February 2024 Monthly Service

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 the Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama first expressed gratitude to God the Parent for providing us with unchanging providence day and night and thereby protecting and guiding us in our everyday lives out of the desire to see all people throughout the world live the Joyous Life. Continuing, he said: “All of us Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku will renew our commitment by pondering over Your intention behind various occurrences taking place in the life of each of us as well as in the wider world. We are determined to dedicate our utmost sincerity to spreading the fragrance of the teachings and engaging in salvation work while providing nurture and care to our fellow followers as we strive to take further steps to make progress in our spiritual growth.

The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Honbu-in Michihito Hamada took the podium to deliver the sermon.

After quoting from the Shinbashira’s New Year’s Address at the beginning of his sermon, Rev. Hamada shared his thoughts on the recent major earthquakes that struck the Noto Peninsula based on his analysis of how the word “regret” is used in the Ofudesaki. “If we would like God the Parent’s regret to be cleared away,” said Rev. Hamada, “those of us who believe in God the Parent should convey our conviction of faith to those who have yet to embrace the faith.”

Rev. Hamada moved on to speak about his efforts to spread the fragrance of the teachings in the current lead-up to the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama. Noting how spreading the name of God the Parent is one of the most fundamental and traditional ways of spreading the teachings, he touched upon Kokan’s trip to Naniwa (now part of Osaka City) to spread the name of God the Parent as well as his own initiatives. “It may seem that we are only taking small steps through these activities, but I feel quite elated when I think about how the sound of wooden clappers and the voice of spreading the name of God the Parent echo in many corners of the country.”

Toward the end of his sermon, Rev. Hamada said that living the Joyous Life entails being able to live our everyday lives in ways that will allow us to feel joyful about what we may normally take for granted. Noting how making steady efforts to follow the Divine Model of Oyasama in our day-to-day lives may allow our children, grandchildren, and so on to naturally follow in our footsteps, Rev. Hamada stressed how small things we carry out in our everyday lives can serve as a key to passing down our faith to younger generations.

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