Honjima Grand Church Spring Grand Service Sermon
January 22, 2017 (Tenrikyo 181)
Let us raise our consciousness of making repayment
to God for the blessings we receive,
and proceed towards the Joyous Life
Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister
Tenrikyo Honjima Grand Church
Goals for Spiritual Maturity in 2018
Let us raise our consciousness of making repayment to God for the blessings we receive, and proceed towards the Joyous Life.
“Let us pledge to keep in mind the spirit of ‘restoration’ to work toward the exact faith as taught by Oyasama and to apply The Doctrine of Tenrikyo in our daily lives to help us to run our churches and live in accord with the teachings. Let us also pledge that we will utilize the Life of Oyasama to follow the Divine Model.”(Shinbashira’s Sermon at the Autumn Grand Service on Oct. 26, 2017)
- Let us actively practice the Joyous Life on a daily basis
- Let us re-learn the Teachings
- Let us nurture those who will shoulder the future of the path
Activities to promote
- Let us read the Tenri Jiho Newspaper, English Newsletter “Tenrikyo” (Overseas Dept), Dendocho Newsletter, Honjima News (online), etc.
- Let us make “Daily Donations (Nichi-Nichi-no-Ri)”
- Let us nurture people to attend the Besseki lectures
- Let us promote participation in the “Young Men’s Association 100th Anniversary Convention”
- Let us promote and nurture people to attend the “Seminar for Successors”
As with last year, I have “repayment for blessings” at the beginning. I would like for us to live everyday being aware of repaying God’s blessings, remembering that we are aiming for the ultimate goal of the Joyous Life.
The following Shinbashira’s quote is from the very last part of his Autumn Grand Service Sermon where summarizes his talk.
Regarding the “restoration” mentioned here, the second Shinbashira stated as follows:
“The ‘restoration’ is our heart’s desire to return to and crystallize the aspects of our faith as taught by Oyasama.” (“Sermons and Addresses by the Shinbashira” Volume 26, 1966) [Trial translation]
“Indeed, the words ‘restoration’ and ‘recovery’ are not identical in meaning. ‘Restoration’ doesn’t mean to return to the former state or be steeped in nostalgia. I strongly believe that the efforts to investigate the origin thoroughly and to seek the roots are what make the restoration significant and gives it vitality.” (From the preface of “Fukugen” published in April, 1946) [Trial translation]
There was an era when the three divine scriptures (Ofudesaki, Mikagura Uta and Divine Directions) could not be presented to the public because of such things as the war. The Second Shinbashira published these scriptures after the war ended, so I think it was easy to mistake “restoration” for “recovery” at the time.
However the Second Shinbashira did not merely publish the scriptures to allow us to be able to read them. Through the “restoration” of the scriptures, he allowed us to be able to unite our minds just as when Oyasama was physically present and we were able to physically see her.
First of all, the mind dedicated to salvation sprouts from a kind heart. When we apply our effort toward saving others, gradually the disposition that harbors bad habits will disappear. When we are troubled and at the brink of falling, instead of carrying the burden alone, and especially at such times, we must hear the words of Oyasama within our mind’s ear. If we follow the path exactly as She teaches, we can never go wrong. Let us believe this firmly as we continue to follow the path.
In the Anecdotes of Oyasama, there are the following words:
“Welcome home! Soon he will be saved. Out of respect for your devotion to your father, he will be saved.” (From the Anecdotes of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo #62 “East from Here”)
Oyasama is watching over us at all times and sees through everything. Here, Oyasama teaches us that God the Parent grants salvation to a person due to another’s filial piety for that person. Ojiba is a place to rejoice, not to cry. It is important to always feel delight and joy when we return to Jiba.
(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)