On Sunday, we heard a thought-provoking message by seminarian Alan Potter. He challenged the congregation to consider the difference between how we often think of justice in our society today and how God thinks of justice. A familiar image is that of Lady Justice holding the scales of justice in one hand and a sword in another. The idea is that justice is primarily punitive—that a person who causes suffering should endure the same suffering as he/she caused. On the other hand, God’s idea of justice is that all that is life-giving should be offered to everyone.

The image of Lady Justice and Scripture verse from Amos above ought to bring some discomfort, as the idea of justice in the Bible is primarily about life and not death. It is about grace and not punishment. This idea is not limited to the Christian faith. Gandhi is thought to have said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” The Bible is not primarily about making sure that everyone is properly punished for their sins. It is primarily a book about grace and forgiveness for imperfect people, reconciliation and community among broken relationships, and abundant resources to sustain life for everyone and for all life on our planet.

May our hearts be open to the justice of God as we allow justice to roll like water and righteousness like an everflowing stream.

Aloha nui loa!

Kahu Alan Akana

“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 worship service, including the message, click HERE. You may see the Koloa Union Church YouTube channel to see previous worship services and many of Kahu’s past messages. You can 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 learn about our Sunday morning worship service, 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.