The May Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was performed on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant.
In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira said, “We Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku are resolved to stay firmly connected with Jiba and our respective churches, to make repayment for God’s blessings, and to exert our utmost efforts in following the path of single-hearted salvation by nurturing human resources who will carry the future of the path and by enriching the substance of our churches.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then joyously performed.
The Home of the Parent was blessed with fine weather, and the temperature reached a high of 28˚C (82.4˚F). Under the early-summer sunshine, worshipers who returned to Jiba from across Japan and overseas joined in singing the Mikagura-uta with their minds united as one.
After the Service performance, Honbu-in Tatsufumi Shikao took the podium to deliver the sermon. He began by making a request to invite and bring as many people as possible to the events aimed at nurturing human resources for the path, including the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, the Students Training Course, and the Seminar for Successors, thereby bringing joy to God the Parent and Oyasama.
He then pointed out that “the good fragrance” befitting followers of the path comes from our own practice and continuous efforts in our daily lives and that it is important for us to lead our lives with joy. Based on his own experience, he said that even when we are shown difficult knots such as illness and other troubles, we should firmly trust in God to guide us toward the path we can take delight in, ponder over the parental love, and try to change our mind’s orientation. This will allow us to find more and more joy, accept whatever is given to us with simple openness, and naturally be filled with strength to move forward.
He went on to say, “Our mind needs nourishment each day to mature.” To find nourishment, he emphasized that we should visit the church we belong to and perform the service there, in addition to listening to the teachings and accounts of God’s blessings. He also said that we should strive to connect our hearts with God in our daily lives. He continued by saying that those living far away from their respective churches can visit a nearby church for worship and learn more about God the Parent and Oyasama by reading Tenrikyo publications such as the Tenri Jiho newspaper. In this way, he said, “They can hear the voice of the Parent that is applicable to their own life’s situations.”
He concluded his sermon by saying, “Let us make continued efforts to bring ourselves closer and closer to God’s intention, encourage and help one another, and thereby take great strides toward the realization of the Joyous Life World.”
(This article was expanded and revised on June 20, 2017.)