The last Monthly Service for the 165th year of Tenrikyo was conducted at Church Headquarters on December 26 with the Shinbashira presiding.
In his prayer, the Shinbashira touched on the steps we took during the outgoing year–a year in which we not only laid the groundwork for our spiritual construction in preparation for the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama but also aligned our priorities to accord with the message contained in Instruction Two. Then, for the upcoming new year, the Shinbashira made a firm pledge to God the Parent on behalf of all followers: “When we consider Your anxiousness over humankind’s future and Your haste to save all people throughout the world, particularly in this day and age when there is mounting uncertainty and confusion in the world, we are jolted into realizing that now, more than ever before, we have no choice but to teach the Origin and sprinkle the fragrance of our True Parent, and thereby make headway in building a new world. . . . We Yoboku are equally committed to purifying our minds and working spiritedly to build a joyous world.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then performed joyously while the followers joined in singing the songs for the Service.
Following the Service performance, Honbu-in Yoshikazu Terada delivered the sermon. He told the congregation, “God the Parent is the One who effects world salvation, but it is we Yoboku who must serve as God the Parent’s instruments in performing the various tasks of world salvation.” Quoting from the Scriptures and Oyasama’s teachings, he went on to explain what constitutes a genuine Yoboku. “The Yoboku,” he said, “base their daily lives on the directions given in the Kakisage. Instruction Two also cites a passage from the Kakisage, which instructs us to deepen the mind of sincerity. . . . We Yoboku are to perform the tasks of single-hearted salvation while maintaining this mind of sincerity that seeks the salvation of others at all costs.” He went on to say: “The path of sincerity is the path of Oyasama’s Divine Model, and what makes us genuine Yoboku is our single-hearted reliance on Oyasama, whereby we place our absolute trust in what She taught us and our wholehearted faith in the workings She continues to provide for us.”
Honbu-in Terada closed his sermon by outlining the steps that would enable us to follow the Divine Model of Oyasama in this day and age. The first of these steps, he suggested, is to humbly accept “the voice of the Parent” and focus our thoughts and actions on fulfilling the duties that come with our respective positions. Then, having thus attained a firm basis for our individual faith, he continued, we will be in a position to bring a ray of light into our troubled world by sharing the delight of the Joyous Life with others. By taking these firm and steady steps to serve as instruments in furthering the cause of world salvation, we would in fact, he maintained, be following the Divine Model of Oyasama.