September Monthly Service
World Church of Messiah Headquarters Altar Room
September 1, 2020
Meishu-sama left us numerous matters—in particular, what we came to call the “Three Pillars of Salvation”: Johrei, Nature Farming and Art. We have placed importance on these matters until today, haven’t we?
Now then—Johrei, Nature Farming, Art—what exactly was Meishu-sama’s wish, his purpose, in leaving these for us?
When we say Nature Farming, we think pesticide-free. In today’s world, there is an increase in what we call pesticide-free, natural or organic production.
Related to that, we hear about toxins in medicine. Even in today’s world, if you develop a fever, a regular doctor may not give any medicine and say that it is better for the fever to take its course. I believe this kind of thinking is gradually increasing.
With Johrei, too, we think about raising the hand to heal, that the hand has the power to heal. While not called Johrei, through energy healing and things of that nature, it is often said that humans have that kind of power and that by raising the hand, the body becomes well. I believe there is a growing acceptance for these kinds of concepts by the general public.
Or when we talk about Art, we think about flowers. Even in today’s world, we hear about people arranging flowers and how those who look at them are comforted.
Or art in itself. A work of art. It is common to hear that artworks are necessary for the cultivation of emotional development.
So does the increase of these ways of being mean that Meishu-sama’s purpose in leaving Johrei, Nature Farming and Art is being fulfilled?
I do not think so by any means.
What if, for example, in the future, the time comes when the entire earth produces pesticide-free crops. Everyone says, “Pesticide-free foods are better for the body. They are good for one’s health. Ah, how great! With this, humans are living longer.” But if that were only to better human health, for the good of the human body, and if God did not exist in the picture, I do not think Meishu-sama would be happy at all.
It is true that Meishu-sama emphasized “pesticide-free,” “fertilizer-free” and suchlike. At the beginning, Meishu-sama did not use the name “Nature Farming,” rather “cultivation without fertilizers.” But what he was asking us throughout was “who is cultivating the crops? The fertilizer or God?” Through Nature Farming, he was asking us this question.
The growth of crops—is it because humans use fertilizers that crops grow and humans can eat those crops? It is not that. Meishu-sama wanted us to know—in every way possible—that God exists and that the main character who grows the crops is God. It is by the will of God that crops are made. For this, I believe he revealed to us Nature Farming.
Medicine is the same. Is it medicine that heals the human body, makes it better and sustains it? Or is it God? Which one? Meishu-sama wanted to ask us, so he spoke about toxins in medicine.
Or how about Johrei? He said that Johrei can be proven by science. Through the raising of the hand by a human being, they have this power to heal. Then, the human body gets better and, little by little, lives longer. But that is not what Meishu-sama meant. What he meant when he said Johrei can be proven by science was that God exists. God can be proven. He said this with absolute conviction. He wanted to show us that science can most definitely prove the existence of God.
To simply say, “Humans have been raising their hands for healing since long ago. There are also things like energy healing. Through these, human health becomes better”—has no meaning to Meishu-sama. Through Johrei, Meishu-sama wanted to prove, through and through, that God exists.
This goes for flower activities, too. Even if many people were beginning to arrange flowers and say, “Ah, this is comforting. Oh, flowers are beautiful. Humans are amazing existences,” I think this would bring no joy to Meishu-sama.
Why? Meishu-sama said in his hymn:
“O God, / Every time I see beautiful flowers, / I think of You! / I think of how masterful You are, / And how marvelous yet mysterious Your skill is!”
Each time he looks at a flower, he thinks of God’s divine skill. He felt God’s skill that could not be expressed in words. And this was each time he looked at a flower. He said, “Every time I see beautiful flowers.” Each time Meishu-sama looked at a flower, he thought of God.
If we are to do flower activities, this posture of Meishu-sama must unquestionably be the basis, the essence, of those activities. So when we look at a flower, we can think, just like Meishu-sama, “Ah, God the Creator exists, and He is making such wonderful things for us.” People usually do not say it like that in this world, do they? It usually just ends with “flowers are pretty. How comforting.”
When it comes to art, too—for the world to become peaceful and most of humanity comes to enjoy art; to say this artwork exists or that artist existed—to learn and enjoy art on a human level is not the reason why Meishu-sama revealed to us the activity of Art.
Meishu-sama says in one of his hymns:
“I will collect all artworks that exist in the world, / And show you what the innermost part of heaven looks like!”
He said he “will collect all artworks that exist in the world” and show us what the innermost part of heaven looks like. Meishu-sama wanted to teach this to us. That is to say, he revealed to us the activity of Art to teach us that “heaven exists within us.” It was not for us to know art, appreciate it or be healed by it on a human level.
In every aspect, Meishu-sama wanted for us to remember heaven, to know that heaven exists. The deepest, most beautiful part, the most wonderful place, exists. He wanted for us to realize this in every way possible and tried to awaken us through works of art.
So were we to do flower activities, organic farming or raise our hands for healing amongst other things in an ordinary way without God, it would be much better if we do just that as a non-profit organization or something of a similar process.
But these matters Meishu-sama left for us—are they the same kinds of things that people in the world are ordinarily doing? Are the matters that Meishu-sama put his whole life into and left for us the same thing as what the world talks about to the general public on the arts, farming and human life?
There are also the Sacred Grounds, prototypes of paradise on earth. We are on the Sacred Grounds right now, but what did Meishu-sama want the people who visited the Sacred Grounds to feel? That is a “prototype of paradise on earth.” So, actually, as I am saying, he wanted to show us “what the innermost part of heaven looks like.” Through the Sacred Grounds, he wanted us to remember that heaven exists within us.
For us to just come here and say, “Ah, how pretty it is,” is not it. He wanted us to feel, “Ah, actually, there is an even more wonderful heaven in the spiritual world.” I believe that Meishu-sama is saying, “It is there, isn’t it?” “It exists within you, doesn’t it?” Wishing for us to awaken to that heaven within us, he dedicated himself completely to the construction of the Sacred Grounds.
Meishu-sama, through every means possible, wanted us to know that within us heaven exists. God exists. God grows and nurtures everything and sustains our bodies. Meishu-sama brought this to our attention with earnestness.
Does God exist or not? Does heaven exist or not? Meishu-sama was asking us these questions.
So this Johrei, Nature Farming or Art—now that we know Meishu-sama’s purpose in leaving them for us, from here on, too, are we going to continue saying we still want miracles, lots of miracles? Make this and that place more beautiful? More and more, in this way, are we going to continue seeking only the joy and prosperity of this earth?
I do not think so.
If Meishu-sama’s purpose in leaving those matters was for us to awaken to God and heaven, that would mean we must first, before anything else, say in our thoughts to Meishu-sama, “God exists. Heaven certainly exists within me.” This would be the way to respond to the will of Meishu-sama, who left for us Nature Farming, Johrei and Art, wouldn’t it?
And this Meishu-sama, this Meishu-sama—as all of you know, when he received the purification of a brain hemorrhage on April 19, 1954, there was something that he said over and over. That is “Johrei is not so important anymore,” “From now on, we enter the world of sonen.” He said this repeatedly.
We might think that these words, “Johrei is not so important anymore,” means “this only has to do with Johrei,” “it is only Johrei that is not so important anymore.” But he says, “From now on, we enter the world of sonen.” In other words, he is saying that from now on, it is not the visible but the invisible heart that will be most important. So him saying “Johrei is not so important anymore” does not apply only to Johrei.
What Meishu-sama wanted to say was that it is not just Johrei but such matters like Nature Farming and Art, too—it is not through visible things or through activities with form that salvation will advance. Rather, since Meishu-sama said we entered the world of sonen, God would be advancing salvation through our sonen and our hearts from now on. I understand that this is what Meishu-sama was speaking about.
Depending on the person, some may say that that is not what it means. But now, for example, in this situation with the coronavirus, if, in actuality, the power to heal shown by the raising of the hand was still Meishu-sama’s purpose of divine work, by nature, now should be the time to do just that. However, if we do that kind of thing now, it would likely be considered a problem by society, or we would be attacked by the media. And in certain cases, status as a religious corporation may be revoked. Then it would not even be possible for us to do religious activities.
Or there is the issue of rejecting medical treatment because of toxins in medicine. When the government says to diligently take medicine or get injections, saying no and stubbornly rejecting medical treatment because of toxins in medicine may put us through the same fate. We may be isolated from society.
As such, seeing that these times have now come indeed, I believe that Meishu-sama foresaw decades before, “Ah, the world from now on and the world of the tangible will change in various ways. But from now on, God will be advancing His very own salvation using our hearts, the heart which is not visible.” He certainly must have sensed this. So isn’t that why he left us these words, “Johrei is not so important anymore” and “From now on we enter the world of sonen”?
“Johrei is not so important anymore.” “From now on we enter the world of sonen.” For us followers of Meishu-sama, what a shocking message.
However, Meishu-sama foresaw these times, and for our sake, for the sake of true salvation, I believe that he left us this message.
So what exactly is this salvation through our hearts? Until now, it was salvation of the visible world. But he said, “From now on, we enter the world of sonen.” So were you to ask how salvation should advance in this world of sonen, that is as Kyoshu-sama is always explaining to us: There are many people who are within us. How we were born on this earth was not by our own power, was it? Many ancestors existed and so we exist. Those ancestors lived until today while bearing grudges or envying others, killing or being killed, and the like. Those impurities have accumulated within our hearts. And they come to the surface of our hearts every day, don’t they? When we were told such and such by someone and feel we have to give it back to them, or uglier, we may have thoughts and feelings so ugly that they cannot be put into words. These well up from our hearts.
But God is not saying that this is our fault. God is saying, “Aren’t those kinds of thoughts within you what humanity has left behind from their lives?” “Because I am illuminating that with my light now, I want you to carry them along with you and bring them to me.” “Bring them back to heaven.”
Kyoshu-sama is talking about it like this now, but this is not by any means a matter that only he is talking about.
“People of the world, / Hurry up and come to heaven! / For I save you in this heaven / Where there is no winter or night for all eternity!”
He is saying, “I want to save the people of the world in this heaven, where there is no winter or night for eternity, so hurry up and come!”
Which heaven is the heaven that has no winter or night for all eternity? Night comes for Zuiun-kyo, Heian-kyo and Shinsen-kyo Sacred Grounds, most certainly. But Meishu-sama is saying, “There is a heaven where winter or night do not come for eternity, so come here.” He is not saying come to a beautiful place in this visible world. He is saying, “Hurry up and come to the world where winter or night do not come for all eternity.” Hurry up and come.
So Meishu-sama is calling us from heaven. It is an invisible world different from Zuiun-kyo or Shinsen-kyo Sacred Grounds. As such, it can only mean the heaven that exists within us, right?
Until today, we have sufficiently recalled the heaven within us through the Sacred Grounds, through Meishu-sama’s hymns, through artworks and the like. So we should no longer think, “More, more!” Rather, “Ah, that world certainly exists within me.”
And Meishu-sama says, “People of the world, hurry up and come to heaven!” Even though we say the people of the world, they are already within us, within our whole body and being—they are connected to us. So that is why thoughts that do not feel like our own also well up. Even in the world today, we wonder, for example, how such a peaceful person could commit such a terrible crime. In that way, the people of the world are united to us, and that is why we need to carry them and go to heaven. For he is saying, “Hurry up and come to heaven!”
He also says, “God is Light, / And where there is Light, peace, happiness and joy abound.” “Come!” “Come to the Light and call on the name of Messiah! / You, then, will be saved.” He is saying, “Come!” Meishu-sama is saying to come where the light of God is. Because Meishu-sama is telling us, “Come!” we should think, “I will take along the people of the world with me,” “There are many people within me, so I will go.”
Regarding this salvation of the world of sonen, Kyoshu-sama speaks about this being the “second phase of creation,” and Meishu-sama speaks about “the birth of the second era.” Meishu-sama says that when the sun comes out, the second era will be born. I understand this to be what Kyoshu-sama speaks of as being the second phase of creation. Meishu-sama and Kyoshu-sama are saying the same thing.
One of Meishu-sama’s hymns reads:
“The time is now, / The end of an era. / In the new era, / Paradise on Earth begins!”
This is a hymn that Meishu-sama composed decades before, but the “now” in “the time is now” is our “now.” We have various elements of ourselves from up until the end of this era. We placed importance on this world, chased after the heaven of this world and sought light and comfort while we had repeated conflicts with others. This was the way of living until the end of this era.
But he said, “In the new era, / Paradise on Earth begins!” So first, we must now think, “The comfort that I was chasing after for so long exists within me,” “I had certainly received it.” But it is of no use if only we experience this. Many people who have yet to experience this have gathered to us saying, “I want to be saved,” and if we want to experience this together with all those people, then aren’t we able to walk the path “in the new era” when “Paradise on Earth begins”?
And so, the time is now—the words from decades before—we need to think, “For me, this ‘now’ means now.” “I want to be used in the second era that will start anew, in this second phase of creation.” I believe that Meishu-sama through Kyoshu-sama is now strongly wishing this from us.
So knowing all of this, we feel as if we know what true faith in Meishu-sama is, don’t we? Even if that is indeed so, and it is very important that we know, what we must never forget is that the one who prepared this existence of Meishu-sama is God. The one who prepared the name “Meishu-sama” is God. There is no mistake.
And recently, we may be asking or saying, Jesus Christ or Meishu-sama, who is superior? Or Jesus and Meishu-sama will act in concert with each other. Or who is the Lord of Redemption and who is the Lord of Forgiveness? But the one who prepared Jesus Christ is also God.
The one who prepared Meishu-sama and Jesus Christ and the one who prepared the name “Meishu-sama” and the name and word “Jesus Christ”—God prepared all of these. He prepared these one-sidedly.
Before we said things such as “no, no, I have faith in Meishu-sama, not Jesus,” “Meishu-sama is superior” or “I believe in Jesus,” God had already prepared them. Existences, names or words such as Meishu-sama or Jesus —all of them were prepared by God one-sidedly.
And although we are always saying things like whether God is necessary or not, whether we have faith or not, whether God exists or not, regardless of any of that, God is one-sidedly saying to us, “I need you.” He is saying to us, “In order for me to save all humanity, your heart is necessary.” This is one-sidedly!
The journey that we have been taking, that is, the course of humanity, is not in any way one to be proud of, is it? Fighting each other, killing and being killed, getting jealous and holding grudges. Humanity has been doing these things for a long time. Even to the likes of us, God is saying, “You are necessary. I want to make use of you.”
As Kyoshu-sama always says in his messages, “In deep awe and fear of God,” this truly does inspire awe and fear of God.
We readily say that we “have faith,” but even this “heart that has faith” is actually not ours, we do not own it. “To give thanks”—who makes this “feeling of gratitude” well up from our hearts?
Putting in our best possible effort, we can make an amazing, high performance cell phone. Well, there are things that are more sophisticated. But the “heart,” something that humans can never make, was made by God, and He makes the “feeling of gratitude” well up and the “heart that has faith” grow within us. It is this God who one-sidedly needs us.
Today, Kyoshu-sama read aloud the Words of Prayer during the service. In the very last part, it is closed by “Please use me as You wish.” We were sinners, but God is saying that He needs us. So at the very least we can think, “Please use me as You wish.”
Actually, that wonderful world has already been promised. It has been promised that that wonderful world would come. Right now, we are simply walking on the path that leads there. And we are able to walk that path under God’s wish.
“Paradise on Earth.” “Salvation of humanity.” These are wonderful words, aren’t they? But for that divine work, God is using our hearts. So even if we think and feel various things in our day-to-day lives, it is simply fine to think, “Ah, God needs this.” There are various kinds of trivial matters on a daily basis. Our hearts go back and forth on this and that. But we do not need to negate them. God is saying to us that they are necessary. He is saying it is necessary for us to feel them. And in order to advance to this wonderful world—the world that has been promised to humanity—He is one-sidedly using even the likes of us, we members of World Church of Messiah and all humanity. I believe we must truly place importance on this fact.
Meishu-sama left us various matters. And now, we have been able to know Meishu-sama’s true wish in leaving those matters for us. And in there, we are being used by God. So truly, with wonderful hopes and joy—and at times, patience and perseverance may be necessary—with great joy and hope, day by day, in every moment, I would like to serve God with all of you.