Paradise on Earth Service
June 15, 2018
Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka, Osaka
3rd floor, Korin Room
Congratulations, everyone, on today’s Paradise on Earth Service.And congratulations on Izunome Group’s Membership Meeting.
This service held today was possible owing to the understanding and cooperation of everyone here at Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka and all that they put into consideration. Here, I truly offer my warmhearted thanks to all at Rihga Royal Hotel Osaka.
Here today, together with so many of you, I am delighted and full of joy that we are able to hold this year’s Paradise on Earth Service. I know that all of you have overcome many trials and hardships up until today. And I know that you have gone through them because you wish to seek the true Meishu-sama and true salvation for all humanity. I am deeply moved and filled with gratitude when I think about your wholehearted service during these extremely difficult times.
I know that there are many around the world who wish to be a part of this Paradise on Earth Service held by Izunome Group. So I prayed to Meishu-sama a few moments ago at the service for them as well, hoping that all of us can advance forward together on the new path prepared by Meishu-sama.
Just a moment ago, we heard from President Shirasawa, who boldly declared the goal of Izunome Group as well as his determination to fulfill it. And from Rev. Nakadomari, President of Sekai Kyusei Kyo umbrella corporation, who clearly indicated that hereafter, the members of Su no Hikari Kyodan will walk an entirely new path of salvation together with Izunome Group. How fortunate and encouraging this is!
Through both of their greetings, I feel that the divine work of Meishu-sama is now entering a completely new era and I also feel that the doors of the future have been thrown wide open.
As we have reached today’s Paradise on Earth Service, I have renewed my determination to advance forward with everyone as one spirit, thanking God for His compassion to guide and nurture us at all times.
Today, we are holding the Paradise on Earth Service here in Osaka. But what we must bear in mind is that the true service is held by God in heaven, at the very center of each one of our consciousnesses. And, we must realize with deep awe and fear that God allows us to hold these services on earth, too.
We feel that it is we who have decided the date, time and place to hold this service, that it is we who put in great efforts to make this service possible today. However, I believe it is necessary for us to recognize that God, using time and space, prepared the date, time and location in order to hold the service.
Services are not meant for us. Services are meant for God. God wishes to manifest Himself through them. A service is when God gathers people into one place, His heaven, and receives each and every single person’s heart – that in itself is God’s work of salvation.
Together with all our ancestors and all humanity, together with all things, let us thank God in the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, for allowing us to participate in the service of heaven.
Through Meishu-sama, we have been made aware that all humanity, each person, is united with the name of Messiah. In regard to the name Messiah, Meishu-sama writes a hymn:
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.
Here, when Meishu-sama says “end,” I believe he is referring to the sense of self we all possess, the end of God’s creation. Through this hymn, I believe Meishu-sama is telling us that the salvation that lies in the name of Messiah has reached all parts of our selves, even the deepest part.
When we prayed at today’s Paradise on Earth Service, we humbly voiced out the name of Messiah through our newly revised Zengen Sanji prayer.
I would like you to know that the name of Messiah is an important name to God so that He may accomplish His work of creation. Before He created all things in heaven and earth, God bore us in heaven and granted each one of us the name of Messiah. Blown in this name, together with His eternal life, is God’s purpose to bear a child in His own likeness and all the necessary plans in order to fulfill that purpose. And so, within us is the name of Messiah and the love of God embedded in that name. In the love of God is His forgiveness. And where there is forgiveness, there exists salvation.
This name of Messiah is essential in order for us to return to heaven. We have traveled on the path of life that God prepared for us, were sent from heaven to earth, and were given life in this world. And now, in the name of Messiah, traveling on that very same path, we are able to return back to heaven.
We were not born to be the children of human beings. We were born to become the children of God. If that is so, together with all things and in the name of Messiah, as ones who are forgiven and saved, we can return to heaven, the origin of everything and everyone. I believe that in this way, we can serve in God’s work of making all humanity His own children.
This is what Meishu-sama has pointed out to us as the “construction of Paradise on Earth” and “salvation of humanity.” Meishu-sama revealed to us in his final years as being “newly born as a Messiah.” This means that all Meishu-sama taught us until then, until his final years, including the teachings on Paradise on Earth and salvation of humanity, have to be connected to his final message of “newly born as a Messiah.” I am convinced that in all Meishu-sama left for us, the Will of God to make us newly born as true children of God, Messiahs, permeates.
With the name of Messiah, God began all of creation. Even now, without a moment’s rest, God continues His work with that holy name. That is why to treasure the name of Messiah in our minds and to voice out this name, I believe, is how we can truly praise God.
Meishu-sama wrote the following hymn:
Let us praise God’s Greatness!
The pure vibration of those words
Will reverberate throughout Heaven and Earth!
God allows us to praise His greatness with the name of Messiah. Not only that, God is telling us that He will receive and accept the name of Messiah we utter as a pure word. In fact, I believe that God makes us voice out the name of Messiah and is using the spiritual vibration that emanates from this word to spread His power of forgiveness and salvation throughout all of creation, instilling His very own spirit within all.
We must sincerely place importance on the holy name of Messiah, as Meishu-sama said in his hymn I quoted earlier, “Do not underestimate and bear in mind – The holy name of the Great Messiah…brings salvation at the end times.”
At today’s service, we prayed in front of the symbol of World Church of Messiah based on Meishu-sama’s design. 64 years ago today, on June 15, 1954, in the almost completed Messiah Hall (the original Hall of Worship), Meishu-sama held the “Provisional Ceremony to Celebrate the Birth of a Messiah.” Meishu-sama made his appearance in a pure white, Japanese garment and sat on a chair positioned at the center of the stage. At that time, behind Meishu-sama were folding screens covered in gold leaf and behind that was a curtain with the symbol of World Church of Messiah hung up, just like the one you see today.
According to records, during this service, the President at the time stepped forward to Meishu-sama and said to him, “O Messiah! Please forgive all of humanity’s sins!” Meishu-sama replied with a nod of assent and received the entreaty.
After that, all the members prayed the Amatsu Norito. It is recorded that the members who were present shed tears, overflowed with joy. The deep emotion and joy felt at the time seemed to be immense.
The fact that Meishu-sama nodded his assent to the request for forgiveness of all of humanity’s sins, I believe, means that as humanity’s representative, in the name of Messiah, he petitioned to God for forgiveness of our sins. I believe he acted as our mediator for our request to God and accepted the reply from God, “I forgive all of humanity.”
All of us must have been witness to this provisional ceremony. All of us must have attended this ceremony in our spirits. Having been witness, our sins, every single one of them, must have been forgiven in the name of Messiah.
We are now being reminded of this – reminded that all of our sins have already been forgiven! We must and should thank Meishu-sama for conveying to God all of humanity’s entreaty, our entreaty. I think the time has come for us to realize how gracious and deep the love of God is – God who has forgiven all of our sins in the name of Messiah.
Again, we prayed today in front of the symbol of World Church of Messiah. I believe that this symbol is the image of ourselves and that this symbol exists within us. In the center of this mark is a circle and from that center the lines stretch out in all directions. The outer, bigger circle envelops all the lines. This symbolizes that God sits in the center, in our center. Whatever situation or state of mind we find ourselves in, I believe that we are always united with God and He is nurturing us within His hand.
Also, looking at this symbol with its many lines that converge back to the center makes me think that no matter where we may wander about, God has already prepared within us a way back to heaven. The name of Messiah is this path.
Precisely because of the forgiveness of God embedded in the name of Messiah, we are able to unconditionally return to God’s home, His heaven, and be born anew as true children of God. Heaven is within us. Heaven is the true homeland of our souls. Heaven is the home in which God and Meishu-sama wish to live with us.
For this occasion, with a familiar melody from Dvorak’s symphony, “From the New World,” while presumptuous of me, I set my own lyrics to the song generally known as “Goin’ Home.” It is said that this piece was written by Dvorak while he was dreaming about the day he would return to his homeland. Our homeland, our true home, is God’s eternal heaven that shines brilliantly within each one of us.
This heaven is God’s home. God is wanting us to live there together with Him eternally. I believe that we have reached a moment in which we must recall this great blessing we have been granted to be able to live together with God in His heaven, return to that heaven, and with Meishu-sama as our example, firmly resolve to be born anew as a true child of God, a Messiah.
I truly believe that God and Meishu-sama reside in heaven, in God’s home, and impatiently look forward to our return.
At the very end of today’s service, we will be singing “Goin’ Home” and “Divine Light Hymn.” As we sing together, let us offer in our voices our sincere gratitude to God and to Meishu-sama, who was born anew as a true child of God, a Messiah.
And in the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, let us return to the heaven within us. There, where Meishu-sama leads, together with all things, let us serve in God’s entirely new work of salvation.
May the grace, love and light of God be with you all.