World Church of Messiah – Paradise on Earth Service
Headquarters Altar Room
June 15, 2020
Congratulations, everyone, on today’s World Church of Messiah Paradise on Earth Service.
From this past Beginning of Spring (Risshun) Service, you have taken a new path and decided to go forward with the name World Church of Messiah, the church that Meishu-sama founded 70 years ago on the day of Risshun. You decided to truly inherit the will with which Meishu-sama founded World Church of Messiah in order to serve, with heart and soul, in the divine work of true salvation.
Since that monumental Risshun, four months have passed. I am sure that all of you were so excited to move forward in this new direction, but, as you know, we were hit by the spread of the novel coronavirus, and for that, you have not been able to carry out the activities you initially wanted to do.
You now cannot hold services with thousands of attendees nor hold meetings or conferences. Even simply visiting or having a conversation with people comes with restrictions. In this way, our social life has been affected to a degree we never foresaw happening.
Now, the whole world is under the influence of this novel coronavirus, and we have all been thrown into confusion. Areas like politics and the economy, for example, are in a chaotic state, too.
Through all of this, it became clear to me that there must be something God wants us to realize from it. What could it be?
What came to my mind first was how we have been deciding and doing things as if they were our prerogative, our right. We have been taking it for granted that we have the power and authority to carry out the activities we wish to advance. Needless to say, in truth, it was only through the permission of God that we were able to do what we did.
I must confess to you that I took this – the permission of God – very lightly.
God watches over us, constantly.
That is why we must communicate to God every time we decide something or do something. And after we have done something, regardless of whether the thing we wanted to do ended up in success or in failure, we must communicate everything to God, recognizing that He certainly worked within us for all of our deeds and thinking. This, I believe, is the correct attitude we should take toward God.
Through the current situation of the world, I feel that God is working very hard so that we are able to realize the importance of turning our hearts to Him like this, even if just a little.
What also came to my mind was this: Whenever we realize something or believe in something with joy and excitement, we want to tell the people around us, as many people as possible, about it. We even feel the need to tell others about it.
To act in this way is of course necessary and extremely important, but at the same time I think there is something we must be careful of.
There are times when we feel overly proud of realizing and knowing the truth, and then misunderstand, thinking that we are better than others and end up telling them what we realize and know as if we were superior to them, as if we possessed more knowledge than them.
This attitude may prevent them from grasping what we are trying to say, and instead of having a good influence on others, we may unintentionally put more burden on them.
For a long time, we have lived our life not realizing the true purpose of life.
We have lived our life not knowing that God, who is one and only, is our true Father and that we within us carry a soul named Messiah – the name given by God Himself.
We have lived our life not knowing that it was a sin against God to regard our souls as our own.
We have lived our life not knowing that this sin of ours – taking possession of God’s soul – was atoned for and that we were brought to salvation as ones who were forgiven. We did not know that God was nurturing us, together with many, to be born anew as His children.
Even though we have lived our life in this way, we were led to be awakened to the truth through Meishu-sama. We must etch this fact deep into our hearts.
At the same time, I feel that, to this day, God has been protecting us so that we would not become overly proud when communicating with people and would be able to remind ourselves that we are ones who were led to the truth only through the grace of God.
As we encounter various situations due to the influence of the minute particles existing in the novel coronavirus, what came to my mind was our attitude toward all creation.
In his hymn, Meishu-sama writes:
“Great is the blessing of the natural world. / It turned a single, invisible soul into a human being!”
“The blessing of the natural world” is the blessing of all creation.
Meishu-sama, through this hymn, is telling us that even though the soul is our true identity, we were able to carry a physical body and a sense of self by the grace of all creation.
In other words, we are able to have a sense of “I” only through the existence of all creation.
All the elements, all the minute particles, all the cells, the whole earth and the whole universe – these are all parts of all creation.
We and all creation are one with the body of God who lives eternally and is one.
It is only through the blessing of all creation that we can breathe, see, hear, feel and think in this world.
It is only through the blessing of all creation that we can turn our hearts to God and pray to Him, express our gratitude to Him, return to Him and surrender our feelings to Him.
In the beginning, all creation was with us in heaven. God entrusted His will – the will of making all humanity His children – to all creation and sent all to the earth.
Therefore, what all creation wishes for is one: it wishes to help God fulfill His will, that is, it wishes for us to be born anew as children of God, as Messiahs, just as Meishu-sama did.
Our sense of “I,” that is, our consciousness, is made up of all creation; we exist because of all creation. Even so, we have taken the will of God and the wish of all creation much too lightly. Rather, we only thought of all creation as something to fulfill our own desires and to utilize in our lives.
Politics, economics, religion, science and ideology, as well as culture and civilization – God prepared these in order to fulfill His will, but we have been regarding them as something to be used by human beings rather than by God.
Now, let me say this: Our consciousnesses made up of all creation, and the aspects of human life like politics, economics and so on, both, are the end result of the first phase of God’s creation. They are, in the words of Meishu-sama, things of “the world of night.”
As Meishu-sama declared the end of “the world of night,” God put an end to the workings of the first phase of creation that existed within us.
To be more specific, this means that God decided to extend His hand of mercy to us who dishonored Him: He sent Jesus Christ to the world, received the blood Jesus sacrificed as the atoning blood for our sins in the past, the present and the future, made us sinless and welcomed us into the world of beginning – heaven.
And as Meishu-sama announced the beginning of “the world of day,” God is now using us in His second phase of divine creation, that is, He is now welcoming many into His heaven and remaking all creation anew through us whose sin against God has been forgiven.
In fact, God has been exercising this power within us to this very day; we just did not know it. That is why God has caused all the current circumstances in the world to emerge, or rather, He has caused all kinds of human thoughts and feelings to emerge through the current seeming confusion in the world.
You may feel that since we cannot carry out our activities in full swing now, divine work has slowed down. But this is definitely not the case.
With His grace and authority, God is now exercising His power in full swing within us.
He is now extending His saving hand to all the people in the world whose hearts are filled with anxiety and worry. God is now ministering His Johrei to us, welcoming everything into His hand through forgiving all of what humanity has committed to this day. God is now remaking all creation anew.
Within us, the forgiveness of God exists. This forgiveness of God is the foundation of the divine revelation of the transition from night to day.
Within us, the church bearing the name of Messiah exists. This church atones for, purifies, saves and revives everything.
Let us recognize that the forgiveness of God and the church bearing the name of Messiah exist within us. Let us, by each one of our own wills, accept the forgiveness of God embedded in the name of Messiah just as Meishu-sama did. Let us, together with many people and all creation, return to heaven and surrender all into the saving hand of God. For now is the time to serve in this work.
Within us, God’s hand of Johrei exists!
There is not a single moment when we are not used in God’s divine work of Johrei.
Meishu-sama wrote the following hymn:
“The voices of the members / Burst out from their sincere hearts. / Do they have the power to influence and change the world? / Of course they do!”
Through this hymn, I feel that Meishu-sama is telling us with a stern voice, “Doesn’t the voice of God coming out from His sincere heart have the power to influence and change the world? Of course it does!”
Our hearts are changeable, always mixed with good and bad thoughts. But that is not all that we have.
Within us – at the center of each one of our consciousnesses – the sincere heart of God exists. His true heart exists!
No matter what, God will save us. No matter what, God will make us His own children. For He so loves us.
The voice of God that bursts out from His heart comes out from heaven and is filling the whole, visible earth. It is now resounding here on earth!
As a follower of Meishu-sama, we must respond to this voice of God and say to Him: “Together with everything, I return to heaven where true salvation exists. May Your will be done. In the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, I surrender all into Your hand.” If we can offer this kind of thought to God, I believe that the sonen of God will ripple through the world, providing immeasurable salvation and comfort to those who are currently caught up in the whirlpool of anxiety and worry.
Through our outgoing breath and incoming breath, may the salvation and comfort of the church bearing the name of Messiah be shared with all on earth.
May all glory, authority and grace be returned to God who is one with the name of Messiah.
Thank you very much.