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. As a measure to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, only the Service performers, the heads of directly supervised churches and dioceses, and head ministers from designated churches were allowed to attend the Service inside the Main Sanctuary.
In the Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama first reflected upon how the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus over the past year caused the Tenrikyo community to take various measures such as canceling events and activities or conducting them with restrictions. Continuing, he said: “Assembled before You are the Service performers and other designated followers who are attending the Service in the Main Sanctuary representing all other followers. I ask that You, God the Parent, become spirited by looking upon the way they sincerely express their gratitude for the profound blessings and guidance they received from You over the past year as well as how they earnestly pray for an end to the ongoing uncertainty. All of us followers will look back on the past year and ponder over the progress we have made in light of the Divine Model. We are determined to exert our utmost for further spiritual growth in a way that will allow us to have buds sprout from the knot.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Honbu-in Hiroyoshi Shimamura took the podium to deliver the sermon.
In his sermon, Rev. Shimamura quoted from the Shinbashira’s 2020 New Year’s Address as well as his sermon delivered at the 130th anniversary of Oyasama. He then spoke about how important it is for Yoboku to always keep in mind the day of origin of their faith in their daily lives as well as to firmly settle the mind of making repayment as they walk on the path of the Divine Model. It is important for them to share the joy and wonderfulness of the faith with their children and grandchildren if they are to pass on the faith to the younger generation, he said. Rev. Shimamura then reflected upon the way Tenrikyo’s activities were conducted during the coronavirus pandemic and noted how followers of the path need to perform the service wholeheartedly to pray for a settling in the world as well as engage in salvation work and hinokishin starting with whatever they can.
Toward the end of his sermon, Rev. Shimamura stressed the importance of cultivating our virtue in a way that will allow God the Parent and Oyasama to accept it and thereby work for us, especially as we face the major knot that we are currently shown. He concluded his sermon by calling the congregation to pay attention to people around us as they set concrete goals for their activities and thereby make sincere dedication and contribution as well as sow seeds of sincerity in a way that will be accepted by God the Parent.