The April Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was performed in the Main Sanctuary on the 26th with the Shinbashira presiding. Azaleas in full bloom welcomed followers who had returned to the Home of the Parent.
At nine o’clock in the morning, the Shinbashira, accompanied by other Service performers, worshiped at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary, where he read the prayer to God the Parent.
In the prayer, the Shinbashira first expressed gratitude to God the Parent for the daily blessings we are receiving amid this seasonable time leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. He also said: “All of us Yoboku, including the church head ministers, are taking the work of building the Joyous Life World as our own concern and we are determined to follow the path of the Divine Model in an unerring manner. In order that each of us may contribute to building the truth that will last through all generations to come, we shall devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the tasks with which we are entrusted during the current season.” He concluded his prayer by saying, “May Your free and unlimited blessings help us sweep dust from people’s minds and heighten their sincerity as we seek to walk together along the path of joyousness, which accords with Your intention.”
Following the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements, Honbu-in Narahiko Nakata took the podium to deliver the sermon. He first pointed out that one of the conditions for the Joyous Life was to appreciate the providence of God the Parent. He then said that Oyasama referred to God the Parent using three different words, that is, Kami (God), Tsukihi (Moon-Sun), and Oya (Parent), in order to teach us human beings the providence of God the Parent. He stressed the truth that we human beings are being kept alive by virtue of God the Parent’s marvelous providence of fire, water, and wind and that we are sustained by the benevolent parental love. Reminding the listeners that it is not enough for us alone to know the providence of God the Parent and be grateful for it, he went on to emphasize the importance of sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and implementing salvation work. After sharing his own experiences in missionary work, he reaffirmed the truth that we are being accompanied by the everliving Oyasama when we go out for salvation work. To conclude his sermon he said: “We must exert ourselves so that we may bring joy and peace of mind to our Parent by being able to show how far we have come and how much we have accomplished. When we sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and implement salvation work, we will surely be shown miraculous blessings.”