Hall of Worship, Atami Sacred Grounds
February 4, 2015
Congratulations everyone on the Beginning of Spring Service.
In deep awe and fear of God, I say that the true parent of our life is the One and only God who lives eternally.
He is also the parent of all humanity, all our ancestors and all the children who are to be born on earth.
We wrongly assume that our life is limited. But we, in fact, have already been made into ones who live and will live eternally, filled with the life of the Eternal God.
In April 1954, a year before he passed away, Meishu-sama collapsed with symptoms of a brain hemorrhage. While struggling with severe headaches, he explained to his followers that the stroke was “a truly mysterious matter in the course of divine work.” Eventually, he announced that this matter meant that “a Messiah was born” within him and that he “was newly born” as a Messiah.
A few months later, on the 15th of June that same year, Meishu-sama held the “Provisional Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of a Messiah” and shared his joy of being born anew as a child of God with all his followers.
I would like you to know that to be born anew means that a Messiah will be born within you and that you will become “one who lives” as a child of God.
Meishu-sama realized that besides the limited life he was given from his physical parents, he possessed the eternal life of God within him. Acknowledging this, Meishu-sama humbly addressed God and told Him that he would like to receive the eternal life of God.
God allowed Meishu-sama to receive this eternal life and thus Meishu-sama has become “one who lives” as a child of God.
We may want to perceive and experience what Meishu-sama perceived and experienced when he declared that he was born anew as a Messiah. Or, we may want some kind of proof or evidence that what Meishu-sama told us was true.
But we are believers of Meishu-sama. We are here to believe in things yet to be seen, perceived, experienced or proven. We are here to believe in Meishu-sama, and more importantly, in God, who uses Meishu-sama as He wishes.
Meishu-sama wrote, in one of his tanka poems:
Limited and partial,
Human logic fails to grasp the truth.
Complete and impartial,
The logic of God unveils the truth.
With our limited reasoning, it might be difficult for us to fully grasp whatMeishu-sama meant when he said to us that he was newly born as a Messiah. That is why we should wholeheartedly accept and believe in Meishu-sama who has been born anew as a child of God, and receive him at the very central part of our heart.
We may have not known that we have been born on earth to become a child of God. We may not be able to perceive the existence of God, see His face and hear His voice in a concrete manner. But Meishu-sama believed in this – believed that the task of a human being is to be born anew as a child of God. Let us follow the footsteps of Meishu-sama and believe in this. And let us all voice out to God, “I am Your child” so that we can become ones who truly live in the name of Messiah.
I am grateful that all of you members are putting a great effort into practicing your faith, following the guidelines of the church.
I understand that you are striving to practice altruistic love for others, do good deeds and become a “pleasant person.” I also know that you are trying to express gratitude for whatever occurrence in your daily life. I appreciate all these noble efforts of yours.
I would like to say that we should never forget that God is always forgiving us to perform these acts. Without His forgiveness and permission, we do not have the power to do any kind of good deed.
As a result of your good deeds or charitable acts, you may be praised by someone. But you have to remember: God is the only one who should be praised.
So if you receive praises for your good deeds, return them to God, because all praises must be attributed to God.
Before Creation, God first prepared heaven.
In this heaven, God gave birth to us divine particles and named us all “Messiah.”Meishu-sama was in this heaven, together with all of us. In heaven, therefore, we were already one with Meishu-sama through the holy name “Messiah.”
After preparing heaven and all of us Messiahs, God, from heaven, began His work of Creation, producing the whole universe, all elements of the natural world and all living creatures. Though we have forgotten this, we participated in this process. We, together with God and Meishu-sama, took part in the work of Creation.
Now, in our society, we name our children with love and hope for the future.
God, the true Parent of our life, is the same. He imbued His deep love and hope into the name “Messiah” and gave birth to us divine particles.
Meishu-sama taught us that “Messiah is the Lord of forgiveness.” He composed a tanka poem that reads:
I tell you my followers,
Do not underestimate and bear in mind –
The holy name of the Great Messiah is the name
That brings salvation at the end times.
We have forgotten that we have been named “Messiah.” We have strayed from the path of God and sinned. But God implanted His wish to forgive and save all humanity in the name “Messiah,” knowing that we would drift apart from Him.
We must recall our true name, “Messiah,” and receive God’s forgiveness and salvation in the name of Messiah. This is the only way to respond to the love of God who wishes to make us His children.
From God’s perspective, His Plan has already been accomplished. God has already “put an end” to His Plan of Creation. The Will of God embedded in the holy name of “Messiah” has already been fulfilled.
Being one with the name “Messiah,” all creations of the natural world also know that the Plan of God has already been accomplished.
It is now left for us to acknowledge that God’s Plan has already been accomplished.Meishu-sama acknowledged this. He held a firm belief that God’s Plan was already accomplished in heaven. That is why Meishu-sama, at the time of the founding of his religion in 1935, told us with absolute confidence that a paradise on earth “will be constructed without any doubt. … God decided this a long time ago. This is a fact.”
Meishu-sama’s complete trust in God never wavered and in 1954, amidst suffering from a great deal of pain from the brain stroke, he declared, full of joy, that he was “born anew” and that “a Messiah was born” within him.
I feel that we must follow Meishu-sama’s footsteps, believe that God’s Plan has already been realized and serve God with absolute trust.
Our trust in God is tested not through grand things but through ordinary occurrences in our daily life.
In our life, we feel various emotions, such as anxiety, anger, sadness and happiness, over issues that are very personal to us – issues relating, in particular, to health, career, family and relationships.
Unfortunately, we tend to treat these issues as something personal, private and unrelated to the noble effort of constructing a paradise on earth, things that are mundane and should be kept within one’s heart.
But I would like you to know that it is within and through these mundane and seemingly petty issues that God is advancing His glorious work of eternal Creation.
Things private and personal are not petty – they relate to the salvation of all humanity. God already forgave all our sins – sins in the past, present and future. He already brought salvation to everything.
As we are connected to the holy name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, God deems us as ones who are forgiven and saved.
Through making us encounter various issues and problems in our life, God is trying to let us realize from what sin we have been forgiven and from where we have been saved.
When an issue or a problem surfaces in our personal life, it is the very sign that God has already brought forgiveness and salvation to it. God is not trying to make us suffer from it, judge and punish us with it. He wants us to realize that He forgave it and that He forgave others – all humanity – who have been faced with similar kinds of issues, too. God is “putting an end” to our ignorant way of life.
Facing a problem is the very sign that God’s love has reached us and all humanity.
I believe we have to respond to this love of God in a concrete way, and here is my suggestion to you. When you are faced with any kind of issue or problem in your personal life and you are anxious about it, voice out, either out loud or in your mind, the following words:
God, I now realize that this – this problem that I am having – is the very place all humanity, all ancestors and I have been saved from and the very sin that You forgave us from. Together with all humanity and all ancestors, I thank You in the name of Messiah.
A little while ago, I told you that the Plan of God has already been realized on His side. Voicing out these words means that, now, God’s Plan will be accomplished on your side, too. I will be truly delighted if you put an effort into voicing out these words in your daily life.
God wishes to communicate with us.
He wishes to welcome us all into His heaven, talk to us directly and nurture us to be His children.
In order for us to respond to God and communicate with Him, we need “words” to express our feelings.
We use words to communicate between humans, and it is hard to imagine other usages. But God prepared all words so that He can communicate with us and so that we can respond to His call.
Meishu-sama once wrote a calligraphy that reads “The power of words belongs to God.”
When I see this calligraphy, I always feel that Meishu-sama is trying to teach us that God created all words and is in charge of them.
However, we use words so selfishly as if we are in charge of them.
We offer up prayers to God during our daily service at home or church. Or we talk to God and Meishu-sama in the course of the day.
But what we must not forget is that, without God’s permission, we can never use and utter words. Without God’s forgiveness, we cannot offer our prayers to God and Meishu-samaor even form thoughts in our minds.
Always remembering that we are under the forgiveness of God, let us strive to direct our hearts to God and communicate with Him.
When we hear the expression “the divine work of Meishu-sama,” I presume we imagine something like guiding someone to a Johrei center, talking about Meishu-sama to someone who does not know about our faith or channeling Johrei to a non-believer.
These are of course important ways to serve in the divine work. But I would like you to know that there is another way to serve in the divine work of Meishu-sama and, today, I would like to share it with you.
To start with, let me reemphasize that God is the creator of absolutely everything. There is nothing on earth or in the entire universe that God did not create.
Now, things invisible, like our mind, consciousness or our sense or perception of “I,” are also His creations. Though we feel as if we can utilize our mind at our discretion, it belongs to God and is under His command.
God is using our minds as He wishes – making us feel and experience all sorts of emotions in the course of our life: sad, happy, angry, anxious and so on. The reason for this – the reason for feeling various emotions in our life – is simple.
It is because God, who resides at the center of each one of our consciousnesses, is advancing His divine work of welcoming all humanity and all ancestors into His heaven through using our minds as His mind.
As I always say, God already saved all humanity and all ancestors and delivered us from the burden of our sins. This was the first phase of His Plan of Creation.
The second phase of His Plan of Creation is to welcome all people into His heaven and nurture them to be His children. In order to achieve this second phase of God’s Creation, God is using us – our minds.
That is why we never need to negate and reject what we feel and think in our minds. No matter how negative and destructive our feelings and thoughts may be, it is God who makes us sense them in order to welcome them into His heaven.
I would like you to know: surrendering everything that you feel and think into the hands of God through Meishu-sama is in itself a very important way to serve in the divine work of Meishu-sama. In fact, I will say that it is an entirely new way to serve in an entirely new phase of the divine work – the second phase of God’s Plan of Creation.
If any of you wish to serve in this new phase of God’s Creation, I suggest you direct your hearts to God by voicing out something like the following words:
In the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, I thank You, God, for forgiving all my sins and all the sins of humanity and for welcoming us into Your heaven. I believe in this salvation of Yours. If it is Your wish, please accept these feelings and thoughts that have come across and into my mind. I now surrender them to You through Meishu-sama.
Heaven has already been renewed.
After the Transition from Night to Day, heaven existing at the center of our minds has already become a new heaven.
All are forgiven. All are saved. All are welcomed into the new heaven.
We are no longer who we used to be. We have already been renewed, enveloped in the glory of the new heaven and are now being nurtured by God to become His children.
We do not have to hide our weaknesses and shortcomings anymore. We do not have to be afraid of our negative emotions and thoughts anymore.
When we suffer from realizing our weaknesses and from negative thoughts, Meishu-sama is telling us that the time has come to move on to the next, new step.
Today is the day of the Beginning of Spring.
On this occasion, let us “put an end” to the kind of life we have been leading and start a completely new life, believing in the new heaven that is shining gloriously within each one of us.
To close, I, in the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, and together with all humanity, all ancestors and all children who are to be born on earth, would like to praise God who governs all Creation and achieves all things.
Thank you very much.