Good Morning, everyone! Happy New Day, Week & thank you especially for attending today's service which is our second monthly service for August. I hope you are all enjoying good health & excellent spirits.
Today's service will include an appreciation service for the New School Year. I asked students to offer Tamakushi as their symbolic presentations of true hearts to pray for their academic success as the new school year which will soon begin.
The worldly wealth we want for our families & our descendants is a deep rooted & long-cherished human dream. But the virtue & value we desire for our prosperity that will last from generation to generation has very seldom been achieved throughout human history. There is a pattern that has developed over that time which is : The first generation prospers; the second wastes its inheritance & the next one or more descendants slip back into poverty. It just goes to show that the prosperity over the generations is not wholly within the control of human power. For this, we must rely on divine virtue. Konko Daijin declared, "Konko Daijin teaches the way for the prosperity of your family and descendants."
The Founder taught the way anyone could practice to acquire divine virtue. Konko Daijin was an ordinary farmer. He practiced faith by deepening his heart through everything that happened in his daily life. In this process he acquired divine virtue to the point that he became an 'ikigami'; a living spirit.
As the reputation of his faith spread Konko Daijin said, "Although people call me 'kami,' I am not the only one. All people who come here are the children of Kami. To be an 'ikigami' is to have Kami born within you. I was the first to receive such divine blessings. You can all receive divine blessings in the same way."
Konko Daijin was very clear in expressing his belief that anyone can acquire divine virtue & become a living spirit the same way he did. He believed single heartedly that the faith he practiced was a way anyone could follow. So, what was this way through which we can all acquire divine virtue?
Konko Daijin expressed it this way, "Everything that happens is the working of the Divine Parent. This even includes times of major upsets."
We, common and ordinary people can choose how we accept everyday happenings in our lives. Konko Daijin made it clear that each one of such daily events is the very working of Kami, the Divine Parent of the Universe. It is the process which makes our lives, and the divine arrangement for reaching Kami's will.
Divine virtue is the trust from Kami. When everything that happens is Kami's doing, it leads to acquire divine virtue to respect any work of the daily processes of life, good or bad, as Kami's work. Such faith anyone can do. In this way anyone can feel divine work in their life. Anyone can feel Kami in the daily process of living, deepen their heart and acquire divine virtue.
As I told in my last sermon, thanks to "Kizuna (bond) Project" our 2nd son Daichi got to visit Japan for two weeks in July. He & 19 other students from his high school had memorable experiences beyond all measure in Japan. While he was on his trip, our family hoped & prayed that Daichi would deeply feel the heart of Kami grow & develop within him through every person & event he encountered in Japan.
In my Aug. 5th sermon I also talked about the revelation I received from Kami at the 5:00 a.m. prayer service on the day Daichi was scheduled to return. Which moved me almost to tears. But that wasn't the only revelation of Rev. Shinichiro Shirakami II's I received that day. Later I read the other teaching in the Sacred Book our founder had revealed to Rev. Shinichiro Shirakami II. I was very deeply moved and taught by this teaching too.
It said: "There are many who believe in Kami, but there have been only three who have truly fulfilled Kami-Sama's wishes,' declared Kono-Sama.
"'Who are the three?' I asked.
"'One of them was your father. The other two are still living so I cannot reveal who they are. Your deceased father cannot change his heart. But the other two are still living, and I don't know how they may change their hearts. So I cannot reveal their names,' explained Konko-Sama."
Rev. Shinichiro Shirakami I, his father, was the Founder's first believer to be truly trusted by Kami & acquired divine virtue. That was why his son so wanted to succeed his father's faith ministry. Divine virtue is the key to the succession of the faith and the prosperity of one's family and descendants. In order for my children and grandchildren to succeed my faith and become genuine mediators, what is needed most is for me to develop my peaceful and joyful heart through respecting each and every happening and then acquire divine virtue. It truly fulfills Kami's wishes.
May I mold myself as an example to inspire others in my natural family _&_ my church family to practice that 'Way-of-Faith' that can transform this world into a more Kami-fulfilled world!... & I ask you most sincerely to please join me this Divine Effort!
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