Joy in Misfortune

TENRIKYO PEARL CHURCH SERMON ‘ 2005 August

Good morning! I would like to thank you all for your kind support and sincere offerings. I am sure that God the Parent and Oyasama is pleased to see you today to participate in this August Monthly Service 2005.

JOY IN MISFORTUNE

We are not living by our own accord, but by the grace of God. Our life of faith is to believe that everything is by the intention of God. What we see, hear and experience are due to God’s workings. This is the religious life which we should live. Because we believe, we can receive many blessings and we come know the value and significance of faith.

However, blessings do not mean that we always have a healthy body, have no accidents and disasters, and situations in which bad things never happen. The real blessing for people who have faith in God is that no matter what misfortune occurs, they can find God’s love, courage, joy, positive attitude and can appreciate God’s mercy. In other words because we have faith in God, we will not consider such seemingly negative things as misfortune or disaster. No matter what unfortunate things may happen in our daily life, we can find courage, hope and joy and receive strength from God to move on and that is the treasure which we can receive from God.

In the Mikagura-uta, it says:
Thirdly,     All of you close to me
watch whatever God acts and works.


The way to walk on the path of faith in which God guides us is to obediently go wherever the path leads us with a joyous mind no matter what happens. In order reach our goal, there are places where the road is rough, also where the road is winding. We often ask ourselves, ‘Why do we have to go on this winding road?’ In other words, why do we have to experience the hardships in life? God says that it is not a question of why. Rather this is God’s admonishment. This is all due to the seeds we have planted and how they have sprouted into our present situation. And this is exactly what the following example is about. Sometimes in our daily life we may think, ‘if only that person changes his attitude, I can cooperate, work harder and live a happier life.’ And we live our lives hoping and wishing that someone would change without improving our self. God is showing us what we have done in the past and this is called causality. In another example may we think, ‘If this person is not in our workplace, we can do our work smoothly, we can finish our work faster.’ Even between husband and wife, we may think, ‘If he doesn’t change, I will divorce him,’ or vice versa. We can see this type of thinking wherever we go.

     God brings a person into our life, because there is a need for that person to be here. For the sake our spiritual growth God puts that difficult person in our life. However, when we have received the truth (understand God’s deep intention in that situation), God will remove the difficult problem. So whoever or whatever problem we encounter we must believe that God wanted this to happen and accept it with joy, without complaining and without avoiding the problem person.

Announcements:
1.     I would like to thank those who came to help out during Rev. Iburi’s visit to Pearl Church on July 16th. Thank you very much!

2.     We are in the last year before the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama and I would like to ask all of you to participate by returning to Jiba in 2006. We hope to form a pilgrimage group for the children’s summer pilgrimage and hope that many of you can join us. However, you can return anytime during the year. The bazaar is coming on August 28th. We would like to ask for everyone’s help with the pre-bazaar scrip sales and help at the bazaar with the ohagi making and parking lot attendant. Also this year, I will be in charge of the Joyous Life booth at the Japanese Garden so please stop by.

3.     Next month on September 10, the day before our monthly service will have a Tenrikyo Pearl Church information booth at Palolo Pride. We will pass out pamphlets and administer the Sazuke.

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