This World is a Mirror

TENRIKYO PEARL CHURCH SERMON ‘ 2004 October

Good morning! I would like to thank you all for your kind support and sincere offerings. I am confident that God the Parent and Oyasama are pleased that you are present here today to participate in this Autumn Grand Service.

This World is a Mirror
This year, on October 26, 2004, Tenrikyo will begin its 168th year.

"I am God of Origin, God in Truth. There is causality in this Residence. At this time I have descended here to save all humankind. I wish to receive Miki as the Shrine of God."

These were the first words declared by God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, through the mouth of Oyasama, Miki Nakayama. It was on October 26, 1838 that Tenrikyo started.

God the Parent created us human beings to see us live joyously and that God could share in that joy.

Having faith in these teachings, I can understand God’s intent, however, sometimes when we encounter hardships and troubles, we tend to live opposite to what the joyous life is. On a daily basis we are involved with many different kinds of relationships, such as, coworkers at the workplace, friends at school, and people in the neighborhood. And also, at church and places where people gathers. Through these relationships, we sometimes get angry, get hurt, suffer and accumulate mental dusts in our minds. For instance, we may be annoyed by someone at the workplace. This person complained about us even though we tried to help this person. We thought we were being kind, but to this person it was a nuisance. Subsequently, we couldn’t help but complain about this person.

Oyasama, one-day, talked to her early disciples and said that, ‘There are no such persons who are evil. There are no such bad things in this world.’ (‘Story told by an old man.’ written by Yoshio Horikoshi ‘Kyouyu’ (Tenrikyo periodical, Issue No. 168))

In the Ofudesaki (Part I : 52, 53)
Looking all over the world and through all ages,
I find no one who is evil.

Among all humankind, there is no one who is evil.
It is only a bit of dust stuck on.

God is telling us there is no one who is a bad person. And also there are no such bad things that happen in this world. It is only a stepping stone towards spiritual maturity. Whenever something happens in front of our eyes, we need to take the opportunity to self-reflect and take it in a positive manner. However, due to our lack of spiritual maturity we tend to avoid people we can’t get along with, people who seems scary, or people who are difficult and bossy. For example, we get angry because someone said or did something that was annoying to us. Definitely, that person may have said or done something that was not right. But if we bear a grudge against that person, curse this person or seek revenge on this person, this will create a conflict that will just escalate and create a bigger problem. We, as human beings cannot see ourselves, unless we have a mirror. At the same time we have difficulty seeing ourselves as a person. We are taught that we can see our personality when we see personality traits in other people. When we smile, the face in the mirror also smiles. When we are angry, it is also reflected in the mirror. It is the same in our life. The anger we see in other people, is a reflection of ourselves.

For instance, when we think, ‘Oh that person is difficult!’ The other person is probably thinking the same thing. And sometimes we think, ‘Oh, that person is so sassy.’ But in reality, since it is a trait that we can recognize in other people, it must be our trait also. Also, if we think, ‘that person is cold-hearted; it means that we must also reveal coldness to other people too.

When we ponder once again the teaching, ‘There is no one who is evil,’ taught by Oyasama, we find that it is not a coincidence when we meet certain types of people. It is not a coincidence and it is not by chance that we meet people. It is the intention of God. God is telling us to look at that person and try not to become like that person. There is a saying: One man’s fault is another’s lesson.

Here’s a story about a senior minister of Tenrikyo. One of his church members told him, ‘Sensei, this person, Mr. So and so was saying something bad about you.’

This senior minister replied, ‘I think you probably heard that wrong, Mr. So and so is not that kind of person who would talk bad about people." This senior minister did not get angry and on top of that he praised the person who was claimed to speak ill of him. This shows how big and kind-hearted this senior minister was. We should all strive to become like him.

Let’s take this time, during this month of Tenrikyo’s beginning to remind ourselves of God’s intention and strive to become closer to God and practice the teaching by sweeping away our mental dust and help other people.

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.



Announcements:
1. I want to thank you all for your help in preparing for and attending Dendocho’s 50th Anniversary which was successfully held in the presence of the Shinbashira and his wife, Mrs. Nakayama. A total of 10 persons attended from Pearl Church. Thank you very much!

2. We have started the painting and have just completed the sanctuary, but we still have a lot to do and we hope to finish by the November 14th 70th Anniversary Service. If you are available to do Hinokishin, please come out to help at any time.

3. The all Tenrikyo Nioigake Day was held on Tuesday, October 5th with 5 persons from Pearl Church participating. Thank you to all who came out.

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 Pearl Church 70th Anniversary and Renovation Dedication Service is scheduled for Sunday, November 14th. Please encourage your friends and family to attend this very important and joyous occasion and let us know how many are coming so that we can prepare sufficient food. Special guests will include Rev. Motohiro Nakao, head minister of our parent church: Tengen Bunkyokai, Rev. Takehiro Nakao, also from Tengen Bunkyokai, the Bishop of Hawaii Dendocho & his wife, Mrs. Hamada.

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