“The State of Your Heart”
On Sunday, I shared the story of how I came across the book, To Bless the Space between Us: A Book of Blessings, by the late John O’Donohue. This is the book we have been using as a guide throughout Lent this year in our worship services and on Wednesday evenings for our time of reflection and discussion. I also read a quote from the introduction:
It would be lovely if we could rediscover our power to bless one another. I believe each of us can bless. When a blessing in invoked, it changes the atmosphere….In the light and reverence of blessing, a person or situation becomes illuminated in a completely new way…. Let us begin to learn how to bless one another.
As we continue to learn how to bless one another, our theme on Sunday was “The State of Your Heart.” We spent time considering where our hearts were at and how we might bless our own hearts, as well as the hearts of others. We read the following words of Jesus in the Gospel of John, chapter 14: “Do not let your hearts be troubled; neither let them be afraid.” As we considered how we might rid our hearts of anxiety and fear, I mentioned that the beginning of the process is found in that same chapter. I pointed out the theme of welcome and hospitality: Jesus is in the Father; the disciples are in Jesus and he is in them; furthermore, the Holy Spirit will be in them as well. Miroslav Volf, a Croatian theologian wrote about this idea of the “interiority of personhood,” whereby a distinct person is welcome into the space, life or heart of another distinct person. It involves accepting the other person as he or she is; and it involves trust; and just as the three persons of the Trinity have this kind of relationship, so do we, not only with God but with others as well! When this is who we are being, anxiety and fear eventually disappear, because whatever else happens in our lives, we know that we are loved and accepted as we are!
In closing, I ended my message with three blessings, the final one being one that I wrote for the people of Koloa Union Church (members and visitors alike):
May you know at the very core of your being that God adores you and delights in you.
May all of your fears dissolve, for God is in you…and you are in God.
May peace fill your hearts and flow over into the lives of everyone you encounter today.
May your hearts invite and welcome others in, just as other hearts invite and welcome you.
And may your hearts always make room for the things in this world that are beautiful.
Kahu Alan Akana
Our Kahu (Pastor) offers a weekly message in church most Sundays during the year. Click HERE to see a video of this week’s message. You may also see the Koloa Union Church YouTube channel to see many of his past messages and subscribe in order be notified when a new message is posted. Please share these videos with friends and invite them to church. Please feel free to “Like” any of the videos you see and share them on social media, such as Facebook, so that others will notice them.
“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.