The August Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was conducted on the 26th with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant.
Great numbers of followers attended the Service despite the August heat wave that brought record-breaking temperatures to Japan, and many of them came with their families since the 26th fell on the last Sunday of the children’s summer vacation.
In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira referred to the Seminar for Successors, which was scheduled to start in two days’ time. He said: “Our aim is to train young followers–all of whom had the causality to be drawn to this path–so that they will be sure to succeed to the path laid by Oyasama, implement the teachings with conviction, and attain a level of spiritual growth that will allow them to play a significant role in the construction of the Joyous Life World.”
Following the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Teodori, the Dance with Hand Movements, Honbu-in Seitaro Yamada delivered the sermon. After drawing the listeners’ attention to the many activities being conducted for young people at the Home of the Parent, such as the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, the Students Training Course, and the Seminar for Successors, he commented: “Although young people are being given many opportunities to learn about the teachings at Jiba, it is of utmost importance that their training be continued even after they go home. Therefore, I want to ask their head ministers and the senior Yoboku at their churches to provide them with careful guidance and thorough training.”
Reminding the congregation that this year, being the 170th year of the Teaching, is a significant juncture at which we are being asked to return our thoughts to the origin and take fresh strides, Rev. Yamada went on to narrate the events that occurred on the day of origin of the Teaching. After highlighting the crucial nature of the resolution made by Oyasama’s husband when he offered Her to God the Parent on October 26, 1838, Rev. Yamada stressed that our resolution, likewise, should be made by trusting completely in God, settling God’s intention in our mind, and offering ourselves to God both in body and mind.
Quoting from The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo and the Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service, Rev. Yamada spoke about the mind of greed. He said: “Oyasama’s Divine Model demonstrates a use of the mind that is always ‘giving,’ whereas we human beings tend to rely on a use of the mind that is always ‘wanting’ or ‘grasping.’ We should, therefore, constantly reflect upon our use of the mind by asking ourselves whether we might be using our mind in this mistaken manner.”
Rev. Yamada concluded his sermon by saying: “If we can just forget the mind of greed, the darkness in our mind will disappear, giving way to joy and brightness. That joy and brightness is the essence of Oyasama’s Divine Model and is what we are seeking to attain. With that joy and brightness in our mind, let us follow the path of single-hearted salvation and make sincere efforts to bring many people back to Jiba on October 26, when we will be conducting the Autumn Grand Service for the 170th year of the Teaching.”