The December Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was performed on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary.
Serving as chief officiant on behalf of the Shinbashira, who is recuperating, Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama said in the Service prayer: “This year has seen the Young Men’s Association hold its convention commemorating the 100th anniversary of its establishment on October 28. On that occasion, many followers of the path shared in the joy that was generated by the spiritedness of young men of the path. On the other hand, we were also shown numerous natural disasters including earthquakes, torrential rains, extreme heatwaves, and typhoons. Considering them as signs shown through the body of God, we will continue our efforts with a renewed sense of determination to let go of our human thinking, cleanse our hearts, and come closer to God the Parent’s intention, which is centered on single-hearted salvation.”
Continuing, he said: “All of us Yoboku, including the church head ministers, will reflect upon this past year so as to make further progress in advancing the path of single-hearted salvation in the coming year. We will renew our commitment to single-heartedly following the path to make repayment for God’s blessings by sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and engaging in salvation work.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Honbu-in Yoshitaro Fukaya took the podium to deliver the sermon.
Rev. Fukaya began his sermon by speaking on the subject of “time,” which is finite and passes at its own pace, not at a pace we would like. He noted that we followers can use our time for God’s work through performing hinokishin and sowing the seeds of sincerity in the spirit embodied in the efforts of our early predecessors of the path as described in Anecdotes of Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo.
Moreover, he shared some of his own experiences to highlight the importance of making full use of seasonal times, sowing the seeds of sincerity, and cultivating virtue. He concluded his sermon by encouraging all followers to keep walking on the path of spiritual growth in the course of everyday life by aiming to achieve, within the limited time we have, the goals and resolutions we each set for each season.