The May Monthly Service was conducted on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant.
In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira first said: “We Service performers as well as church head ministers and Yoboku are truly grateful that we are able to go through each day in your warm parental embrace. We are resolved to cultivate the spirit of single-heartedness with God in all circumstances as demonstrated in Oyasama’s Divine Model, devote our utmost sincerity to sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and engaging in salvation work, and dedicate ourselves in the cause of the path of single-hearted salvation.” He then said: “The recent heart-rending incidents occurring in the world bring to mind the Divine Direction that says, ‘You must look at the path of daily life and ponder.’ Bearing this Divine Direction in mind, we are determined to ponder deeply over the truth behind all events that occur, discipline ourselves by refraining from any misuse of the freedom of the mind, and follow the path in a manner that is acceptable in the eyes of Oyasama.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then performed joyously while the followers joined in singing the songs for the Service.
After the Service, Honbu-in Yoshikazu Yamamoto took the lectern to deliver his sermon. After speaking on the current social conditions that are becoming increasingly bewildering, he said, “Now is the seasonable time to get to work on the tasks of single-hearted salvation.” He went on to say, “The story of the creation of humankind and the world is an important story containing truths we must familiarize ourselves with in order to understand the truth of universal salvation.” Furthermore, Rev. Yamamoto spoke about the Kagura Service, while quoting from The Life of Oyasama, the Ofudesaki, and the lectures given by the second Shinbashira at the 16th Doctrinal Seminar. “The source of universal salvation is the Jiba of Origin,” he said. “After receiving the truth of the Kagura Service performed at the Jiba, it is important for us to return to our churches and exert efforts in the service performance as well as in our daily life so that God the Parent will become spirited.”
Rev. Yamamoto went on to mention how the memories of the day of origin of our family’s faith tend to fade with the passing of time, and after a few generations, we become more likely to be swept along by the worldly norms. He cautioned the audience by saying: “It is not only the people in society at large who tend to focus their lives on human thinking and material goods. We followers of the path, too, can easily end up choosing a path of convenience and comfort if we let down our guard.” In order to avoid choosing such a path, he urged the audience to implement the teachings without becoming complacent. He added that by implementing the teachings one by one, our thoughts and actions will naturally change for the better.
He concluded his sermon by saying: “Let us make a concerted effort to live up to God the Parent’s expectations by taking a steady step toward becoming exemplary models of the Joyous Life.”