MELE KALIKIMAKA & HAU`OLI MAKAHIKI HOU!
We had two wonderful services this weekend celebrating the birth of Jesus, along with inspiring music and the stories of Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, my message focused on the key figures in the story and what a scandal they created simply by the fact that they were the ones invited to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The shepherds were the ones who smelled bad and did the work no one else wanted to do; the Magi were the foreigners with a different religion and way of life, and carried suspicion with them as they came from a faraway land; Joseph was just a plain old guy—a carpenter who barely got by; Mary was the most scandalous of all—an unwed teenage mother who was so poor that she lay her baby in an animal feeding trough owned by total strangers! This is not your typical story of the birth of a king! Rather, it is part of an ongoing story of God’s grace and inclusivity of all people–even the poor and the scandalous! The story continues today—and includes each and every one of us!
On Christmas Day, I talked about the life of Robert McAfee Brown, one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century. I shared his commitment to living out the life that Jesus calls us to live, even when sacrifice is involved. And then I shared a poem by his 8-year-old granddaughter:
If I Had a Magic Wand
If I had a magic wand,
I would make everybody nicer.
I would make the poor have some money,
Make the people who are sad, happy.
Make the people who are sick, healthy.
Make the wars stop,
So there is peace in the world.
Everyone would be friends
And no one would be afraid of people who are different…
If I had a magic wand.
—Mackenzie Brown, age eight
This simple child’s poem sounds a lot like the Christmas message to me. I believe that we must hold onto this message. Even though we may not be able to help every person in the world right now, we can help some. We must believe that the ripples from every act of grace and kindness effects people far beyond our horizon or field of vision. May we live out the Christmas message in our words and our actions.
Kahu Alan Akana
Click HERE to see a video of Sunday’s sermon.
Videos of Kahu’s sermons will be available every week through January. You can find them on our church website <www.koloaunionchurch.org> and on our weekly e-news. Please share these videos with friends and invite them to church.
“A Message from Kahu Alan Akana” is provided most weeks by the Kahu (Pastor) of Koloa Union Church, a congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference.