Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted the May Monthly Service on the 26th, with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. The day in the Home of the Parent was blessed with clear skies as well as pleasant breezes.
Shortly before 9:00 A.M., the Shinbashria and other Service performers left the Staff Quarters for the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall to pay their respects before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary.
In the prayer, the Shinbashira first expressed his gratitude for the unchanging parental heart embodied in the daily blessings. He then said: “We Service performers as well as church head ministers and Yoboku will work tirelessly on constructing the mind, follow the path of the Divine Model straightforwardly, and strive to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and engage in salvation work with bright and spirited minds. We are also determined to devote ourselves to the tasks of the present season and strive to carry out those tasks in high spirits.”
This was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. The followers attending the Service joined in singing the songs for the Service.
Then, Honbu-in Koji Masui took the podium to deliver the sermon. He first talked about God the Parent’s providence in the creation of humankind and the world as well as the parental heart of the everliving Oyasama. He continued: “We followers who inherited the faith from our predecessors should first settle in our hearts the truth of ‘a thing lent, a thing borrowed’ and realize that we are being guided through each day, receiving wonderful blessings. Keeping our minds filled with utmost gratitude for these blessings, let us follow the path to make repayment for them. . . . Let us make sure that the faith we inherited from our parents will be passed down to the next generation.”
Rev. Masui then referred to two anecdotes from Anecdotes of Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo, namely, “No. 16: The Child’s Concern for the Parent” and “No. 137: A Single Word.” After quoting the passage from the Kakisage that reads, “One thing more, if there is the truth of sincerity alone in the mind of each of you, complete harmony will come to your families, the one truth will settle,” he stressed that it is important for a family or a couple to share the same faith. He then said: “In today’s society where there is a deepening sense of confusion, the ties of a family are increasingly weakened. I believe that it is people’s selfish concern for themselves that is causing this weakening of the family ties. By way of setting a good example for families, let us strive to guide them so that they may enjoy living a joyous life.”
Basing himself on the Osashizu, The Divine Directions, and the Mikagura-uta, The Songs of the Service, Rev. Masui talked about how followers should handle their minds and live each day as followers of the path. He emphasized the importance of true sincerity in dedicating one’s efforts to single-hearted salvation. He then said, “We followers should visit our churches every day to stay connected to God the Parent and Oyasama.” He concluded by saying: “Expressing our gratitude for God’s daily blessings, we should sow seeds of sincerity and accumulate virtue. We should also devote our sincerity to sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and engaging in salvation work. Let us reflect our joy of faith to other people and engage in the precious work of helping others in high spirits.”