Happiness. For us followers of Meishu-sama, what is happiness?
Does salvation truly exist within us?
Why were we born, and where are we headed?
In the gratitude report from just a moment ago, we heard that she had to take medicine. At that moment, she was going to channel Johrei to the medicine and then thought twice. Wait, within all creation, including this medicine, is the light of God. Not only that, within her, within all people, the light of God exists.
This is a very important point.
In “Words of Light,” Meishu-sama says, “God is Light, / And where there is Light, peace, happiness and joy abound” and “For those who seek Light and prosperity, come!” He says that there is light. God’s light exists.
Also, in “The uniqueness of the salvation of our church,” Meishu-sama says, “In order to save people, you first need to climb up to heaven and become its residents. You then can pull people up to heaven and bring them salvation.” He is not saying heaven is coming soon. He is saying it is already here.
He says that both the light of God and His heaven exist within us.
Meishu-sama says that this is “the uniqueness of the salvation of our church.”
And that “this point is different from all other religions,” “rather, opposite of other religions.”
Hearing “rather, opposite of other religions” would make us ask how other religions are: “seeking light and heaven, one day I want to bathe in the light; I want to go to heaven; I want to be a wonderful person.” Wishing for these kinds of things, they try to accumulate virtue and do all kinds of good deeds. Churches even go forward assigning these activities to members. I believe that is how it is.
And I think we followers of Meishu-sama were the same way.
For many years, we said things like “one should elevate little by little through the practices of prayer, Johrei and good deeds, as well as accumulating virtue, making donations and guiding others; one needs to become a person of paradise who then can save people.” We took the form of wishing and waiting.
I do not think that Christianity is an exception to this.
Christians, too, for example, may think something like “I shouldn’t have said that” or “I made a mistake.” For those moments, I believe they think “I’m not a complete human being; I must repent; I must receive the blood of atonement of Jesus.” Then from there, they aim to grow, little by little, into a good human being. I believe that for them, the increase of those kinds of people is the expansion of Christianity.
But we are different. If we end up doing something we should not have done or saying something wrong to someone, for example, all kinds of thoughts and feelings well up within our hearts. In those moments, we repent, but we do not end there. As it was also mentioned in today’s gratitude report, we believe that God gathers those exact thoughts of many people to our hearts, and we offer them to God.
That is what Meishu-sama says in “The uniqueness of the salvation of our church.” Precisely because we are residents of heaven, the thoughts and feelings of various people gather to our hearts. Then we are able to hand them over to God in heaven. This is salvation. This is the construction of paradise on earth.
Meishu-sama said, “Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is at hand. But I will construct heaven.” Exactly as said.
To save others, we do not have to wait until we become wonderful people. We do not need to accumulate virtues before we can save others.
It is not that. We have various kinds of thoughts and feelings every day, do we not? As said in the gratitude report, when she went to the hospital, she thought about many things related to the coronavirus. Or there are the various thoughts and feelings we have about our neighbors, or the relationships between family members. Through these things themselves, we are already being used in the divine work of salvation. We are being used in the divine work of constructing a paradise on earth.
So our religion, World Church of Messiah, is a church where all of us live and go about our daily lives – that in itself is creating heaven; we are constructing paradise on earth. It is that kind of wonderful religion. That is who we are.
Now then, because we are these wonderful existences, does it mean that we have already attained completion? Are we complete, saved and that is the end of it? No, that is not so.
That is to say, for us, the model of completion is Meishu-sama, isn’t it?
As followers of Meishu-sama, we are aiming to become like Meishu-sama, aren’t we?
And if you should ask what Meishu-sama’s completion is, it is the birth of the Messiah. In the last year before his ascension, Meishu-sama collapsed with the symptoms of a brain hemorrhage. But rather than losing his own life, he was born anew! He was born anew as a child of God in the life of God.
For us followers of Meishu-sama, this is what completion is.
Have we achieved this completion? We have not.
That is why each and every one of us must awaken to the soul of God within us – Messiah – and aim to be nearer to Meishu-sama.
When you are told “be born anew as a Messiah,” you may think you have been told a very serious matter, but you should not be surprised by this.
This is because Meishu-sama said that “humans become animals when they fall and become gods when they rise.” Meishu-sama is saying that we have to become gods.
Meishu-sama became one with God who lives within him. He rose to heaven, became one with God and became what he called a “divine human.”
But this is not limited only to Meishu-sama. Meishu-sama said, “humans become animals when they fall and become gods when they rise.” In other words, he is saying that this is our mission. He is saying that to be nearer to God, to become a god, is our mission as humans.
When we say “animals,” it is symbolized by the instinct of self-preservation. For example, if someone says something negative to us, we talk back, or in order to protect ourselves, we feel we must do something. We have long lived our lives in that way, every day. For example, I was told such and such by that person, so next time I’m going to give it back to them like this.
If we do nothing but think and do those kinds of things, we may just fall deeper and deeper until one day we really become like animal existences.
But rather than letting out those animal-like thoughts, if you can think, “I was sent here to save those very thoughts. God, please receive them in Your hand,” then you will rise. You will steadily rise up, and you can become one with God who is at the very top. That is what it means to “rise.”
So do we want to become animals, or do we want to become gods? We must choose one of these.
And if we can become divine humans as Meishu-sama did, I believe that would be, for us, true happiness, true joy.
Or we often hear “child of God.” “Everyone is a child of God; we are all brothers and sisters, so that’s why we must get along.” These kinds of things are often said, including in Christianity. So does that mean that we have already become children of God? I believe that is where the issue lies. Are we already children of God or not?
If we are already children of God, then why did Meishu-sama talk about the fact that he was born anew? “To be born anew” certainly assumes that there is someone who bears. For someone to “be born anew” means that there is someone who bore them.
Then who bore Meishu-sama? Certainly not a human. It could only be God.
And that Jesus had to say “unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God” means we are not yet children of God. Because we are not yet children of God, Jesus is saying that we must be born again.
If we are what we have been through today, we are still children of humans, so to speak. We are children of humans, or as Meishu-sama says, we are children of “animals,” still.
Do you want to end your life as a child of an animal? Or a child of God? Do you want to end as an animal or be born anew as a child of God? We must choose which one.
And we still have not become children of God. That is to say, you cannot self-proclaim that you have been “born anew.” God has to say to you, “You are my child.”
But just because you have not yet reached that point does not mean you have to despair.
That is because, within us, the soul of God exists, and we are being guided there. There is absolutely no mistake about this, is there?
You may think that the path we are being guided on is that of suffering, but it is not. It appears to be the path of hardship, but it is not. We are, right now, walking on a path where we aim to achieve our completion while being used in the divine work of constructing heaven.
And so, there is not one thing that needs to be denied in your life.
Even if you have negative thoughts and emotions, that is the divine work of the construction of paradise on earth, the divine work of salvation. And, at the same time, each and every step of that journey, in the truest sense, is the path to achieve completion, that is, to become one with God. Rather than ending as children of animals, we are walking the path of becoming children of God.
And so there is the Sacred Word of Meishu-sama. We now call it Sacred Word, but there are many, no?
There are “Words of Light,” the aforementioned “The uniqueness of the salvation of our church” and “Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is at hand. But I will construct heaven,” and so forth. Besides these, there are numerous other works of Meishu-sama’s Sacred Word that he left for us.
Of those, we disregarded the most important thing: the completion of Meishu-sama, that is, we disregarded his words of “becoming a divine human,” “becoming a child of God” and “being born anew.” We assumed that we understood Meishu-sama’s teachings and for a long time said things like “this teaching means this” or “this means that.” But, in actuality, we were just wandering in the dark. We assumed we understood, but we were lost in the dark the whole time. We were existences that could be called children of animals.
But Kyoshu-sama is teaching us, “No, what is most important for a follower of Meishu-sama is this: Meishu-sama received a brain hemorrhage and after going through that painful experience, he left us with the matter of to be born anew as a child of God – wouldn’t that be the main point?” and “is this not what penetrates through all of Meishu-sama’s Sacred Word and all his life examples he left us?”
And so we have had our understanding of the Sacred Word and various matters up until now, but it is time we raise the white flag to Meishu-sama and say, “I did not understand,” “I had no understanding.” We should say, “Meishu-sama left us with various matters, but we comprehended them in a way that suits humans. We did not understand at all.” We should raise the white flag and say, “I have no clue regarding what you left for us, but I want to receive it,” “the completion Meishu-sama achieved, being born anew as the Messiah – I want to receive this.” This is the attitude we must take.
Meishu-sama’s Sacred Word is filled with mysteries. It is extraordinarily deep.
Does that mean that we just give up? Are we completely out of clues? No, there is something. That is Meishu-sama, himself. Meishu-sama, himself, with his own body and being, showed us the example of being born anew as the Messiah.
There lies our salvation.
Meishu-sama went through that much pain and left us the example of the birth of the Messiah. For whose sake was this? It was for each and every one of us!
So all the various matters that Meishu-sama left for us – it is okay if you cannot understand them all. Rather, obediently say, “I do not understand at all,” “Meishu-sama, I raise the white flag,” “but I want to receive what you truly wish from us.” That is all. All we have to do is say yes to Meishu-sama. This is what is left for us.
When we should simply say yes to Meishu-sama, we prolong it by saying such things as “that is wrong” or “I have no real sense of what it means to be born anew.”
All we need to say is yes to Meishu-sama first and then “I don’t understand. I raise the white flag to you. I will receive your will.” That is all.
Should we do so, the joy that we feel will far exceed what we have felt until now. The joy we have had until today was the joy of human children, the joy of children of animals, but if we raise the white flag to Meishu-sama and say yes to him, we can experience true joy. It will be the joy that our true parent grants – the wonderful joy and peace of mind that we can experience as a child of God and not as children of animals. I believe we will be able to certainly experience these feelings.
So, for us followers of Meishu-sama, what exactly is happiness?
The conclusion of happiness for Meishu-sama was to become a child of God and meet his true Father. That was, for Meishu-sama, true happiness.
And it is not asking for the impossible, because God and His heaven already exist within us!
And, really, do you think it is all right to end our lives as children of animals? Don’t we carry with us a destiny to become children of God and become truly wonderful existences?
So, whatever we think or however we feel, we do not need to deny it, because to feel is to save. To think is to save. Through our thoughts and feelings, God is advancing His divine work. Within us is heaven. Within us is salvation.
Don’t we want to be happy? We yearn for happiness, don’t we? But this is not something unattainable, because joy and happiness already exist within us! The day will come when you will meet God face to face. The joy of meeting God is truly immeasurable, and we are already walking on that path.