Hello, everyone! I hope you are all enjoying good health and excellent spirits. Thank you very much for attending today's service. This is our second for the month January and the first monthly service for this New Year.
I am thrilled by the thought that this year of 2010 could possibly be more remarkable than ever before for the Konko Church of Chicago. It seems that Kami is trying to bestow even more divine power on our new Konko Church of Chicago. I feel Kami now wants me to have unbreakable peace and joy in my heart, like that of Kami, and to build a strong foundation for the church in Chicago.
I stepped out of the entrance of the church to pray to Heaven and Earth early in the morning on January 1 & I saw a beautiful full moon shining brightly down on me. I was awestruck by its beauty and solemnity. I stood in speechless wonder for a while.
If we exemplify Kami as the sun, then the moon is our heart. The moon itself doesn't have a light. It only reflects the light of the sun. If we see the moon as a crescent, it is reflecting the light of the sun in a crescent. If the moon is a half moon, it is reflecting only that much of the sun's light. A Japanese proverb says, "The full moon shines so brilliantly that it looks as if it is in full daylight." Similarly, when our heart becomes round, it means we have an unbreakable peaceful and joyful heart that can reflect the whole light of Kami.
I realized when I saw a beautiful full moon right in front of me on New Year's day that Kami wanted me to have a heart like the full moon by an intent practice of faith this year. The sincerity of my intention had begun to be tested in the last week of the old year.
Our youngest son, Daichi, got sick on the Christmas day. He didn't eat much and had a very bad cough. I thought that if he had the swine flu I should call off our New Year's Day Ceremony. So I took Daichi to see our doctor on Dec. 29th to make sure it wasn't H1N1. He diagnosed it as the seasonal flu complicated by a throat infection. Daichi began taking the proper medicine as instructed. But the illness seemed to be worsen. Finally I took him to hospital emergency on the evening of New Year's Day.
He ended up staying in the hospital for 9 days! The doctors suspected that Daichi might have either tuberculosis or disease contracted in Japan, both of which can be highly communicable. So, there was a sign on the door of his room which said, "Stop, Airborne Precaution."
All the doctors and nurses wore masks and isolation gowns whenever they entered his room. Then I thought, "What about me?"
No one asked me to wear a mask or a gown while I was in his room and I stayed beside him in his room almost all day, every day. After my own hospitalizations for duodenal ulcer and colon cancer, I figured I was the person who easily catch his disease. However I strongly believed that Kami would protect me without those precautions, even if Daichi had been afflicted with an infectious airborne disease. Thanks to the prayers of many and hard work of the doctors and hospital staff, Daichi was discharged from hospital on the evening of Jan. 9th. He now is on his way to a complete recovery.
Daichi had been hospitalized since the New Year's Day. Through a full moon and this happening I believe this year 2010 would be special and more epoch-making than before for the new Konko Church of Chicago.
Daichi's illness seemed very serious when it began. I tried to always keep Kami in mind and prayed to Kami saying, "I will return Daichi to you. I will never impose my personal desires on him from now on. Please train Daichi so that Kami's wishes for him will be fulfilled and that he may become a genuine Mediator who will be of great service to Kami and the people in the world."
These promises are my New Years resolutions for 2010. But even more importantly, they are my commitments to Kami forever. I am doing my best to keep these promises thoroughly. I now feel my heart is becoming a little bit more unbreakable all the time. Through Daichi's serious illness I believe Kami wanted me to receive an unwavering peace and joy in my heart like the perfect circle of a full moon.
Since our Dedication Ceremony last November I have prayed to Kami that any problems that people face may be solved through divine mediation here. Furthermore, I have asked that people, who come here, like me, will learn to deepen their faith through their troubles to coincide with the heart of Kami. I now realize that these promises of mine will bring divine power to the church in Chicago.
As I succeed Kami's glory, I believe, will surely appear and I can manifest the Way of Kami and Human in Chicago and in this world. Thank you!
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