Pre-service talk: As most of you know the novel coronavirus is spreading throughout the world, let us take this time of performing the monthly service to give thanks for our relatively good health, pray for those infected with this disease and that a cure and vaccine can be developed as soon as possible. This monthly service is the service for universal salvation, let us put our hearts together in unity of mind to pray for the Joyous Life, not only for ourselves, but for everyone in the world.
Post Service Sermon
Good morning and Aloha! I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the March 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!
As I mentioned at the start of the service, the novel coronavirus also known as COVID 19, is rapidly spreading throughout the world. Originating in Wuhan, China the disease has spread to 84 countries with over 100,000 cases increasing by an average of 1500 new cases every day.
There was a shortage of face masks due to widespread hoarding. And even in Hawaii the Governor was saying to be prepared by storing 2 weeks supply of food and essentials. The next day there was panic buying of water and toilet paper. I went to Costco on the following Saturday to buy toilet paper just in case. There was a lot of traffic and a lot of people buying toilet paper. By the time I got to the toilet paper area, it was all gone!
The whole city of Wuhan with a population of 11 million and 15 other cities in Hubei province are quarantined, meaning that no one can go in or out of the city and the whole province of Hubei
What is God’s intention behind the Corona virus pandemic?
About 200 years ago during Oyasama’s physical presence there was a cholera epidemic in Japan in which 100,000 people died.
And about 100 years ago there was the Spanish flu pandemic in which 30 million people died.
And early this year the novel coronavirus is spreading all over the world.
In the Ofudesaki
The world is saying that it is cholera,Ofudesaki XIV: 22
but it is Tsukihi informing you of the regret.
This means that God is showing us a great regret, in God’s eyes. If you think of it as an illness it’s a shallow way of thinking.
Whatever is done, is done by Tsukihi.Ofudesaki XIV: 20
Whatever happens, know that it is not an illness.
“No matter what happens,” whatever epidemic, this is what God is showing us. Whatever kind of bodily disorder, it is not an illness. This is nothing but the parental love of God in which God wants to lead us toward the Joyous Life.
Whatever I do to the body,XIV: 21
it is not an illness but the care of Tsukihi.
This is how God is correcting how we use our mind.
Because the world does not know this truth,XIV: 26
everyone sinks only deeper into .
This Truth,” is the purpose of human creation. God wants to see us helping each other, live a happy life and God share in that becoming joyful in seeing us live happily.
Because we human beings do not know of God’s purpose in our creation, we become depressed.
In the present Coronavirus pandemic, people are fearful of becoming infected.
In the Ofudesaki we read:
With you humans, also, your children are dear to you.XIV: 34
Think of this and ponder, please.
We all love our children. God the sParent loves all human beings in the same way.
Day after day, the concern of the ParentXIV: 35
is only about the means to save you.
Because God loves us so much, God is always trying to help us all. God always wants us to be happy and live joyously. Then what does God the Parent want us to do to become happy and live joyously?
In seeking the answer to this question, we must become open and obedient to what God is trying to teach us. We need to become obedient in putting into practice the words of God.
If we close our minds and reject the Teaching, then it’s going to be difficult to be saved.
So God shows us through our sickness and problems to improve our use of mind.
It’s just a personal experience story but our daughter, Annabella at about 10 years old used to deliver the Hawaii Hochi Japanese language newspaper every day. So every day after school, she delivered this newspaper. We were telling her to put the helmet on when she rides her bike on her deliveries, especially during the late afternoon busy traffic time. She wasn’t obedient and didn’t want to wear her helmet because it was inconvenient and it didn’t look good. As parents we were so concerned about her safety that we told her strongly that she couldn’t ride her bike if she didn’t wear her helmet. So reluctantly she started to wear it. A few days later, a neighbor called to say that our daughter had a little accident. Apparently she made a sudden stop going down a steep slope causing her to go over the front of the bike injuring her little finger which was at a 90 degree angle to her hand. Needless to say I was so shocked to see our little daughter’s finger in such an unnatural position! We took her to emergency and the doctor said that there were no broken bones so he simply forced her finger back into position. Needless to say, it wasn’t painless! He said that she would be alright in a few weeks. I’m sure we were blessed with God the Parent’s protection. After coming home from the emergency room, we found a small rock embedded at the top of Annabella’s helmet and told Annabella that this rock could have injured her head if she didn’t wear her helmet. It was a good lesson in safety and listening to your parents.
Through this coronavirus, God is sending us a strong message… that we are approaching a dangerous situation in our human thinking and actions. When we look at the world today with pollution in the environment, wars and conflict, we need to reflect on our daily use of mind and make positive efforts to get rid of our selfish thinking. How can we get rid of our self-centered thinking? It is through the Service for universal salvation. Are we going to be obedient in making efforts to perform the service or are we going to reject it? The choice is up to us.
Whatever may happen, there will be nothing to fear,XIV: 49
depending on your mind of sincerity.