On Sunday, I shared with the congregation about some of my experiences when I looked to the sky and said, “Wow!” One of those moments was with my son Palani on a very cold summer night at the top of Mauna Kea (at nearly 14,000 feet) on Hawai’i Island. After the sun set below us, we huddled under a heavy quilt and stared at the sky. There were so many stars that I didn’t even recognize that they were stars. I said to Palani, “It’s too bad there are those clouds (to which I pointed directly above us); otherwise we could see even more.” He responded, “Dad, that’s the Milky Way!” Imagine: seeing so many stars I actually thought it was a large cloud that covered a good portion of the sky! I didn’t know the Milky Way could actually look that “thick.”

As I stared at the sky, I felt a sense of awe and wonder. Just thinking about how many stars there must be up there and how far apart they are also made me feel very small. I thought of God creating it all and knowing every detail of every star and planet; and yet, I was reminded that God cares for me.

When we read our Gospel lesson from John, chapter 3, we heard these words: “For God so loved the cosmos….” The Greek word “cosmos” is directly translated into English as “cosmos” as well as “world”; but I chose to have it read with the former word because I wanted to remind us that God loves the entire universe—not just our planet, not just people, not just Christians. John tells us that Jesus said, “For God so loved the cosmos!”

I invite you to consider God’s love for the cosmos and how we might take much better care of it. I also invite you to consider God’s love for you and how you might share that love with others this week.

I invite you to join us for our Lenten Soup Supper on Wednesday evening for a time of reflection and discussion on this week’s theme of “Grounded in the Sky.” By the way, if you would like to see the video of the Stations of the Cosmos, which I mentioned in my sermon on Sunday, click HERE.

Aloha nui!

Kahu Alan Akana

“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. Join us at 3289 Poipu Road in Koloa!