Our theme for September and the first Sunday of October is “Hope”. This week I shared with the congregation a poem called “Lost Generation” by Jonathan Reed that I read in Diana Butler Bass’ book, Christianity after Religion. It is a poem of despair and hope…and here it is:

I am part of a lost generation

and I refuse to believe that

I can change the world

I realize this may be a shock but

“Happiness comes from within.”

is a lie, and

“Money will make me happy.”

So in 30 years I will tell my children

they are not the most important thing in my life

My employer will know that

I have my priorities straight because


is more important than


I tell you this

Once upon a time

Families stayed together

but this will not be true in my era

This is a quick fix society

Experts tell me

30 years from now, I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce

I do not concede that

I will live in a country of my own making

In the future

Environmental destruction will be the norm

No longer can it be said that

My peers and I care about this earth

It will be evident that

My generation is apathetic and lethargic

It is foolish to presume that

There is hope.

You might be wondering why I said this is a poem of despair and hope, when it sounds like only despair at this point; but now read the final line of the poem and then read the poem in reverse, line by line:

And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it.

We read the same words forwards and backwards—just in a different order—and how we choose to see these words can fill us with either despair or hope. The good news is: We get to choose! Every single day, we get to choose to live with either despair or hope; and how we choose to see the world will determine the outcome of the world. I choose hope for my life and for Koloa Union Church. I invite you to join me in choosing hope and being committed to bringing love, joy and hope to this world!

You may also want to hear the poem read by a a young woman on YouTube by clicking HERE.

Aloha nui!

Kahu Alan Akana