The June Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was conducted on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant.
The Shinbashira began the Service prayer by expressing gratitude for the boundless blessings through which God the Parent constantly watches over us and guides us to the Joyous Life. He then pledged that all church head ministers and Yoboku would ponder over everything from the standpoint of single-heartedness with God, set an example of implementing the Joyous Life in their own lives, and apply themselves wholeheartedly to serving as Oyasama’s instruments by sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and engaging in salvation work and by making every effort to nurture and train successors of the path.
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. The followers joined in the performance by singing the songs for the Service with their minds in unison.
After the Service performance, Honbu-in Hidekazu Kita took the podium to deliver the sermon. After pointing out that people unfamiliar with the teachings are under the impression that the body is something that belongs to them, he quoted two Ofudesaki verses that clearly teach that the body is actually something human beings borrow from God the Parent: “All human bodies are things lent by God. With what thought are you using them?” and “So long as you remain unknowing that the body is a thing borrowed, you can understand nothing at all” (III:41, 137). The speaker then elaborated on the fundamental teaching of “a thing lent, a thing borrowed.”
Stressing the importance of passing down salvation stories, Honbu-in Kita told the congregation that his grandmother, whose life had been in danger when she was young, was saved through the salvation work of Rin Masui (a renowned disciple of Oyasama) and lived until the age of 91. In the same vein, he reminded the listeners that the Honseki, Izo Iburi, took every opportunity to tell and retell the story of how Oyasama had saved his wife. “We must always remember the precious blessings of salvation that were shown to our families and forebears,” he said, “and, at the very least, pass those stories down to our children and grandchildren.”
Next, Honbu-in Kita told the listeners how his recovery from an illness enabled him to feel genuine gratitude in the depths of his heart and how that sense of gratitude has led him to voice words of appreciation for whatever happens. Explaining that the early followers made a habit of saying how blessed they were or how grateful they were, he suggested that such a habit could be an effective technique to maintain a constant awareness of the precious blessings we receive.
Honbu-in Kita closed his sermon by saying that he intended to continue telling people the story of how Rin Masui helped his grandmother to be saved and, keeping that story always close to his heart, he would try to make progress in following the example shown by Rin Masui.