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 the Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama first reflected upon various issues and problems that have been shown to us across the world over the past year, including the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on our lives in society, rising tensions between countries as well as regional conflicts, and natural disasters. Continuing, he said: “All of us followers will reflect upon ourselves in light of Oyasama’s Divine Model as we look back on the past year. We are determined to strive to advance on the path of world salvation in the coming year in the hope that God the Parent will become ever more spirited.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Honbu-in Hiroaki Yamazawa took the podium to deliver the sermon.
Rev. Yamazawa began by noting that, as we face the great knot posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to make efforts to grow spiritually by facing God the Parent and Oyasama with an open heart, taking a fresh look at the foundation of our faith, and thinking about what kind of salvation work we can do under the current circumstances as well as implementing it starting with whatever we can.
Referring to The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo, Rev. Yamazawa moved on to speak about historical facts pertaining to the day of origin of the founding of the Teaching, when Oyasama was settled as the Shrine of Tsukihi. He noted that the intention of God the Parent that we have learned through the mouth of Oyasama represents God’s parental love for all children, the parental love that desires to see us children grow spiritually as quickly as we can.
Rev. Yamazawa then shared his view that committing ourselves to doing hinokishin starting with whatever we can is one way to respond to Oyasama’s deep parental love. He then said, “As we embark on a new journey while going through the COVID pandemic, we would like to revisit the fundamental meaning of hinokishin and settle it deep in our heart.”