Everyone has heard the expression of putting the cart before the horse. I believe this is what we are doing in performing the Service. Some of us believe that by just performing the Service, God will eventually save ourselves, and the world. So their emphasis become in the performing of the Service. Some have even told us to perform the Service without error, with our Japanese attire, food offerings and musical instruments. The Service becomes the main focus. But is this working to save the world.
In the Ofudesaki, God is preparing the early followers in the performance of the Service. The word preparation is important. What preparation is God making. First, God tells us we do not understand the heart. God tells us we must understand the heart to purify our minds. Once we begin to purify our minds, ww must share the truth about the heart to those nearby us. In Chapter 14 of the Ofudesaki, God tells us to do this, and tell others what God will do to save the world. In Song 11 of the mikagura-uta, this message of spreading God’s truth of the heart is clearly explained. The spreading of God’s truth is called hinokishin in the mikagura-uta, Niogake is not mentioned.
What blessings will be seen when both of these preparations have been implemented? With the performance of the Joyous Service, God promises a great harvest. Many people will say that since the early followers were farmers, God was promising a great harvest of crops when they perform the Service. No, God is promising new members coming to their places of worship to be healed of any guidance that God had placed on them. God tells us they will come from the high mountains (upper class). God is giving us an opportunity to share our teachings of the heart to others.
In summary, we must (1) understand the heart/soul to purify our minds. Then we must (2) spread the truth of the heart to others. Finally we must (3) perform the Joyous Service. When all three occur in this order, God promises an abundant crop of new members. This is the only way that we can save the world. All this information is in the Ofudesaki.