Tenrikyo Pearl Church Monthly Service – 2009 October Grand Service
Good morning. I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the October 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!
Of course, this month’s “Grand Service” is to commemorate the founding of the Teachings which occurred on October 26, 1838 in which God the Parent was revealed through Oyasama, Miki Nakayama, declaring, “I am God of Origin, the creator the true and real God.” From that time on for fifty years, Oyasama taught us the way to the Joyous Life, going through various hardships in high spirits, with patience, perseverance, courage and deep parental love.
OTONOBE NO MIKOTO
In the human body, it is the providence of pulling out the child from its mother during birth; in the world the providence of pulling forth in general.
It is said that it is the low tide of our life when we pass away and high tide when we are born. I cannot help but think that there is a great natural force behind the workings of life and death.
A baby is given birth through its mother. Sometimes it is easy to give birth, but many times it is a difficult process taking many hours. Earlier this year a Mrs. A had a difficult time to give birth. It took about 48 hours or about two full days. After suffering for this long, the doctor decided to do a caesarian section and made preparations. And we received word of this. We thought that this is serious, so we quickly did the 12 Songs Teodori prayer service. At the same time, Mrs. A and her husband also did the prayer service in her hospital room. After the services were performed, the baby was delivered naturally without having to do the caesarian section.
In the Ofudesaki: VI: 131
The conception of a baby is by Tsukihi.
Giving birth to it, also, is by the work of Tsukihi.
Pulling forth in general also includes the growth of the crops and produce; in addition, our physical growth, including, our height and our hair is due to the providence of pulling forth. Also, it takes time in bringing up a child, so time also is a providence of pulling forth.
On our providence and mental dust chart, “arrogance” is related to this providence of pulling forth.
Rev. Matataro Sawada, in his book “Satoshi, Satori” wrote that people who experience dwarfism has their growth stunted due to arrogance in a previous life.
In Rabbi Noah Weinberg’s 48 Ways to Wisdom, he says that “arrogance stunts spiritual growth.”
Human beings have a tendency to think that other people are wrong and they are correct. We tend to criticize others and praise ourselves. This is from the dust of arrogance. It is difficult to detect arrogance in ourselves. Also, it is a very difficult dust to get rid of.
In the Kakisage we read, “Yet the mind of saving others is the real truth of sincerity alone and, by this truth of saving others, you are saved. (hito wo tasukeru kokoro wa shin no makoto hitotsu no ri de, tasukeru ri ga tasukaru.)” This fulfills God the Parent’s intention. These good deeds and good attitude gives pleasure to God the Parent.
Again, what is the purpose of our spiritual growth? When I think about this, in general, especially regarding education; the purpose of education is to enter a good school and obtain a good job, make good money and have a successful career in life. It is important to have these people with good education to go out into the world and do good things, but the most important thing is to nurture people to become persons who want to help others.
When people in this world help each other, it becomes the Joyous Life which God desires.
Sorry to mention about our personal life, but Taeko’s father just passed away last month at age 88. Her father had a severe case of pneumonia at the age of 72 and received a miraculous blessing and lived till 88 without any doctor’s care or medication. She felt that he really led a good and blessed life without any medical condition till his passing. When looking through his papers, she found a small article that he had written for the Tenri newspaper about two years ago titled, “Blessed due to the Seeds of Faith Sown by My Parents”. She would like to share with you part of his article. This is how the article reads.
My parents entered the faith about 1930 when Japan was at war with Manchuria, when I was in elementary school. My mother was suffering from severe headaches. Through the grant of sazuke by a Tenrikyo missionary, she got a miraculous healing. My father was very much moved by this faith and entered bekka which is a longer version six month version of the present three-month Spiritual Development Course. He eventually established a church. I still remember my parents were very spirited during the dedication ceremony of the new church building and minister installation service. They were busy doing missionary and salvation work every day, bringing many people who were ill to the church and took care of them. During that time I got many different types of scholarships so that I could enter higher level middle and high school and into the university. Because of God the Parent’s and Oyasama’s blessings, I could work till the age of 72. I believe it is due to my parents many years of devotion and dedication to missionary work and saving others that I was able to do this.”
Taeko’s father was always appreciative of everything. He always said that you shouldn’t think that you did things by your own power. When people realized that we are not living by our own power, but rather we are kept alive by God’s grace, by his own accord, Taeko’s father could become humble minded, naturally. His life was mostly dedicated to God’s work through his offerings to church and church construction projects.
In order to receive the providence of pulling forth, of rich harvest and spiritual growth, we need to cast away the mind of arrogance and maintain a humble mind.
- Congratulations to Sara Saltman for winning the Tenrikyo Essay Contest and also to Elmer Nakao for 3rd place.
- This Saturday, October 17 is the 6th annual Kaimuki Recycle Day in which we can bring in things like tires and old car batteries which are not picked up by the normal trash pickup and bulky item pick up. We plan to go through the whole valley to pick up old tires and car batteries and bring them to Kaimuki High School. Please let me know if you can help in this hinokishin.
- Due to your support I will be joining the October Pilgrimage this month to attend the Tengen and Church HQ grand services.
- This month is UNICEF month. As all of you know people are still recovering from disasters in Samoa, Philippines and Indonesia and UNICEF is taking an active part in helping the survivors. Please make a small donation and take a UNICEF collection box or two home for friends and family and/or join us on Halloween for Trick or Treat for UNICEF, at MHQ on Halloween Day at 7pm.
- If you remember, it was just one year ago that I proposed the purchase of a new drum and small gong and thanks to everyone’s deposit container donations and the yard service we’ve been doing, we are able to make purchase. Although we haven’t quite made our goal of $8,000, we will go ahead and make the purchase, so we would like to ask that you continue making the deposit container donations and also if you know of anyone who needs yard service and tree trimming, please let us know.
- In addition we will be repainting the exterior of this church next year, so we will still need to build up our fund again. Again thank you for your support.