Hall of Worship, Atami Sacred Grounds
June 15-16, 2015
In deep awe and fear of God, I say that we are the children of the one and only God. We were born as the children of God. On earth, we were born in various countries and regions, but before that, in heaven, God gave birth to us as His children, as His divine particles.
Meishu-Sama wrote a tanka poem that reads:
We may have differences
In facial features, physical characteristics and skin color,
But in the eyes of God,
We are all citizens of the same nation.
For us, it is perhaps easier to notice the differences among human beings: nationality, ethnicity, language, appearance and so on. But Meishu-Sama’s poem reminds us that God deemed us as belonging to “the same nation,” that is to say, “heaven.” To be precise, I should say that God still deems us as so, even after He sent us to various countries and regions on this earth, for in heaven, before we came to earth, God deemed us as the citizens of His heaven.
However, the truth is that once we came down to earth, we forgot everything that happened before. We forgot that God had given birth to us in heaven as His children and that He was the parent of our souls.
Out of His mercy, God sent Meishu-Sama to us and made us recall heaven – the home of our souls – and who the true parent of our souls is. Out of His mercy, God forgave us, saved us and welcomed us back into His heaven. Out of His mercy, God is now trying to have us be born, once more, as His own children.
To be born once more as God’s child is not an easy task. That is why we have someone to look up to. That is why we have Meishu-Sama with us. The life of Meishu-Sama is in itself, the manifestation of God’s truth. Following and perceiving the will of God, Meishu-Sama realized that the mission of a human being was to return to heaven and be born once more, newly as a child of God, as a Messiah. I would like you to know, each one of us needs to fulfill this mission as a human being, too. God made you encounter Meishu-sama so that you would be able to follow in his footsteps of being born anew as God’s child.
We may have no recollection of it but we were once the children of God. Thanks to Meishu-Sama, we are able to recall and know who our true parent is. To know our Father, God, is what salvation means. So let us all express our joy to God and say to Him:
In the name of Messiah that is one with Meishu-Sama, I now return to heaven – Your kingdom. Please God, if it is Your wish, please receive me in Your kingdom and have me born once more as Your child.
Now, as most of you already know, we have seen the completion of the Mokichi Okada Memorial Museum. On the 8th of April this year, I attended the inauguration ceremony and had a chance to tour the museum. I enjoyed the exhibits, the clean, pleasant and calm atmosphere, the beautiful interior garden and the view of the Sagano area it offered me. While I strolled through the museum, I felt as if I were in a very peaceful house, together with Meishu-Sama. To me, this museum is like a “House of Tranquility” and this is how I would like to name this place.
The ascension of Meishu-Sama was not an end but a beginning. This Memorial Museum should not be a place to commemorate past events but to commemorate and make us remember something entirely new. Regardless of what country we live in now, we were all originally residents of heaven, having God as our Father. When we came to earth, we forgot this truth and what salvation was. But now, through Meishu-Sama, we have come to know this truth.
Together with Meishu-Sama, God made us into ones who will live eternally. God has already welcomed all humanity and all ancestors into His heaven and granted us His eternal life. Whenever we set foot in this Memorial Museum, let us all remember this truth – the truth that we were and still are the residents of the most peaceful, tranquil and glorious place – heaven.
This May, I attended the membership meeting in the Headquarters region. Prior to the event, I heard that many members of the region had been working on an entirely new kind of practice in preparation for the meeting – the practice of surrendering whatever thoughts that came into their minds to God through Meishu-Sama, with a belief that all humanity has already been forgiven and saved.
The actual event was a great success. I felt that the Hall of Worship (the venue for the meeting) was filled with everyone’s determination to return to heaven existing within each one of us. To conclude the event, we all sung one of our Church’s songs, “Divine Light Hymn,” together with a chorus group that consisted of 126 members of the Headquarters region. Singing together with the chorus and everyone at the Hall brought me great joy and excitement. I was so encouraged as I felt as if we were all united as one with Meishu-Sama through the song.
In the Japanese lyrics (translated from Portuguese), there is a phrase, “Let all be united in the love of God.” This phrase reminds me that even though God imparted His boundless love to us in heaven and bore us as His divine particles, we abandoned His love and were parted from it when we came to earth. It reminds me that all humanity needs to be united in His love once more. I truly feel that God is now trying to tell us that He wishes to reunite us in His love. We may have abandoned His love but God already forgave us and now wishes to welcome us back into His heaven where His love exists. So whenever we sing this song, shall we all sing with great joy as God is making us recall His heaven and great love? Let me also say that I thought it was a good idea to sing a song at these events we hold – it would give us greater unity and vigor.
Just like the posture of channeling Johrei, God is now raising His hand toward all humanity and all ancestors in order to welcome us all back into His divine light – His heaven. This is what the work of salvation is. This is what Johrei is. God makes us channel Johrei to others so that we can recall that He lives within us, is channeling Johrei to us and is always welcoming us back into His heaven. I repeat: we channel Johrei to others because we need to recall that God within us is channeling Johrei to each one of us. God allows us to serve in the work of Johrei because we learned from Meishu-sama that at the center of each one of us exist the divine light of God and His hand of salvation.
We channel Johrei to others, for we need to “channel” ourselves, and everyone who is connected to us, to God. Through the accomplishment of the Transition from Night to Day, God declared that He forgave, purified and saved everyone. We must, therefore, channel everyone, including ourselves, to God. This is what “channeling Johrei” means – to surrender ourselves, and everyone, into the hands of God through Meishu-sama. I would like you to know that we can channel everyone into the hands of God, for all humanity and its ancestors reside within us – they live within each one of us. We have to declare God’s forgiveness in the name of Messiah to all who are within us and become a “mediator” between God and humanity.
In life, we go through many things, face various kinds of issues and experience all sorts of emotions. This is because we, as residents of heaven, carry a mission to save everyone and bring them back, or channel them, to God. If we can believe in this mission, we can always be used in the work of Johrei regardless of whether we actually raise our hands or not. Surrendering every occurrence and every emotion we experience in our life is in itself the work of Johrei.
Let me tell you how you can serve in this new way of channeling Johrei. When you are facing a recipient, say, either out loud or in your mind, to all who are within you – all humanity, including the recipient:
All of you have already been forgiven, purified and saved through God’s work of Johrei. Let us all return to the divine light of God.
Then, say to God who is within you:
In the name of Messiah that is one with Meishu-Sama, I will now return to Your heaven together with all who are connected to me. Please God, if it is Your wish, accept us into Your heaven and allow us to enter into Your glory. I surrender myself and all that are connected to me into Your hands. I will serve in Your work and may Your blessings be shared with all.
I would like you to know that voicing out these words is a very specific and practical way to serve in the work of Johrei. Even if you cannot actually raise your hand for Johrei, God will acknowledge that you have served in the work of Johrei with the utterance of these words. Voicing them out is also a very practical way to share the love of God with others and reunite them in the love of God. And do not forget that Meishu-Sama is with you all the time. That is why we should always remember the phrase, “in the name of Messiah that is one with Meishu-Sama,” in whatever we do in our lives.
There is a tanka poem by Meishu-Sama that, translated into English, reads:
No words can describe the greatness of
God Most High, who brings salvation to all humankind.
Yet, He accomplishes it through using the minds and bodies
Of human beings as His vessels.
I am convinced that this poem refers to Meishu-Sama’s teaching on “purification.” We say that we have received a purification when we fall ill or suffer from something in general. Being in a purification, I believe, is the very sign that God is using our minds and bodies to accomplish His work of saving all humanity. God welcomes everyone and everything into His heaven through our purification. The work of Johrei is the same, too. God uses us in it to receive all into His heaven. Through it, we channel all into the hands of God. Channeling Johrei is a great way to serve in the divine work of Meishu-Sama. But receiving a purification, also, is in itself a very noble way of serving in God’s work of saving all humanity.
At the time when we feel we are receiving a purification, Meishu-Sama is encouraging us and telling us, “God needs your mind and body to advance His divine work. Can you bear it for a little while?” No matter how difficult and hard our purification may be, if we can believe that our minds and bodies are God’s and He uses them as He wishes to save all, Meishu-Sama, I am sure, will be truly delighted. To put it plainly, salvation means only one thing for us – that is, to be born anew and obtain eternal life.
On this day of the Paradise on Earth service, I reconfirm that the establishment of a paradise on earth depends on each one of us. If we, who now live on earth, can realize and acknowledge that God lives within us and that His heaven is firmly established within us, a paradise on earth will, at that very moment, be established within us. Things visible and tangible will one day perish. But God’s paradise, His heaven, His kingdom within us, will remain forever.
To close, I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to God that He has established an everlasting paradise within each one of us. Please God, if it is Your wish, welcome me and all that are connected to me into Your heaven and allow me to be one with it.
In the name of Messiah that is one with Meishu-Sama, all glory be to God alone.