Good morning. I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the January Grand Service here at Tenrikyo Pearl Church and thank you for your kind and sincere offerings. I am sure God the Parent and Oyasama is really happy to see you all here today and to have performed the service with joy and in high spirits!
On January 26, 1887, our Foundress, Oyasama withdrew from physical life. To commemorate this day we conduct the January Grand Service. This would be the 125th Anniversary. We cannot see her physically but we believe that Oyasama is “ever-living” working day and night for world salvation. In the Life of Oyasama p. 255 we read:
“Sah, sah, I am still living here. I have not gone anywhere. Ponder over the path of daily life and see My workings.” Osashizu, March 17, 1890
Let's Convey the Mind of Counting Our Blessings to Our Children
In the near the end of Chapter Nine in the Life of Oyasama, we read:
Despite the divinity of Her soul and despite Her being the Shrine of Tsukihi, in order to save humankind who would not walk the path of salvation merely by being taught, Oyasama stood at the forefront Herself and bore every hardship to demonstrate, by Her own life, the Divine Model.
Today we would like to talk about the Divine Model of Oyasama, how we can emulate the Divine Model and how we can convey this to our children, no matter what our circumstances are.
I am sure there is no one who does not expect a happy life for our children. We want our baby to drink a lot of milk, to be nurtured properly and grow up healthy. When they go to school, we want them to do well in school and be a model student. When they are grown, we also wish them to have a good job, a good marriage and happy family. This is the common theme with most people.
However, we cannot always be with them to protect them and nurture them no matter how much we love them. They will eventually become independent and live on their own. But when they encounter hardships, how can they overcome their problems. As a parent we worry over their problems and hardships. Our life is not always, having good things happen. Sometimes we encounter frustrations and things happen that may cause us to be depressed.
I’d like to share a story about Mr. K whose daughter when she was a few months old had a condition in which half of her face didn’t move. After taking her to the hospital, she was diagnosed as having facial paralysis. According to the doctor, there are two causes of this condition: One is some kind of bacteria got into the face and that if they removed the bacteria, it would become alright. The other cause is due to a defective spine which could affect other parts of the body. When Mr. K. heard this, he imagined the worst case scenario, it became very dark in front of him and he panicked. Asked himself, “Why did this happen to only my child?” When he saw other healthy kids, he became so envious of them.
During that time, the former Shinbashira’s wife, came to him and said that she learned about his child’s illness and told him, “Your mind is like a glass window that is clouded. It’s only temporary, so just wipe it and see. There are many things you can be happy about. I’m sure there are many things to be appreciative about. One month later his daughter was discharged with a healthy body. Mr. K. felt that no matter how unfortunate our circumstances may be God is trying to polish our mind. From this problem Mr. K. thought that he must find the joy in his daily life by counting his blessings. He remembered what Mrs. Masa Nakayama said, which was that our minds are just temporarily clouded. We just need to clear it away and become refreshed. In order to clear the cloud and refresh our minds, we must perform the prayer service and by helping others. As a result our mind will be cleared and cleansed naturally. Through his child’s illness, he learned to always look for and count his blessings even for the smallest things and always try to be joyful. It was a great message from God the Parent to learn and be joyful.
Oyasama taught us in the Osashizu, July 15, 1901 (Meiji 34):
If the leader goes astray, everyone else will go astray. If the leader serves in joy each day without going astray, truth will prevail. But if the leader is depressed, depression will prevail. When depression prevails, nothing will come out of it.
We as parents, if we are always complaining and cannot be happy, it is a matter of course that the children won’t follow the Path. So we should nurture our children to believe in Oyasama and rely on God with a happy and appreciative mind, no matter what our adversity. We as parents must walk the walk by going to church and teach and show our children how to nurture the mind of finding joy in everything.
- Happy New Year! I would like to thank everyone for your support given last year. The major activities were the Women’s Association 100th Anniversary and the church exterior repainting. Thank you very much!
- I would like to thank everyone for your support in helping with the MHQ and Pearl Church spring cleaning on December 26 and 27, respectively, mochi pounding on December 30 and your generous New Year offerings. Thank you very much!
- Thank you for bringing your deposit cans and bottles for our fundraising drive. We are still continuing our fundraising efforts for some debt on the repainting supplies and also the help with the Hawaii Convention that’s coming up on May of this year. Please continue bringing your deposit cans and bottles and any yard work referrals. If you haven’t registered yet please do so as soon as possible to take advantage of the early registration discount. If you have financial difficulty in meeting the registration fee, please see me as we may be able to help you up to 50%.
- The BGA annual New Year Park Cleanup and BBQ Picnic will be held on Sunday, January 23 from 10am, please meet at Mission HQ at 9am for prayer service. This is open to everyone; however, please contact me to let me know who is coming so that we may prepare enough food. Meet at MHQ at 9am or go direct to Moiliili Stadium Park by 10am. If you have them, please bring your own cleaning tools such as rakes and dust pans. The LC will from start from the day before on Saturday, January 22, for kids 12 and above.
- The annual Tenri Cultural Center cleanup is scheduled for President’s day February 21 from 9am.