The June Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was conducted in the Main Sanctuary on the morning of the 26th with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. The weather had been hot since the onset of the rainy season, indicating that midsummer was not far off, and the day of the Service was no exception, with the temperature reaching a high of over 30°C (86°F). Many of the followers arriving at the Main Sanctuary were using parasols or wearing hats to keep the strong sunlight off their faces.
Shortly before 9:00 A.M., the Shinbashira and the other Service performers left the Staff Quarters to pay respects at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary.
The Shinbashira began the Service prayer by expressing our gratitude for God the Parent’s daily guidance that helps us work toward the Joyous Life. He went on to say, “We Service performers as well as church head ministers and Yoboku are resolved to make sincere efforts to fulfill our roles and tasks, sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings, and engage in salvation work, always bringing to mind God’s parental love embodied in the Ofudesaki verse ‘If only your mind is truly accepted by Tsukihi, you will be assured of any salvation whatever'(Ofudesaki VIII:45).”
Following the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements, Honbu-in Tadao Tosa took the podium to deliver the sermon.
Rev. Tosa first quoted from the Shinbashira’s sermon at last year’s Autumn Grand Service: “We must also take to heart once again not only the Parent’s intention embodied in the path but also the Divine Model demonstrated by Oyasama so that we Yoboku may correct what needs to be corrected in our attitude of mind and our way of performing our tasks and, thereby, start the next part of our journey toward the realization of the Joyous Life World with a fresh mind.” He then spoke about the Teaching’s day of origin, the path of Oyasama’s fifty-year Divine Model, and the day of origin of Oyasama’s anniversaries, quoting from The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, the Ofudesaki, and the Osashizu. After explaining Oyasama’s parental love that single-heartedly desires to save all people throughout the world?parental love that urged the followers to perform the Service and led Her to bestow the truth of the Sazuke?he commented: “It is the Service and the Sazuke that constitute the path of salvation for the entire world. That is why Oyasama urged the followers to perform the Service even by going to the extent of shortening Her physical term of life. We should become clearly aware of Her parental love embodied in it.”
He went on to say: “The Service was taught by Oyasama in order to bring about universal salvation, which includes freedom from illness and all other problems. The Service is indeed the foundation of the single-hearted salvation that will allow for eternal blessings.” He added that it is important not only to perform the service but also to nurture new Yoboku to the point where they become service performers at the monthly services of their local churches.
Then basing himself on the Besseki lecture, Rev. Tosa encouraged the listeners to implement the teachings in their daily life, saying, “When we rely on the Divine Model of Oyasama without allowing our spirits to fall and implement Oyasama’s intention day by day, we will surely become a model person who can convince others by sprinkling an attractive fragrance of the teachings on those around us, and we can be shown all the free and unlimited workings of God the Parent.”
He then pointed out the significance of making repayment for God the Parent’s daily blessings by saying: “The way of making repayment that can bring the greatest joy to God the Parent is to help others be saved and convey God the Parent’s intention to them. In order to help us do so, Oyasama bestows the truth of the Sazuke, the Divine Grant, upon us.” He then emphasized that the mission entrusted to Yoboku is to administer the Sazuke without missing any opportunity.
To conclude, Rev. Tosa referred to the “Seminar for Successors” that had been held from the year before last to last year and the slogan “Let’s visit our churches with our families,” which the Women’s Association, the Young Men’s Association, and the Boys and Girls Association are jointly promoting. “Now is the time to redouble our efforts to provide care and nurture for the young who will succeed to the path. Whether or not the Tenrikyo community as a whole can seriously work on the task of nurturing the young at the present time will have a significant influence on the future state of the path in 10 or 20 years’ time,” he said. He called on the listeners to commit themselves to performing the service and administering the Sazuke as well as nurturing the successors who will shoulder the future path as we move toward the next milestone on our journey to spiritual maturity.