On January 26, the Spring Grand Service was conducted at Tenrikyo Church Headquarters with Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama serving as chief officiant on behalf of the Shinbashira. The Grand Service commemorates the day when Oyasama withdrew from physical life—namely, the lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887.
In the Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama first expressed his gratitude to God the Parent for creating the world and human beings to see us lead the Joyous Life and share in that joy, for nurturing us with unchanging parental love, and for constantly guiding us on the path of spiritual growth. Continuing, he said: “All of us followers will straightforwardly follow Oyasama’s Divine Model as we continue to make efforts to become capable of providing people around us with a convincing insight into the truth of the teachings through the way we live. We are determined to exert our utmost sincerity in conveying the intention of our true Parent to those who are suffering from various problems and thereby helping them take a step forward on the path of true salvation.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Zensuke Nakata took the podium to deliver the sermon.
Rev. Nakata first spoke about the parental heart of Oyasama, who is working for us human beings by virtue of Her eternal life. “I believe that the sense of security that Her eternal life gives us is one of the driving forces for us to continue following the path,” said Rev. Nakata, adding, “If our minds are settled to lean on Her, Oyasama will always stay by our side with a warm heart and continue to work for us far into the future.” He then touched upon the importance of following Oyasama’s model path in anticipation of Her anniversary by saying, “It is important for each of us to critically reflect upon what it entails for us followers to walk on the path of the Divine Model in the present world and thereby set concrete goals.”
Rev. Nakata moved on to talk about the “three years, one thousand days” season leading up to the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama, a season that would begin in exactly one year’s time. In speaking about the significance of observing the anniversary, he said, “It is important for those of us who are in the leadership positions such as church head ministers to take the initiative to settle the significance of the anniversary in our hearts and cultivate our minds as we prepare to make a resolution for the anniversary.” Toward the end of his sermon, Rev. Nakata shared his hope for the pre-anniversary season by saying, “Let us pledge together to the everliving Oyasama that those of us who are aware of the significance of the anniversary will settle our minds as soon as we are able so that this season will gradually develop into a tremendous opportunity for us to make ever further spiritual growth in unity of mind.”