The May Monthly Service was conducted on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. The Home of the Parent was blessed with clear skies on that day. Many of the worshipers were wearing masks as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the new H1N1 influenza.
The Shinbashira ascended the dais in the Main Sanctuary to read the Service prayer. He began by saying: “We are taught that ‘the world is a mirror.’ Pondering deeply over the present state of the world and the various events we are shown in our lives, we Service performers as well as church head ministers and Yoboku will reflect critically upon ourselves and correct the orientation of our minds, and we will continue working on the construction of our minds so that we will not bring any regret to the Parent. We are committed to sweeping away the dust of the mind and being single-hearted with God in all situations, and each and every one of us is resolved to devote our sincerity to the reconstruction of the world by sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and engaging in salvation work in unity of mind.” He concluded the prayer by saying, “I pray that You will provide us with guidance so that the minds of all people in the world will be awakened to the teachings of the Parent and the replacement of their minds will lead to the reconstruction of the world, thus allowing all humankind to live in true joy and harmony.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then performed spiritedly while the followers joined in singing the songs for the Service with their joyous minds in unison.
After the Service, Honbu-in Yoshiaki Uno delivered the sermon. After speaking about the identification of Jiba, which took place on the lunar calendar date of May 26, 1875, he talked about some of the footsteps that Oyasama took on the path of the Divine Model. He then shared some defining moments that shaped his life of faith as a young man, such as when his father pointedly asked him one day, “Do you have a strong yearning for Oyasama?” and when a venerable Honbu-in put him on the spot by inquiring, “What sort of things do you tell Oyasama every morning?” After explaining how an elderly woman he happened to meet in the Foundress’ Sanctuary was able to resolve her troubles simply by listening to his explanation of the role that Yoboku are expected to play, he said, “Chance encounters and opportunities for mutual help gradually strengthened my yearning for Oyasama, and now I can say that I do, in fact, yearn for Oyasama with all my heart.”
Rev. Uno then described the final hardship of imprisonment that Oyasama underwent in 1886 and spoke about an entry his mother had made in her diary after witnessing truckloads of police officers arrive at the Residence in 1935, when they conducted a search of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters on trumped up charges. He went on to say, “When those of us living in this day and age give serious thought to the path of the Divine Model that Oyasama demonstrated for our benefit and recall how the successive Shinbashiras and our other predecessors strove to follow the path with unwavering faith, we will find courage, confidence, and a sense of mission naturally welling up in our hearts.”
He concluded the sermon by saying: “We must have this yearning for Oyasama and be committed to spreading the joy of faith to the whole world. Let’s strive spiritedly to carry out the tasks of the path so that this yearning and commitment will fill the minds of all followers and become the motivating force that takes us to the next milestone in our spiritual growth.”