TENRIKYO PEARL CHURCH SERMON ‘ 2005 January
Good morning and Happy New Year! 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 Spring Grand Service 2005.
Before we start I would like to thank everyone for your support given during the past year. In summary, we were able to start the church renovation in January. In February and March, I was able to give the Joyous Life Lectures in Australia and New Zealand and from April through June, I served as instructor for the English Shuyoka, during which time we stopped the construction. After my return, we resumed construction in August. During this time, Tamayo Saito came to stay at Pearl Church for three months and Jack Wong who needed a temporary place to stay also came to Pearl Church. Both of them helped a great deal in the painting and flooring. Masumi Yamazaki also came on many days to lend a helping hand. Other people including the young men from Dendocho, contributed in Hinokishin and other ways for which we are very grateful. Again, thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
PURIFYING THE MIND TOWARD THE 120TH ANNIVERSARY
This month, January 26th, is the day when our Foundress, Miki Nakayama hid her physical self. The reason she hid her physical self was to hasten our spiritual growth. Next year 2006 will mark the 120th Anniversary since that time. How can we grow spiritually? For example: those people, who have short tempers, should try not to get angry too easily. In addition, people who tend to find fault in others should try to become good at seeing the positive and good parts of others. And those people, who easily complain, should become like people who can find joy in whatever their circumstances. I believed this is what Oyasama is waiting for us to become. How can we then live the joyous life?
In the Osashizu, Meiji 22, June 1, it says, ‘Concerning human beings, the body is a thing lent, a thing borrowed. The mind alone is yours.’ We borrow our body from God the Parent. But God gave us our minds to use freely.
One day when I was doing nioigake in the Kahala area with one of the missionaries, we met a man in his 60’s who was a devout Christian. I told this man that our bodies are borrowed from God so we cannot use it as freely as we wish; however, our minds are given to us so we can use it as we want. He responded by saying that his body is definitely his. So I said, if you own your body then can you stay young without getting any older? Can you keep your hair from turning gray and keep wrinkles from forming on your face? If you get cancer, can you get rid of it? After asking him these questions, he became quiet. I think he had to really think about for awhile and probably realized that his body was not really his.
Our minds are given to us, so we can use it freely. It is important; however, that we use our minds according to God’s will; which is to accept joyously whatever happens and help each other and always be thankful to God.
Since we can our minds freely, we use it in different ways. That’s why we are different. Those of us with clean minds are able to be thankful for the smallest things, while those of us with dusty minds complain a lot.
In our faith, those dusts which we accumulate, we can easily sweep away and polish our minds. This is important. In this way, we can change our bad causation into a good one.
Oyasama taught us how to cleanse and purify our minds in various ways. That is through the Service, Hinokishin, making contributions, nioigake, and tanno. Tanno as you recall is to accept everything joyously knowing and being thankful that whatever happens is due to the grace of God the Parent.
In the Ofudesaki III: 137, we read,
So long as you remain unknowing that the body is
A thing borrowed, you can understand nothing at all.
By changing the direction of our thinking, we can change our destiny.
I would like to share a story about Genjiro Fukaya who was the founder of Kawaramachi Grand Church. In the summer of 1884, he returned to Jiba with a man who lived in Kyoto. This man just accompanied Rev. Fukaya and went to see Oyasama for no particular reason, but perhaps with some curiosity. It was during the hot summer season, in Mishima when it was very quiet in Ojiba. When they were granted an audience with Oyasama, Oyasama gave these words: ‘Being able to eat is due to the blessing of Tsukihi (God), being able to speak is also by the blessing of Tsukihi (God). Since Oyasama said it in a singing voice, this man from Kyoto was confused whether it was a lecture or just simply a song, or She talked nonsense. On the way home while walking, he was very mad because he thought he was fooled.
Later on he suffered from cholera. His wife took care of him but even water couldn’t pass his throat. No matter how much he wanted water, however his tongue stiffened up. His mouth was so hot that he felt as if it was on fire. He suffered because even a drop of water couldn’t pass his throat.
Suddenly, he thought of what Oyasama was saying. He felt so sorry he spoke ill about Oyasama and repented the error of his ways. In that moment he was able to say ‘water,’ and his wife gave him cup after cup of water and was able to drink a great deal of water in his hot burning throat.
In the Osashizu it says’
In order to use our body freely, we should use our mind according to what God desires.
When we administer the Sazuke, instead of asking God, please save us, or please help us, we should ask God ‘please sweep away the dust in our mind and give us the strength to be at joyful any time.’
A big tsunami hit Southeast Asia causing many deaths which will go down in history as one of the worst disasters. This is nothing but a message from God who subjects us to the laws of nature.
In the Ofudesaki Part VI: 91, we read:
In this world, landslides, thunder, earthquakes,
And great winds are all from the anger of Tsukihi.
This is nothing but God’s impatience and regret. I would think it is not only the other people’s concern but also we should take it seriously as our concern also. The only way to settle this problem is to purify our mind and help others.
And these, my friends, are the teachings for you to follow for your happy and prosperous life, the joyous life. Thank you for your kind attention.
1. The Women’s Association monthly Hinokishin will be held this Saturday at the Tenri Cultural Center Japanese garden at 9am.
2. The Dendocho Spring Grand Service will be held next Sunday at 9am.
3. Nioigake Day will be held the following Monday on January 17th at 9am.
4. The weekly service practices every Thursday night have resume again and we would like to invite all of you to attend. It starts at 6pm right after the evening service.
5. The Young Men’s Association will conduct their annual Aloha Walk from Makiki Church near Sheridan Street to Dendocho. They will meet at Dendocho at 2:30 and shuttle to Makiki Church and do Hinokishin there for half an hour before departing for Dendocho. The walk is to remember the hardship of the early missionaries who walked long distances to Dendocho and in their salvation work.
6. The Boy’s and Girl’s Association will be holding their New Year Party at Stadium Park on the last Sunday of this month, January 30. We will meet at Dendocho at 9am or you can meet us at Stadium Park at 10am.
7. For your information I have been appointed chairperson of the Boy’s and Girl’s Association effective from March of this year. I humbly ask for your kind support and assistance.
TENRIKYO PEARL CHURCH SERMON ‘ 2005 January