May 22, 2020 / Tenrikyo 183
Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon (Summary)
Let us refine our mind, practice the teachings, and follow the Divine Model
Rev. Kanta Katayama
Grand Church Head Minister
As the Covid-19 continues to spread, many members were not able to attend the grand church monthly service this month again despite their will to attend. However, although we had limited number of service performers, we were able to perform the service with our minds focused together. Thank you very much.
On January 4 this year, during his new years greetings, the Shinbahira spoke to us directly for the first time in two years. After listening to his message, there were two key words that remained vividly in my mind. One is “basic” and the other is “inertia”. Aren’t we undertaking our activities unthinkingly by force of habit, being caught in the customary forms, forgetting its original purpose or goal? I thought we may have been overwhelmed by inertia.
Presently, at the Main Sanctuary at Church Headquarters, in order to prevent spread of infection, during the day, people are permitted to enter only the South Worship Hall, while the East, West, and North Worship Halls are closed. All halls are open only during the morning and evening service times.
Moreover, during these two months, new registrations into the Spiritual Development Course (Shuyoka), Minister’s Qualification Course, and Three Day Courses have been stopped. This summer’s Children Pilgrimage to Jiba, Students Spiritual Development Course High School Division and other activities have been canceled.
Even so, there are a few programs that are still open. They include, “Grant of Safe Childbirth,” “Proof Amulet,” and the Besseki lectures. And thankfully, the Grant of the Sazuke is still being bestowed and the number of recipients is increasing each day.
Further, we are able to attend the morning and evening services.
Through Grant of Safe Childbirth, Oyasama was able to broaden the Path to universal salvation, in allowing women to experience a safe childbirth and delivery. Through the Proof Amulet, we can settle our minds on the teachings, as we are taught that “the protection of our minds is the protection of our bodies.”
The duties of a Yoboku is to perform the service and administer the Sazuke. In present times, it may seem difficult to administer the Sazuke. However we are able to sincerely perform the service.
Within the Eight Verses of Yorozuyo there is a verse that says,
“If you wish to hear and will come to Me,”
“Will come to Me,” means to pay a visit to Jiba, yet for some reasons the hand gesture that accompanies this verse points towards one’s own chest. This is my own interpretation, but aren’t we Yoboku the ones who stands between the people of the world and Jiba (God the Parent)? In order to fulfill that responsibility, it is important that we first firmly connect our minds with Jiba, and distribute our hearts out to the world.
The 2nd Shinbashira used to encourage us to grow spiritually and become Yoboku who can respond to a question, “What is the teaching of Tenrikyo,” by saying “Please take a look at me.”
So that we can connect Jiba and people of the world, let us strive to grow spiritually by refining our minds, put the teachings into action, and follow the Divine Model.
The foundation of salvation work in our teachings seems to be included in the following—Grant of Safe Childbirth, Proof Amulet, morning and evening services, the Besseki Lectures, and the Truth of the Sazuke.
In order for us to get where we need to be, there are various Association activities as well as lectures/seminars/workshops. These activities aim to save people’s minds. However, if we forget the true purpose of conducting these activities, it is regretful. Further, it seems that God the Parent is pointing out the important aspects of salvation work through this virus crisis.
(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)