Above is the photo taken from the Tenri Jiho (天理時報), the Tenrikyo newspaper which is in Japanese. The quality isn’t very good because I had to use a camera to get this photo from the newspaper (hopefully, we can get a good scanner soon). Every year, they have such a face, as if it would totally ruin the photo if one of them cracked a smile. Regardless of what can be read from their facial expressions, the Shinbashira had encouraging words (translated on the Tenrikyo Newsletter website) for this new year of 2011.
May I extend my warmest New Year’s greetings to all of you. I trust that you have been able to welcome in the New Year in bright spirits. I would also like to express my sincere appreciation for the efforts you devoted to the tasks of the path during the past year.
We borrow our body from God the Parent and are thus being kept alive by the constant divine blessings. Let all of us, therefore, commit ourselves to cultivating the mind of gratitude and the spirit of making repayment so as to respond to God’s boundless parental love. Also, let all of us seek to translate the joy of living into the actions of hinokishin—starting with whatever we can—as well as efforts to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and engage in salvation work.
I sincerely hope that we followers of the path will unite our minds again this year and continue our steady efforts to take further steps forward on the path of single-hearted salvation.
New Year’s Day
(From Tenrikyo Online)
Editor’s note: The translation above has been updated so it reflects the physical English newsletter. You can see the first translation of the Shinbashira’s New Year’s message here.