep. If we can take delight in each of these things we do every day, our lives will be filled with nothing but joy. . . . Understanding the intention of the Parent, finding joy in things that happen in our lives, and giving concrete expression to that joy constitute the path we should be following. By following the path of making repayment for the blessings we receive, we will be granted a new joy.”
Lastly, he stated that the Oyasama 130th Anniversary Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, which would be held in two months’ time, provides a prime opportunity for developing human resources who will shoulder the path in the next generation as well as for passing down the joy of faith to our children. He concluded his sermon by encouraging the congregation: “Let us ensure that this year’s Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba fully serves to convey the joy of faith that we cultivate in Jiba to children as we look ahead 10 years, 20 years, and 30 years from now. Let us bring as many children as possible back to Jiba and try to fill the Home of the Parent with the smiles of the children, thereby bringing joy to Oyasama.”