The February 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 guides us toward the Joyous Life along the path of single-hearted salvation. Continuing, he said: “All of us Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku will inquire into God the Parent’s intention lying behind unsettling events occurring in the world while reflecting upon how we are following the path. We are resolved to keep our minds connected with Jiba and our churches as we endeavor to fulfill our duties in our respective roles and positions.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Honbu-in Yoshiaki Nakayama took the podium to deliver the sermon.
Rev. Nakayama began his sermon by stressing the importance of engaging with The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, which marked its 70th anniversary since its publication last year. “Going back to The Doctrine of Tenrikyo and having a close reading of it allows us to deepen or reexamine our understanding of the teachings, which are the basics that we need to keep in mind as we follow the faith,” said Rev. Nakayama. He added that studying the teachings in an appropriate manner will lead to a life of faith filled with joy, which will in turn enable us to feel ever more grateful to God the Parent.
Quoting from Lectures on The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, which was authored by the second Shinbashira, Honbu-in Nakayama spoke about how followers of the path should seek to make the joy of faith an essential part of their daily lives. He noted that, when we make genuine efforts to follow the path, God the Parent will watch over us and guide us toward the true path for human beings by showing us knots at various junctures of our journey.
He went on to speak about the teachings of joyous acceptance (tanno) and hinokishin, which are discussed in chapter 8 of The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, “On the Way to the Final Goal.” He emphasized how translating the mind of joyous acceptance into an action of hinokishin can allow us to genuinely feel the joy of following Oyasama’s Divine Model even when we face a knot or a challenging situation. Regarding the importance of expressing our gratitude to God the Parent through hinokishin, Rev. Nakayama noted how expressing our thankfulness through words and actions and repaying the boundless blessings we receive in our daily lives will allow us to make further spiritual growth.
Honbu-in Nakayama then spoke about how the way each of us follows the faith can lead to sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings on the younger generation including our children and grandchildren as well as on those who are not familiar with the path. Rev. Nakayama concluded his sermon by saying, “Let us work together to follow the true path that settles the world by taking actions of joy in high spirits.”