“Looking Up…
And Looking Down”

In this week’s Scripture reading (Acts 1:1-11), the resurrected Jesus ascended into heaven, leaving the disciples staring up into the clouds. I can relate to their experience, as I become easily mesmerized by beautiful clouds. I love walking along the beach at sunset and feeling a sense of awe when the sky changes into a hundred shades of pink, orange, peach and purple. I also love looking out from airplane windows when the clouds look like a million acres of pure cotton. There are times when it is difficult to lower my gaze and look anywhere else—and I give thanks for that!

The disciples were not just mesmerized by the clouds but what they had seen happening in them. Jesus had risen before their eyes and disappeared into the clouds. I am quite sure that I would be staring right along with them! However, the time had come for them to stop looking up and begin looking down all around them. God sent a couple of angels to help them pry their gaze from the heavens so that they would begin looking around the earth and get to work being the witnesses of Jesus that he had called them to be.

This is a good reminder for all of us during the coronavirus pandemic to not only look to the heavens for God’s help, but also to look around and see what God is doing among us and join in to the gracious and transforming work of God.

In this week’s message, I share about some of my own experiences of looking up and looking down, and looking up again and then back down once more. It seems that this pattern of up and down is a part of our spiritual growth and development. I trust that you find encouragement and strength in this practice as we celebrate the Ascension of Christ.

Aloha nui!

Kahu Alan Akana


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“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 this week’s message by Kahu Akana, 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.