Good Morning, everyone! Happy New Day, Week & special a "Thanks," for attending today's service. This is our 1st monthly service for March, 2012. I hope you are all enjoying good health and in excellent spirits.
In our last two monthly services I talked about our founder's teachings you had received at random in January. As I told you then I prayed to Kami that each of you would receive the teaching that Kami most wanted you to think about & practice for the rest of this year. This monthly service I would like to explain the teaching Mr. Tim Ogawa picked. He is the president of our believers' association. He is the representative of us all. Therefore, I believe, his teaching is not only for him but also all of us. Kami wants all of us to put not only our individual teaching but also his teaching into practice in our daily life this year.
His teaching is, "Since humans are the master of all living things in the universe, they must have faith corresponding to the laws of the universe." When I learned he had picked this teaching it seemed to me to be the very teaching that could represent us all. This teaching shows the purpose of our human lives on earth. Better still, it directs us in how to practice the Konko faith in order to achieve it.
Rev. Soichiro Otsubo, my parent minister, once gave the following short interpretation of this teaching. He said, "As the master of all living things we must be able to live our faith. When we raise our consciousness as masters, develop the virtue of masters and lead a bright life worth living, we can say we are 'truly human' with 'true faith.' Cold-blooded animals, as the snake or frog, are said to know when it's to rain or shine. A man lacking in spirituality is considered a beast in human form. Then he would just spread evil throughout the world. Thus before we pray to purify the world we must first purify us, human beings."
On another occasion he gave this interpretation, "Unless the diamond is polished it will not shine like a jewel. To exhibit the qualities of a master of living things, instead of just being called a master, one must perceive the laws of the universe, comply with them and continue to apply them in everyday life. Through direct communication with the Parental Kami of the universe, our founder, Konko Daijin, gave teachings far and wide that anyone could understand."
And in a 3rd reference he said, "If pepper is not hot, it is worthless. If man isn't considered worthy of being the master, to be a master has no value. Our founder has taught that human beings should be human and masters should be masters. The very way to respect the work of nature is the way, unique and unparalleled, that corresponds to the laws of the universe."
The Konko Faith is identified by its teaching of the laws of the universe. But from childhood I wondered, "Just what exactly are the laws of the universe?" I was lead by the Divine Parent to meet Rev. Soichiro Otsubo in my search for the laws of the universe. The more I listened to his teachings, the more clearly I understood the laws that opened up an understanding I could dedicate my life to.
We, human beings are born into an inclusive universe that embraces all of heaven, all of earth, and leaves nothing out. Since this universe is everything... our spirits must also remain in the universe whether we are alive in the flesh or die. If so, is it natural to live lives filled with selfish desires instead of something more while we are alive?
Konko Daijin didn't think so. He taught, "Since the soul bestowed from the Divine Parent of the Universe, one's soul will return to Heaven and be in the Divine Parent's care when earthly life is over. Because the body comes from Earth, it will return to Earth and be under the Divine Parent's care."
It is our very nature then, that longs for us to live lives in complete cooperation with the nature of the universe. That's the true law of the universe. Konko Daijin taught the vital importance of our lives being a reflection of this nature of the universe by example.
The heavenly nature of the universe is characterized by inexhaustible generosity. It is a natural, limitless giving like the uninterrupted sun which shines somewhere night and day. The earthly nature of the universe is also calmly accepting of everything. This means for us to stay silent like the earth on which we stand. No matter how filthy something seems to us the earth doesn't say, "I hate foul smelling things like this" or "Such dirty things are out."
In fact it does much more than just being silently receptive. The earth receives all these things as nourishment, transforming them into the oxygen we breathe and the food we require to survive.
The final nature of the universe is orderliness. There is nothing more faithful and exact than this. We'd be in terrible trouble if the sun said, "I'm so tired today, I think I'll take a break."
Instead it works without stopping for a minute or even a second. This faithfulness and exactness characterizes our solar system and all the wonder of the stars and heavenly bodies we can see today, as no humans have ever been able to before.
These three great characters of the universe together show us the importance of emulating the nature of the universe. Let us practice this faith by following that nature. To do this it is of the utmost importance to absolutely respect the process of the life. We are accepting with respect to the universe when we can gratefully receive each and every thing that happens in our daily lives as the Divine Parent's gift. Only then can we develop peaceful, joyful hearts can we naturally prosper in this universe, which is our eternal home.
This year let us all try to do this by using our president Tim-san's teaching as a foundation for practicing our individual teachings. Keep them in mind by practicing them as constantly as possible. Together, let us deepen our hearts in the course of each and every day, through each & every thing that happens to us. I believe in return, we will thus be led to happiness & prosperity that will fulfill the lives Kami intends for us... which is the true gift of each of our lives.
[Return to Sermons]