Tenrikyo Pearl Church January Grand Service Sermon 2013

Good morning. I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the January 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!

Significance of Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary

Near the end of Her physical life, Oyasama urged the followers to perform the service despite the strict enforcement by the police not to performed it. After much discussion, the first Shinbashira, Shinnosuke, said to the followers, “Only those should perform who are willing to risk their lives no matter what measures the police use to stop the Service.” The service was finally performed on January 26, 1887. Oyasama withdrew from physical life at the same time the Service had ended, at about two o’clock in the afternoon, as if asleep. She was in Her ninetieth year.

It was totally unexpected. Since she taught that the natural term of human life is 115 years, everyone thought that she would surely live to be 115 years old. After the passing of Her physical self, She spoke through Rev. Izo Iburi on the second floor of a storehouse:

“Sah, sah, I shall level the ground. Has everyone assembled, has everyone assembled? Listen and understand well. All that I have said until now was put into a container of truth. But now God has opened the portals and stepped out. Because of my love for you, My children, the Parent shortened Her life by twenty-five years to step out and save the world from now. Observe well what the path has been and what the path will become. …”

To commemorate this day we conduct the January Grand Service. We cannot see her physically but we believe that Oyasama is “ever-living” working day and night for world salvation. In the Osashizu, we read:

“Sah, sah, I am still living here. I have not gone anywhere. You must look at the path of daily life and ponder.” Osashizu, March 17, 1890

Oyasama, whose parental heart is dedicated solely to the salvation of all Her children, underwent every kind of difficulty and trial in high spirits to open a path of salvation for all humankind, and, in order to hasten their spiritual growth, cut short Her own physical life by twenty-five years. But the heart of Tsukihi remains alive now and forever at the Residence of Origin, providing for the growth of all humankind to spiritual maturity. Indeed, the miracles of salvation which occur daily stand as proof of the continuing life and work of Oyasama.

After the October Grand Service, last year, the Shinbashira, Zenji Nakayama, issued Instruction Three in anticipation of Oyasama’s 130th Anniversary to be observed in 2016. He shared his thoughts in the hope that they “will be useful to all Yoboku and followers as they make decisive efforts to grow spiritually and conduct their efforts in unity of mind.” (Shinbashira IV Instruction Three, p. 1)

Making decisive efforts toward the 130th Anniversary might seem daunting for some of us and for me to speak about it from my position as a head minister, may not connect as well as a lay member. So will we have two young members from the congregation speak about their thoughts regarding Instruction Three.

Yuta Maeda and Lewis Nakao

Announcements

  1. Happy New Year! I would like to thank everyone for your support given last year. The major activities were the BGA Spring Camp & General Meeting, the install of the photovoltaic panels on June 29, the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba and the annual Tenrikyo Bazaar. Thank you very much!
  2. I would like to thank everyone for your support in helping with the MHQ and Pearl Church spring cleaning, the mochi pounding on December 30 and your generous New Year offerings. Thank you very much!
  3. Thank you for bringing your deposit cans and bottles for our fundraising drive. We are still continuing our fundraising efforts to fund our stone pavement project on the side of the church and repair the air conditional units downstairs. Please continue bringing your deposit cans and bottles and any yard work referrals.
  4. The BGA annual New Year Park Cleanup and BBQ Picnic will be held on Sunday, January 27 from 10am, please meet at Mission HQ at 9am for prayer service. This is open to everyone; however, please contact me to let me know who is coming so that we may prepare enough food. Meet at MHQ at 9am or go direct to Moiliili Stadium Park by 10am. If you have them, please bring your own cleaning tools such as rakes and dust pans. The LC will from start from the day before on Saturday, January 26, for kids 12 and above.
  5. The annual Tenri Cultural Center cleanup is scheduled for President’s day February 18th from 9am.

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