“Nothing Will Be Impossible”
On Sunday, I talked about the two times I attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions: in Salt Lake City in 2015 and Toronto in 2018. While attending the first one, it occurred to me that I was doing something for peace, for I was gathering with people from many faith traditions from all over the world to listen to and learn from one another. I am convinced that the world would be a more peaceful place if we all listen to those who are different from us and we are willing to learn from them. In Salt Lake City, I attended the movie Nuclear Savage, which documented the testing of atomic bombs in the Marshall Islands by the United States from 1946 until the 1960’s, thus leaving some of the islands uninhabitable for the Marshallese people. After returning home, I looked up the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation online, since that was the organization that showed the movie and led a presentation and discussion afterwards. I was impressed with their mission, commitment to educating young people, as well as their list of supporters, including Jane Goodall, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Peter Yarrow and Noel (Paul) Stookey from the legendary folk group Peter, Paul and Mary. I was so impressed, in fact, that I decided to make a donation to the organization because I wanted to do something big for peace. I’m sure it was not a big donation in terms of what some of their larger gifts must have been, but it was big for me. I thought for a moment that if we all did something for peace that was big for us each year, we would make a great impact in the world.
I also shared with the congregation about four beliefs that Mary held onto that brought peace to her and to the world. Each of these beliefs is taken from Sunday’s Gospel reading from Luke 1:
- God was with her.
- She found favor with God.
- The Holy Spirit came upon her.
- Nothing will be impossible with God
Can you, like Mary, hold onto these four beliefs and thus bring more peace to yourself and to the world? What big thing might you do to bring about peace on earth?
I closed my message by reading a poem by David Krieger, the founder and president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation:
The one-hearted walk a lonely trail.
They hold the dream of peace between
the moon’s eclipse and the rising sun.
They set down their weapons, carrying
instead the spirits of their ancestors,
a collection of smooth stones.
At night, they make fires, and watch
the smoke rise into the starlit sky.
They are warriors of hope, navigating
oceans and crossing continents.
Their message is simple:
Now is the time for peace.
It always has been.
“A Message from Kahu Alan Akana” is provided most weeks by Koloa Union Church, an Open & Affirming (ONA) congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference.
To see a video of Kahu Akana’s message, click HERE. You may 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.
You are welcome to join us on Sunday mornings! To see our Sunday morning schedule, click HERE.
Kahu Akana is also an accomplished artist! He specializes in creating vibrant watercolors of the flowers of Hawaii and hosts a Sunday afternoon reception in a gallery at his home, the Smith Memorial Parsonage. He also meets visitors by appointment. Most of the profit from the sales go for the maintenance and upkeep of the parsonage. To see a video about his art and gallery, click HERE. To see the gallery website, click HERE.
To learn more about Kahu Akana (and the rest of the staff at Koloa Union Church), click HERE.