Happy New Year, and thank you for returning to Taiheiyo Church to celebrate the start of 2017, the 180th year of the founding of Tenrikyo. On behalf of my wife, and my parents, I would like to convey our sincere appreciation for your efforts of contribution and dedication over the past year, and I humbly ask for your help and efforts again this year. What better way to start off the New Year than with the Service performance? I’m sure that God the Parent and Oyasama, are happy to see us gathered here on New Year’s Day to celebrate the start of another milestone year. If I could ask for your kind attention for a few minutes.
Song One of the Mikagura-Uta was the second song to be composed by Oyasama, only preceded by Ashiki-harai tasuke-tamae Tenri-O-no-Mikoto. In other words, it was written and taught before Choto-hanashi, before Sumasu-Kanrodai, and before Yorozuyo. Therefore, you could say that Song One was second in importance as to the order in which Oyasama taught Her early followers. Appropriately, Song One opens with the arrival of the New Year, just as we are celebrating today. It mentions the Sazuke of the Fertilizer – how remarkable it is! But how remarkable was it?
The Sazuke of the Fertilizer was one of the earliest forms of the Sazuke granted by Oyasama, starting from around 1864, which was three years before Song One was composed. At that time, there was no Sazuke for the physical healing of illnesses yet – that wouldn’t come for another 10 years. However, the Sazuke of the Fertilizer was granted for the growth of healthy crops. Shoyashiki Village, and many other neighboring regions were farming villages that relied on agriculture for their source of income and livelihood, so rich harvests were desired by all.
Oyasama said that the recipient of Sazuke of the Fertilizer would take three goh (.38 pint) each of rich-bran, ashes, and soil, and offer the mixture to God the Parent. When this grant was administered and the mixture was placed in a field, it would have the effectiveness of 300 pounds of farming soil. So if a pint of the fertilizer weighed about a pound, then it had 300 times the potency of regular soil – that is truly remarkable! The rest of Song One is devoted primarily to the promise of unlimited abundance everywhere, and reaping whatever you wish. If only we come to follow God, then the full harvest will become fixed for all time.
Today we are so blessed, for this prophecy has come true. We don’t have to worry about growing our own food anymore, or about having enough to eat. In fact, with the abundance of, and easy access to good food, we take it for granted; but just a few generations ago famine was a real danger, so let’s all be thankful for the food that nourishes us each day. And on that note, I know that everyone is looking forward to the enjoying the New Years luncheon prepared today so I will close my greeting by again thanking each and every one of you for your continued support of the church and our activities.