“Introducing the Shinbashira’s Instruction Three” Monthly Sermon November 2012

Thank you all for joining your hearts and minds in performing the October Grand Service here at Tenrikyo Pearl Church. I believe that when we perform the Service spiritedly and in unity, as we have today, God the Parent and Oyasama are truly satisfied with our efforts.

Introducing the Shinbashira’s Instruction Three

On January 26, 2016, we will be commemorating the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama since she withdrew from physical existence and this coming January 26th 2013 will start the three years, one thousand days leading up to the 130th Anniversary.

In order that we may commemorate the Anniversary befitting our spiritual maturity, the Shinbashira presented Instruction Three during this past October Grand Service. As followers of this path, we are reminded to cleanse our hearts as a goal towards the three years, one thousand days.

Let us read it together.

As you can see Instruction Three is easy to understand and is easy for anyone to follow, which is to fulfill our roles as yoboku by taking action in small steps to practice our faith. I would like to go over some points which I feel are important in our spiritual growth.

In the beginning of the instruction, it mentions the significance of January 26, 1887, as the time when Oyasama withdrew from physical life to hasten the people’s spiritual growth and to perform the Service and the legacy of Her 50 year Divine Model. Significance means that we know why we are observing January 26 as a special day. In observing the 130th Anniversary, we cleanse our mind resulting in life free from illness and problems. In addition we can live in a world of peace. That is what Oyasama hopes for.

Being Decisive

Next, on page 2, 2nd paragraph, it says that the “significance of the observing the anniversaries of Oyasama is to respond to Her boundless parental love with decisiveness.” The key word here is “decisiveness.” It means not to be wishy washy. It means to practice the faith with conviction that this is the right thing to do.

Then it says, “this is a season when each and every Yoboku should … accomplish genuine work while striving to follow the Divine Model.” The word “season” doesn’t have too much meaning in Hawaii where we don’t have the four seasons. The climate here is warm year round. But for those who live away from the equator and have the four seasons, it means that there is an urgency; that things need to be accomplished by a certain time. There is a season for sowing the seeds and a season for harvesting. If you miss the season, you will end up starving in the winter. In the same way we are urged to plant the seeds of sincerity during this “season” of the three years, one thousand days leading up to the 130th Anniversary.

Salvation as Your Duty

Next on page 3, 3rd paragraph, it says: It is our duty as people who follow Oyasama’s teachings to work for world salvation by conveying the intention of the true Parent to those who have worries and those with no spiritual guide. The key word here is “duty” If you can perceive this work of salvation as “your duty” then you have come a long way in your spiritual maturity and can begin steps to put your faith into action.

Next on page 5, 2nd paragraph, it says:

Salvation work begins with paying attention to those around us. If we find people who are suffering from illnesses or other problems, let us first pray for a solution, speak proactively to them, and reach out to them. We can administer the Sazuke with utmost sincerity to those who are ill and listen to what is on the minds of those who have worries. We can give support to those people, convey the voice of the Parent to them, and guide them so that they can change the orientation of their minds.

The key words here is “those around us,” meaning our family, relatives, friends, co-workers, classmates, etc. Support them, guide them, bring them to church or to any of the church activities. Our zoo hinokishin or park cleanup hinokishin are excellent avenues to introduce the teachings that help the people “be saved.”

In the Mikagura-uta, Song Three, verse 8, we sing:

There is nothing is so trying as illness;
So from now on, I, too, will devote myself to hinokishin.

Forgetting about our illness and problems, we focus on helping and saving others. In this way we will be saved.

Mr. A, who lives in Nara City, Japan, suffered from tongue cancer. While he was in Ikoi no Ie hospital, he met a Tenrikyo member and our friend Mr. D. He asked Mr. D, “How can I become a member of Tenrikyo?” Mr. D told him to attend the nine lectures of the Besseki. Immediately he attended the Besseki lectures and became a Pearl Church member at the recommendation of our friend Mr. D.  He has since undergone surgery several times to remove parts of his tongue due to the spreading cancer. Due to the surgery, he has difficulty speaking and it’s difficult to understand what he’s saying. But he has a spirit to talk to others and wants to do something to help people. He became more active in doing hinokishin for others and he became very healthy and spirited. He works at a hospital near his home doing minor repairs and maintenance.

Administering the Grant of Sazuke

Next about administering the grant of sazuke… For those of you who are still hesitant and unsure about administering the sazuke. Think about the time that your child is sick and suffering. You want nothing more than to relieve that suffering, no matter what; even to the point of transferring that suffering onto yourself. If you have the Truth of Sazuke, I’m sure you will not hesitate to administer the sazuke to your child. It is that single thought of “wanting to have your child relieved of suffering no matter what,” is the most important thing in administering the sazuke. If you can transfer that thought to any person suffering from illness or injury, you can do the sazuke. The rest is up to God.

As can be seen from Oyasama’s words, “Through saving others, you will be saved.”

Conclusion

Please take this Instruction Three home and read it every day as part of your daily ritual. It will help us to develop discipline and remain focused on preparing ourselves for the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama.

We have listed three important dates that are coming in the future leading up to Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary and I hope that all of you will make efforts to attend the events and also to bring your friends and family as well.

5/17/14 MHQ 60th Anniversary
9/28/14 Pearl Church 80th Anniversary
10/23/15 Tengen 130th Anniversary, 90th as a church

Thank you for your attention.

Announcements

  1. I would like to take a moment of silence in prayer for our dear friend the late Mr. Roy Yamada, who passed away suddenly a few weeks ago. Roy was a regular attendee of our monthly service and we enjoyed seeing and talking to him. After trying to contact him for about a week, his niece informed us that he passed away in his home. We are sorry about his departure, but apparently he passed on without any prolonged suffering and we pray that he be reborn again into an even brighter life.
  2. Thank you for bringing your deposit cans and bottles for our fundraising drive. Please continue bringing your deposit cans and bottles and any yard work referrals. Currently we have installed rain barrels to utilize rain water for watering plants and washing the car.
  3. Due to your support Taeko was able to attend the October Grand Service at church HQ on October 26th and the Tengen Women’s Association General Meeting on the 28th.
  4. I would like to thank everyone for your support of the Trick or Treat for UNICEF fund drive by passing out and returning the orange collection boxes.
  5. Please welcome Lewis, Mimi and Olivia who arrived from Jiba on November 2nd earlier this month.
  6. You’re all invited to attend a thanksgiving service on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd at 5:30pm followed by dinner. Please let us know if you’re coming.
  7. We will have our annual Pearl Church general cleaning on Saturday, December 29, from 9am and New Year’s mochi pounding on, Sunday, December 30 at MHQ from 7am.

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