September Monthly Service Performed Joyously

The September Monthly Service was performed in the Main Sanctuary of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters on the morning of the 26th. The Service began with the Shinbashira’s prayer in which he expressed appreciation for the constant blessings that God the Parent bestows on humankind. He then said: “We will devote our full measure of sincerity to the Service performance while taking to heart the weighty truth of the Service, which Oyasama was so intent on hastening that She even shortened Her physical term of life by 25 years. In addition, our entire Tenrikyo community is committed to spending this season carrying out our tasks in a unity of minds so that we will be in a position to meet the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama in high spirits.” With regard to Tenrikyo Nioigake Day, which was held later in the week, he prayed, “We Yoboku will be making a concerted effort to bring an awareness of Your intention and Your blessings to as many people as possible in the hope that they will join us in walking the path to the Joyous Life, and we ask You, our Parent, to guide us in this effort.” The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then joyously performed while the congregation spiritedly joined in singing the songs that accompany the Service. Next, Honbu-in Kazuharu Uno took the lectern to deliver the sermon. “We are able to be alive because God the Parent has lent us these splendid bodies, and we are able to be together here today because we have all embraced faith in this path,” he said. “Faith in this path began while Oyasama was still physically present. Thereafter, our predecessors carefully handed the faith down to their children and grandchildren and, fortunately for us, it has continued to be handed down to the present day.” He went on to say, “These days, however, many parents–notwithstanding the strength of their own conviction–are finding themselves unable, or only partially able, to convey the teachings to their children. “The first generation of a family’s faith,” he continued, “were often guided to the faith at times when they were struggling with serious illnesses or desperate circumstances in their lives. Perceiving the causality that had led their families to suffer from such situations, they applied themselves to following the path spiritedly, even if they happened to encounter opposition to their faith. The merit they accumulated made it possible for our faith to be what it is today.” Stressing the need for continuity of faith, he said, “Faith passed down from parent to child and from child to grandchild allows merit to deepen with each generation. Straying from the path after one’s forebears have spent generations building up merit, however, has the effect of undoing God the Parent’s painstaking efforts to help one’s family sever its causality.” As an important means to nurture successors to the path, Rev. Uno suggested that parents accustom their children to going to church and to Jiba while they are still very young. He also advised parents to administer the Sazuke to children whenever they are ill, even for minor physical problems, so as to allow them to grow up with a keen awareness of God the Parent’s wondrous blessings, which sustain and fill their lives.

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