Congratulations everyone on today’s World Church of Messiah Beginning of Spring Service.
First, I would like to thank all the staff at Hotel Okura Kobe for their understanding and cooperation as well as their tremendous support. They made this service possible, and for that, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone at the hotel. Thank you very much.
Last year’s Beginning of Spring Service was a historic day when all of you began to move forward with the name World Church of Messiah, having an unwavering determination to inherit the divine will of Meishu-sama who founded this Church more than 70 years ago.
I humbly welcomed that day together with all of you, full of hope in my heart. And on that very day, I offered my sincere gratitude to Meishu-sama for permitting us to take part in the resurrection of World Church of Messiah and left the venue with a renewed spirit to do my utmost in order to achieve the will of Meishu-sama.
One year has passed since then, and today, looking back on the path we have taken, I strongly feel that Meishu-sama has been guiding us this whole year so that he can carry out his entirely new work of salvation on a global scale—the work that he has been wishing to advance for a long time.
I believe Meishu-sama has great expectations for the future of World Church of Messiah and is using us as pioneers representing all humanity.
All of you have been able to respond to the expectations Meishu-sama has for you, to courageously dive into the divine work that Meishu-sama is showing you and to work as hard as you can for its fulfillment.
Seeing how dedicated all of you have been, Meishu-sama must be truly delighted now. Simply thinking about how Meishu-sama may be feeling now makes me very emotional.
And for me, through the journey I took with you this past year, I was able to sense something very clearly. I sensed that God is using us as ones who are united to all creation. That Meishu-sama and Jesus Christ serve the Heavenly Father, the one and only God, as one. And that they live and work within each one of us in order to bring all humanity, without exception, back to the source of salvation, heaven.
God is extending His mercy to those who, to this day, continuously yearn for light and power—the posture we had until very recently—and is gathering them within us so as to welcome them into His heaven.
As it has been so until today, my tasks are to intercede with God on their behalf through my prayers together with all of you and, with the permission of God, to serve in the work of sharing the true grace of God with everyone and everything, not forgetting the fact that we are the ones who were made to know this true grace before many others.
Now, the symbol we have raised at the center of the altar today is one that is based on the symbol Meishu-sama himself designed and started to use at the time of founding World Church of Messiah in 1950. In other words, this symbol is imbued with the will and love of Meishu-sama in founding World Church of Messiah.
From today, you will be using this symbol as the symbol of the Church. In my eyes, I can almost see the huge smile on Meishu-sama’s face, which makes me very happy, too.
This is what I think: Meishu-sama was able to create this symbol only because this symbol existed within him. At the same time, Meishu-sama strongly wanted us to know that this symbol also exists within all people. If not, why did he place this symbol on Heaven on Earth, on the official Church publication, at the time?
I believe this symbol signifies the fulfillment of God’s will of creation.
The horizontal line represents all creation including time and space.
The vertical line penetrates the horizontal line, meaning God’s will of creation penetrates all creation.
More importantly, there is a circle or dot at the center of it.
This dot represents Lord God who shines gloriously.
To summarize, this symbol signifies that God’s will of creation of bearing His very own children penetrates all, and the one who governs everything is Lord God.
The central existence of each one of us is not this “I” existing within us, but, yes, it is Lord God, who is one and only.
Before we were sent to this world, in heaven where God lives, this symbol, together with the name of Messiah, was engraved on the souls of all humanity.
Coming into this world with this mark engraved within us means that heaven exists within us even now at the center of each one of our consciousnesses—heaven where God’s will of creation has been accomplished.
This mark is alive within us. It is alive within all humanity.
Within us, God who shines gloriously lives, and the path to be born anew as God’s children, as Messiahs, has been accomplished. Everyone, this is an unchanging fact.
What a great gospel of salvation we were made to know through Meishu-sama!
Now, each one of us needs to decide whether to accept this fact or deny it, whether to believe in it or disregard it as an imaginary story.
But you must know this: God sent Meishu-sama to this world so that all of humanity could recall this grave fact, this truly precious salvation, and serve God who prepared this grace for us.
Why was it necessary for God to send Jesus to the world? Why was it necessary for Him to put Jesus on the cross? I feel that God is now trying hard to let us know, even just a little, the answers to these questions.
In order to make each one of us His very own children, God redeemed, purified and delivered us—us who dishonored Him.
Salvation is already accomplished within us.
Meishu-sama believed in this. He believed that salvation was accomplished within him.
In 1930, Meishu-sama wrote a Sacred Word entitled “The life of faith I have walked.” In it, looking back at the time he entered the path of faith, he recounted how his life had been full of misery, agony and suffering and how he overcame the despair he was in.
He wrote: “Suddenly, my soul longed for a faith. Faith! Faith! I thought that faith was the only way to be saved from the suffering of my heart, body and life. Deeply, so deeply had the harsh reality of life surrounded me and my heart like a thick ice wall. At the very least, I wanted to look up at the warm light of faith somewhere in the sky above me. This act in itself relieved my soul.”
Meishu-sama is saying that he looked up at the warm light of faith “somewhere in the sky above” him. I believe that this “somewhere in the sky above” him in fact meant God who existed at the center of his consciousness. God is always calling us with His voice to come back to Him. Meishu-sama, I believe, responded to this voice of God and turned his heart to God, and that is why the love of God, who is the source of salvation, quietly flowed into the heart of Meishu-sama.
When I come to think of it, I believe Meishu-sama was certain that God was alive within him. He was convinced that, even though there was no visible sign, salvation was already accomplished in heaven existing at the center of his consciousness.
That is why he was able to receive the divine revelation of the Transition from Night to Day; to say with absolute certainty and conviction that the world free from sin and impurity, the world free from disease, poverty and conflict, that is, the world of great divine light without any darkness can be established; and to feel, in his very last years on earth, the enormous joy of being born anew as the Messiah, of becoming an eternal being.
This conviction of Meishu-sama, or rather, this faith of Meishu-sama is the true faith and the one that we have to have.
Faith does not exist so that the various wishes of us humans can be fulfilled.
Rather, it exists so that God can accomplish His will.
We may not be able to see, sense or feel that the divine will has been accomplished. But we can believe in it, can’t we? That is why God prepared “faith.”
Meishu-sama taught us that faith is “to believe in things unseen,” and at the same time, he told us, over and over again, the importance and difficulty of believing in things unseen.
In one of his hymns, Meishu-sama wrote,
“Even though it cannot be seen with human eyes, / The plan of God is already accomplished / In the spiritual world!”
If God, through Meishu-sama, is saying that His plan has already been accomplished in the spiritual world, how can we, mere humans, deny it?
And since our true self actually belongs to heaven, let us firmly believe that God has already accomplished His work of salvation in heaven, in the spiritual world, and return all glory to Him. This, I believe, is how we can truly pay our due respect to God.
In his hymn, Meishu-sama wrote,
“Know this my followers: / The key to true faith is to pay due respect to others.”
I feel that what Meishu-sama wanted us to know through this hymn was how we need to pay our due respect to God.
We have a duty to return to heaven and say to God, “O God, You have accomplished the work of salvation within me and within everyone,” and at the same time, we must surrender ourselves to God with a feeling of “Please use me in the work of creation that makes all things new.”
Faith, in short, is the working of sonen.
So let us offer to God the faith of believing in things unseen—the kind of faith Meishu-sama held—and let us respond to the will of Meishu-sama who, just before his ascension, taught us that “From now on, we enter the world of sonen.”
And together with all humanity, all its paternal and maternal ancestors and all creation, let us express our deepest gratitude to God for allowing us to serve in the fulfilment of His will through our sonen.
May the true comfort and hope existing in the name of Messiah fill you, everyone and everything.
Thank you very much.