The December Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was performed on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary, with Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama serving as chief officiant on behalf of the Shinbashira.
In his Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama expressed gratitude to God the Parent for the parental love that guided us toward the path of further spiritual growth by giving us instructions on various occasions throughout the past year. Continuing, he said: “All of us Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku are determined to make further progress in our spiritual growth by building upon the efforts we have made this year. We will exert our utmost sincerity in making repayment for God’s blessings so as to further spread the path of single-hearted salvation throughout the world.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Honbu-in Tadao Tosa took the podium to deliver the sermon.
Rev. Tosa began his sermon by touching upon the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba and the Students Training Course, both of which are held annually. He then pointed to the need to nurture young people who are to carry the path forward in the future. This initiative, he said, requires those who are in the position of nurturing the younger generation to be attentive to their needs and show by example how to follow the path while patiently looking after them. Continuing, he said: “Young people can only make make progress in their spiritual growth if we make strenuous efforts to provide them with care and guidance for an extended period. The path can only spread further and continue into the future if we provide care for the younger generation with a big, open heart in the hope of helping them to cultivate the mind of sincerity that desires the salvation of others.”
By referring to an excerpt from The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo, Rev. Tosa then talked about how Rev. Izo Iburi, the Honseki, exerted his utmost sincerity in dedicating himself to the work of the Residence. Rev. Tosa then said: “Oyasama demonstrated for us the Divine Model and the ‘measure of heaven’ through Her actions as well as Her spoken and written words. Rev. Iburi kept the teachings in his heart throughout his lifetime and followed the path by dedicating the full measure of true sincerity.” Rev. Iburi is our role model, Rev. Tosa added.
Toward the end of his sermon, Rev. Tosa stressed that now is the season to make ever greater efforts to guide and nurture the next generation of the path. After noting that the mission of Yoboku is to perform the service and administer the Sazuke, he concluded his sermon by calling on members of the congregation to guide and nurture the successors of the path including their own children.