Greeting by Masaaki-sama
World Church of Messiah – Beginning of Spring Service
RIHGA Royal Hotel, Osaka, Japan
February 4, 2020
My sincere congratulations to all of you on World Church of Messiah Risshun (Beginning of Spring) Service.
In 1950, 70 years ago today on this day of Risshun, Meishu-sama founded World Church of Messiah. And in the following five years until he passed away in 1955, he advanced his religious activities under the name World Church of Messiah.
However, two years after Meishu-sama passed away, in March of 1957, “World Church of Messiah” was changed to “World Church of Salvation (Sekai Kyusei Kyo).”
63 years have passed since then.
And today, here we are.
Today, the name “World Church of Messiah” that Meishu-sama himself had named has been resurrected. 63 years have passed, and, today, the name has been resurrected. Today, this historic day, is a day of immeasurable joy for Meishu-sama and for us followers of Meishu-sama.
And this name that Meishu-sama loved, World Church of Messiah, was resurrected by your hands. That is how I see it.
Why I say this is because this was not something due to Kyoshu-sama’s bidding or his directions. I am certain that it was done under Kyoshu-sama’s guidance and his message, but, as it was also said in the video just now, in the end, President Narii made the request representing the unanimous will of the board of executive directors. He asked for approval.
I say board of executive directors, but they are, in the end, your representatives. He was representing the unanimous will of the executives, this board of executive directors, when he asked Kyoshu-sama. I believe that this means he was representing your collective will when he asked for permission to use the name World Church of Messiah.
I believe that all of you clearly expressed your intention in wanting to receive God and Meishu-sama’s permission through Kyoshu-sama. Then, Kyoshu-sama received permission from God and Meishu-sama, and we all received that permission through Kyoshu-sama.
That is why, today, the resurrection of the name Meishu-sama loved is without doubt – without any doubt – the result of your faith. It is the crystallization of the journey all of you took up until today. That is how I see it. And if this is so, I would like to give all of you my sincere respect. Thank you very much.
On the other hand, there may be those among you who don’t completely understand what Kyoshu-sama explains about the Messiah, or who don’t understand what this “new faith” means or who cannot feel what it means “to be born anew.”
However, I don’t think it is necessary to put yourself down for these kinds of thoughts. That is because, in these last few years, with the slight confusion within the church, we all were pressed to make a decision. There were those who criticized Kyoshu-sama, and, in those circumstances, all of you were pressed to make a decision.
There is only one point that Kyoshu-sama is conveying to us. Do we follow Meishu-sama’s example and go forward on the path to be born anew as a Messiah or not? I believe it comes down to this one point. This Kyoshu-sama was attacked. And this Kyoshu-sama’s message was also attacked.
In those circumstances, each and every one of you heard both sides of the story. I believe each one of you found yourselves in differing situations, but all of you here resolved to walk together with Kyoshu-sama. I believe the fact that all of you resolved to do this means that you accepted the message that Kyoshu-sama is bringing to us – to follow Meishu-sama’s example of being born anew as a Messiah.
In that way, because all of you clearly showed your resolve and received the name of Messiah, Meishu-sama saw this and believed, “The name World Church of Messiah is the perfect name for all of you.” He then granted this name to us, and here today, World Church of Messiah has been resurrected.
When you think about it this way, if those opposed to Kyoshu-sama had not existed, each one of us would not have questioned ourselves. “What do I think about this?” or “Do I want to receive the name of Messiah or not?” Not only would we not have asked ourselves these questions, we would not have resolved to receive the name of Messiah. And thanks to making that resolve, today, World Church of Messiah has been resurrected. So, to those people who opposed Kyoshu-sama, while we must be firm in our stance with them, it is thanks to people like them, after all, that we were able to make a firm decision and reach this point today. Putting importance on these matters, we must thank God who used those people.
Needless to say, those who want to be united to World Church of Messiah by their own will are assembled here today. However, if we are indeed here today because of those kinds of people who opposed Kyoshu-sama and those people were used by God for us, then it is not only all of you but it is also those people, who are attending together with us here today. That is how I see it and would like for you to see it this way, too. And I would like for us all to offer our gratitude to God for His profound plan.
Today, Meishu-sama’s church name has been resurrected. We were hiding the name World Church of Messiah, so to speak, but it has been resurrected. But what we were really hiding, actually, is not just the name. In reality, we were neglecting the spirit Meishu-sama embedded in the name World Church of Messiah for the longest time.
70 years ago when Meishu-sama founded the church, in an interview for the church publication, Meishu-sama was asked, “What is the global significance of the birth of World Church of Messiah?” I believe that Meishu-sama’s reply to the question, what Meishu-sama says here, is the church guideline for World Church of Messiah.
At the time, Meishu-sama said that in the West there is Christianity, that Jesus Christ’s divine power is great and that our new religion, Church of Messiah, will work in concert with Christianity and “strive to save humanity and lead it in the right direction; I ask God to use all my heart and soul to achieve this task.” He said “all my heart and soul.” Meishu-sama proclaimed that he would go forward working in concert with Christianity to save humanity with all his heart and soul. For Meishu-sama, I would say that this was the church guideline for World Church of Messiah.
In that same time period in another separate interview, Meishu-sama was asked, “Is it possible to realize world peace with the power of religion?” To that, he replied, “I believe that it is absolutely possible.” He said, “In the West, there is Christ. In the East, there is Messiah. If these two major forces work in concert with each other – one in the East, the other in the West, and if all members of the two powers diligently fight for peace, eternal peace will surely be brought about.” There is a consistency running through his reply to the first question and this question.
It was also said in today’s teaching from the same time period. When one of his leading disciples, Rev. Issai Nakajima, passed away, Meishu-sama said that Kannon had become Messiah. And he said that “Church of Messiah will become extremely close to Christianity.” He said he had thought of this in the past, but now, finally, the time had arrived for this to materialize.
Meishu-sama said, “Church of Messiah will become close to Christianity.” He did not say Christianity will become close to Church of Messiah. Again, Church of Messiah will become close to Christianity. That is to say, Meishu-sama is using Christianity-centered phrasing. This is very serious. That is how clear Meishu-sama’s intention to go forward together with Christianity was shown to us and was shown in various ways.
Furthermore, from today’s teaching, at one glance, it seems like it is only about Kannon, but it is also about Miroku (Maitreya), as written in the Zengen Sanji, “turned into Miroku and has become Messiah.” Meishu-sama said that the work of Miroku, too, has become Messiah.
And so, rather than using Buddhist terms, such as Kannon and Miroku, and moving in the direction of Buddhism, Meishu-sama wanted to proceed in the direction of Christianity for World Church of Messiah using terms such as Messiah; Jehovah (Yahweh), the God of Christianity; and Christianity as they were used in today’s hymn: “The Messiah is descending, / Carrying Jehovah (Yahweh) on his back!” I believe he had this clear intention.
However, on our path of changing the name World Church of Messiah to World Church of Salvation, we were off point with this will of Meishu-sama, too. We did not place importance on his will.
That is to say, just as we did to the name World Church of Messiah, we did the same to the will that Meishu-sama embedded in the founding of World Church of Messiah – we neglected this will for the longest time.
One more point. We have been neglecting an exceedingly important matter that Meishu-sama left for us. The year before he passed away, Meishu-sama collapsed from symptoms of a brain stroke. At that time, there was something he repeatedly said. That is, “Johrei is not as important now. From here on, we enter the world of sonen.” Meishu-sama said this over and over again.
This is published in the very first periodical after Meishu-sama’s ascension from the discussions and talks among Meishu-sama’s closest assistants. For his closest assistants to touch upon these matters soon after Meishu-sama’s ascension, I believe, means that Meishu-sama’s words left quite a deep impression on them. Meishu-sama said it repeatedly. “Johrei is not as important now.” These are words of Meishu-sama, not from Kyoshu-sama.
Just how much did we turn our attention to these words until now? When we hear these words, what kind of thoughts and feelings well up from within us?
When we think about these various matters, actually, as time went on, didn’t we go further and further from what Meishu-sama left us? Further from his wishes?
Meishu-sama is saying our church will “work in concert with Christianity.” On our path until now, just how far have we advanced? He said that “Church of Messiah will become extremely close to Christianity.” How close have we become? He said that “Johrei is not as important now. From here on, we enter the world of sonen.” Just how much have we been walking on that path? We haven’t walked on it at all, have we?
That is why, that is precisely why Kyoshu-sama, himself, interacted with people from Christianity and learned from the Bible. Hasn’t he been conveying to us what he thought and felt from there for the longest time?
If we feel that there is something strange with this, then that goes to show just how far removed we have become from the matters that Meishu-sama had left us.
When we look at World Church of Messiah’s newspaper publication from that time, Glory, matters related to and text from the New Testament of the Bible appear as if it were standard. Those at the time were seeking the connection between what Meishu-sama was saying and what was in the Bible.
Now, if words from the New Testament were normally quoted in your church publication, what would all of you feel? If you feel that it is far removed from Meishu-sama’s divine work, if you have those kinds of thoughts, doesn’t that, in reality, show just how far we have gone from Meishu-sama’s wishes? That is because while Meishu-sama was alive, text was normally quoted from the New Testament.
And so, Kyoshu-sama learned from Christianity, learned from the Bible and, in regard to Johrei, too, he says that the hand we raise for Johrei is not the only hand. He says that the hand of God exists within us. That is the true hand of Johrei. The light of God illuminates us, and He is always using our thoughts and feelings in His work of salvation – any kinds of thoughts and feelings. Regardless of what kinds of thoughts and feelings we have, God is always enveloping them in His light and welcoming them. Kyoshu-sama is saying that this is the true Johrei. As such, I believe that Kyoshu-sama is conveying to us what the true meaning is when Meishu-sama says, “Johrei is not as important now. From here on, we enter the world of sonen.”
So when Kyoshu-sama is learning from Christianity and the Bible, does this mean that Kyoshu-sama is doing this by his own will? I do not think so.
Why? It is because Meishu-sama left us teachings like I just mentioned as well as examples from his life. However, his own followers that he loved did not inherit those wishes of his, and he wanted his followers to inherit them, by all means. And so, using Kyoshu-sama, through Kyoshu-sama, he is imparting his true wish, once again, to us now. Isn’t that what it is?
“Work in concert with Christianity,” “become extremely close to Christianity,” “Johrei is not as important now. From here on, we enter the world of sonen” – there is a limit for Kyoshu-sama to advance all these matters by himself.
I believe, I understand, that it is all of you, each and every one of you, who will really accomplish these matters.
Meishu-sama’s true wishes that have now been made clear owing to Kyoshu-sama’s guidance will be realized by each and every one of your hands. The true start of this is today. This is a historic day, a truly glorious start. I believe the will that Meishu-sama is entrusting to all of you is something enormous.
Meishu-sama wishes that, by the efforts of each and every one of you, you will work in concert with Christianity, save humanity and bring about eternal peace. “Eternal peace” is different from what the world calls “world peace.” Why? Only God has eternity. Within each and every one of us, there is an eternal one. It is God who exists within us. Should all of humanity awaken to this and should that spread all over the world, then I believe that “eternal peace” will surely be brought about.
Peace on earth is only momentary. It is something fleeting. But Meishu-sama says eternal peace will be brought about. Who builds this world of eternal peace of God will be each and every one of you. I believe that Meishu-sama is wishing “because I am conveying my thoughts and feelings through Kyoshu, my representative on earth, I want each and every one of you to receive them and accomplish my wishes.”
And so, today is not simply the resurrection of the name of World Church of Messiah. Today is the true resurrection of his will, the thoughts and feelings Meishu-sama embedded in the name. I believe that today is the day that the divine work Meishu-sama is wishing for – God’s divine work of the true salvation of humanity, the divine work of the true construction of heaven on earth – is making a genuine start. It is a truly glorious, great day. And all of you have gathered here on this great day.
I believe that, under this World Church of Messiah, all of you will become great existences and be ones who will fulfill their missions of saving humanity in the truest sense.
I am truly grateful that, together with all of you who have received this great mission, I am permitted to make this start today, too. Together with all of you and in order to realize Meishu-sama’s true wish, I will devote my life to this path.
Thank you very much.