Good morning. I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the August Monthly Service here at 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!
The Kanrodai Toppling, a Wakeup Call
On July 26, last month on the day of the monthly service, right before the evening service, an intruder rush toward the Kanrodai which is located in the center of the four-sided sanctuary and toppled the Kanrodai. Just the bottom 2 layers of the 13 layered stand remained. Each layer has a tenon and mortise connecting the layers.
According an article in the Tenri Jiho weekly newspaper, July 30, 2017, the Rev. Hiroaki Yamazawa, the director of Religious Affairs, said that this is a very serious incident and that he feels terribly sorry to God the Parent and the everliving Oyasama for this to happen.
The Kanrodai is placed on the Jiba as proof of creation and is situated in the center of the four worship halls, North, South, East and West.
The Jiba is the place where God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto resides and is the very spot where human beings were created.
The Kanrodai is a sacred stand that marks the exact spot of creation, the center and symbol of worship. Ten persons representing the ten aspects of God’s providence perform the Kagura Service around the Kanrodai.
I heard that the perpetuator was mentally ill. But whatever happens is a message from God. We should all take this seriously and reflect on God’s message.
Rev. Yamazawa wrote that this incident is nothing but a wakeup call for each of us to reflect on whether we are in accord with the Teachings of God the Parent. We may have strayed off the Path according to our own thinking or convenience. Through this “knot,” however, we should once again realign our faith exactly in accord with God’s intention. I would like to reflect on my own faith, on how we should use our mind on a daily basis.
Faith in our daily life
People who have faith are already showing it in their daily life through their use of words and actions. It’s not just going to church and putting your hands together in prayer. It’s through their positive and hopeful attitude expressed in what they say and how they behave. It’s not just a small part of their life, but they show it every day in their daily activities.
To sprinkle a good fragrance to the people is not necessarily stating the teachings, but the real fragrance is conveyed through our words and actions: such as showing kindness, generosity and caring. The people seeing this will receive the good fragrance of the teachings.
The late Rev. Genjiro Kashiwara, who was a honbuin (Church HQ staff), received many brilliant and magnificent blessings through his Sazuke prayer. Someone once asked him, how is it that he can receive such blessings? He answered, “God does not only answer Kashiwara’s prayers. Anyone can receive the power of answered prayers.
However, people tend to offer lies to God the Parent. God does not like falsehood and flattery. People are unknowingly dedicated to offering falsehood to God the Parent. That’s why they cannot receive a blessing.
“I don’t perform false deeds,” he says, “I always try to follow the teachings and follow Oyasama’s words. I do not follow or practice falsehood. If you do exactly as God teaches, and what Oyasama says, then you will receive God’s blessings.”
He said, “You must do what you say and say what you do.
Rev. Kashiwara was not double faced. He was a very straight forward person and you could tell that he did not have a trace of deception or falsehood in his veins. (from Satoshi Satori, p341 by Rev. Sawada, Matataro.)
I believe Rev. Kashiwara is saying that we should be true to the faith by practicing the teachings in our daily life.
What’s the difference between a person of faith and a person without faith? / The person who has faith in God has an appreciation of the blessings of nature, always tries to correct his mistakes and reflects upon himself to become a better person. / However even a persons who do not have faith are also children of God who live together with us in this universe in heaven and earth, the bosom of God. We all drink the water of nature which gushes from the earth and consume the food that is grown from it. The difference is how we appreciate these wonderful blessings. Those who recognize and appreciate the blessings will show it in their daily actions.
In our daily lives, sometimes we tend to criticize other people’s faults without realizing the same faults in ourselves. There’s a saying that says: “A person’s faults, is nothing but your reflection like a mirror.” Oyasama also said that when you notice someone’s fault, you are to reflect and realize that that’s also your fault as well. / So when we see a fault in someone, we should realize that that is a fault in ourselves. All the people we meet in our life are teachers. Therefore faith is not only going to church, but that it’s part of our everyday life. It’s how we use our mind and show it in our behavior.
An old Chinese proverb says:
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words;
watch your words, they become your actions;
watch your actions, they become your habits;
watch your habits, they become your character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
Even in small steps, let us practice the teachings of God the Parent and Oyasama in our daily lives aligning and realigning our minds accordingly.
- The annual Tenrikyo bazaar is coming up on Sunday, August 27. We’d like to thank those who came out for yesterday’s first all bazaar hinokishin and we’d like to ask for everyone’s continued support in selling presale scrips and helping at the bazaar.
- The next bazaar preparation hinokishin will be this Saturday, 8/19 at 9am & Sunday 8/20 after the Mission HQ monthly service at 1pm and we would like to call on all available members and friends to help out. You may bring your used item donations from today till August 23, between the hours of 10am-4pm to the TCC Dojo.
- Also, next month the Tengen Bunkyokai Ojibagaeri Taikai (or Jiba Pilgrimage Convention) as a continuing activity will be held on September 24th. If anyone is interested in joining this, please see me or Mrs. Taeko. The Autumn Grand Service pilgrimage in October is another activity you can consider if September is inconvenient for you.
- The MHQ will be conducting its first Three Day Course on 9/22-24. Please see me or Taeko if interested.
- Please welcome: Carol Azama and Ayako Hata who is a former home stay student.