Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted its August Monthly Service on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding. On the day of the Service, there was a cool wind sweeping through the Sanctuary precincts and red dragonflies hovering in the sky, both of which heralded the approach of autumn.
At 9:00 a.m., the Shinbashira and other Service performers left the Staff Quarters for the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall to pay their respects amid the solemn sounds of gagaku music before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary.
Expressing appreciation for God’s blessings and guidance, the Shinbashira said in the Service prayer, “We are especially grateful for Your blessings that enabled us to hold our annual summer events in the Home of the Parent―including the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba and the High School Division of the Students Training Course―without any major troubles.” He continued, “We Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku are determined to devote our sincerity to spreading the teachings widely to the world, leading people to the path whereby they can truly become joyful, and working toward the Joyous Life World, which is in accord with God’s intention.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then performed joyously while the followers joined together in singing the Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service.
Following the Service performance, Honbu-in Mantaro Yoshikawa took the podium to deliver the sermon. He started off by saying that Oyasama not only demonstrated the Divine Model through Her own example but also conveyed the truth of God the Parent to people in a manner that was suitable for their level of spiritual growth and led them to the path that could truly save them. Quoting a few stories from Anecdotes of Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo, he pointed out: “It was the path to save others that Oyasama taught to the people who came to Her asking for help with their own illnesses or problems within their families. . . . Oyasama taught them that telling others about the joy and deep emotions they felt when they were saved would help to save others. This is how one can transform the mind that desires the salvation of oneself to the mind that prays for the salvation of others.”
He then emphasized, “In order to keep firmly in mind the day of origin when we were saved and to make repayment for the blessings, nothing is more important for us Yoboku than devoting ourselves to this path, following Oyasama’s Divine Model earnestly, implementing the teachings taught by Oya-sama in our daily lives, and conveying the teachings to ever greater numbers of people.” He noted that the way Yoboku should strive to live is to make daily efforts to become useful instruments contributing to Oyasama’s work of world salvation.
Looking back on the day of origin of his faith as a fourth-generation follower, Rev. Yoshikawa said: “We are fortunate to borrow our healthy bodies from God the Parent and play a role in God’s work. Needless to say, this is only possible because of the blessings of God the Parent and Oyasama. But at the same time, we must remember that it is also due to the seeds of sincerity sown by our predecessors.” He added, “I have renewed my resolution that I will sincerely walk the path of making repayment for the blessings of God throughout my life and will ensure my family does the same through generations to come.”
After referring to a passage from the Shinbashira’s Spring Grand Service sermon, he concluded his sermon by encouraging the followers, “Let us continue to work with a spirited and sincere mind so that we will be able to be useful in God’s work as long as possible.”