July Monthly Service Greeting from Reverend Michio Shirasawa, Member, Board of Executive Directors Hall of Worship – July 1, 2017
Congratulations, everyone, on today’s July Monthly Service.
Since the Beginning of Spring Service, I believe you have been very concerned about the situation of the organization and whether or not you would be able to receive Kyoshu-sama’s presence at the Paradise on Earth Service.
Nevertheless, we were granted Kyoshu-sama’s presence and his guidance at the service. He also sang together with all of us “Divine Light Hymn” and shook hands with the members after the service—through this, the exchange between you and Kyoshu-sama was allowed and I am truly filled with gratitude.
As said in Kyoshu-sama’s message at the Paradise on Earth Service, we, the executives, were inadequate on our part and thus brought about a grave matter concerning the continuance of Izunome Kyodan. We forgot the spirit of Izunome Kyodan’s basic principle of a Kyoshu-centered organization – that “Meishu-sama’s spirit is relayed to us through the will and wishes of Kyoshu-sama.” Before long, we were walking on an executives-centered path, that is, a human-centered path.
Through the greeting from President Kobayashi this past Monthly Service in May, we, the executives, expressed our apologies and resolved to move forward on this entirely new path of divine work now being revealed to us by Meishu-sama. We expressed this clearly to Meishu-sama, to Kyoshu-sama and to all the membership. Now, the executives have become one and are now undertaking a drastic and thorough revision of the organization.
At the Paradise on Earth Service, we received the following words from Kyoshu-sama:
I fully approve of the revisions they [the executives] are now trying to take on and would like to support them as much as I can.
More importantly, however, this revision cannot be accomplished without the help, support and understanding of all the members around the world. We were human-centered in whatever we have been doing. Now, with this revision, we are trying to transform our old, human-centered way of advancing divine work into an entirely new way and rebuild the organization into a completely new one, suitable for the ever new teachings of Meishu-sama that are now being revealed to us. To accomplish this transformation is not an easy task and it takes unwavering courage as the ministers and directors I mentioned above will need to make many hard decisions.
Ministers and members around the world, I sincerely ask for your help, support and understanding for this drastic and thorough revision. I believe carrying out this revision properly and thoroughly is a necessary step for all of you to come to know the true message of Meishu-sama.
I regard these words as an urge of encouragement, words that clearly show us the direction in which we should proceed.
To be specific, the revisions we are currently undertaking include the contents of the church’s publications, such as the monthly newspaper Shinsei, the content of greetings at services, the nature of the ministerial examinations, various training and educational activities, etc., covering every aspect of the organization.
Once again we pledge with unwavering resolve and determination that we will proceed with these drastic revisions and “move forward on the entirely new path of faith now shown to us through Meishu-sama.”
From everyone, we appreciate your continued understanding and cooperation.
Now, in regards to “breath” in Kyoshu-sama’s message at the Paradise on Earth Service, we received guidance based on Meishu-sama’s life.
Kyoshu-sama boldly addressed and guided us with the following words:
I want you to know that our breath is also this entirely new breath of God, bearing the name of Messiah. Our breath is already one with the breath of Meishu-sama. This new breath is injected with the Will of God – His unchanging Will to love and forgive all humanity so that we, just like Meishu-sama, can be born once more as His children, as Messiahs. Let us, therefore, receive God’s forgiveness that is in this new breath of God and in the name of Messiah. Let us move away from breathing the breath of mortal life, believe in the breath of eternal life and become a child of God whose life is everlasting.
Through these words, I myself have had to habitually ask myself how conscious I am of the fact that not one thing is mine, that all creation, even our breath itself has been bestowed on to us by God.
The fact that we are an existence that is allowed to live under the forgiveness of God is something I myself have completely forgotten.
I suddenly realized this grave fact and have etched into my mind what I had forgotten until now. I have come to think that to declare the attitude of receiving God’s entirely new breath and returning to the heaven that is within us is in line with this year’s guideline of “In the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, let us awaken to an entirely new faith.”
I wish to practice the church’s guideline together with all of you.
Also here, I would like to share the same thoughts that Kyoshu-sama expressed at the very end of his message at the Paradise on Earth Service together with you.
O God, in the name of Messiah, which is one with Meishu-sama, I, together with all ancestors and all nature, now return to the heaven existing within me and receive Your forgiveness that is in Your breath. Use me, God, so that this blessing be shared with all as I serve in Your work. May Your Will be done through my incoming breath and outgoing breath, through my outgoing breath and incoming breath. Yours are my life and breath – so I surrender them to You. Thank you.
And so, everyone, please take this entirely new breath with you on your departure from the Sacred Grounds. Thank you.