Christmas week is finally here! The church is decorated, the Christmas tree is up, the Advent candle have all been lit, and we are ready to celebrate the birth of Christ! As I spend the last couple of days preparing for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning services, I am aware that many changes have taken place in our lives since last Christmas. Many good things happened in my life: I moved to Koloa to become the Kahu of Koloa Union Church; I began living in the beautifully refurbished parsonage; my book, The Volcano Is Our Home, was published; Art House has sold my watercolors nearly every month since last spring; I got to spend an entire month with my son Palani this summer. On a sad note, my mother and uncle (Mom’s younger brother) died. Although the changes in my life this past year have been quite dramatic, I know that we all face many changes every year: some dramatic and some a bit more subtle. And we all come to Christmas with a vast array of emotions, including joy and sadness, gratitude and hurt feelings, wonder and disappointment, trust and fear.

I invite you to come to Christmas at Koloa Union Church with all of your emotions and without any judgment upon yourself for any of them. I invite you to celebrate God’s love in Jesus as you are and as you feel. Come with laughter and with tears. Come with friends and family or come alone. Come with a spring in your step or with a limp. Most importantly, come with an open heart, whether it be broken or healed; for here you will find room for God’s love in all of your heart, regardless of the shape it is in. Here you will find room for God’s love in all of your life, regardless of the number of years you have lived. Here you will find room for God’s love to overflow onto others, regardless of the amount of love you feel. For here we will celebrate Christmas as the day in which God’s love breaks through every barrier and transcends every obstacle. Here we will celebrate love, grace and mercy! Here we will celebrate the miracle of being in God’s presence in the world!

Come and celebrate…and have a Merry Christmas!