“My Spirit Rejoices”
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”
On Sunday, we lit the candle of joy in the Advent wreath, reminding ourselves of the joy that we feel as we anticipate the birth of Jesus. During my message, I reminded the congregation that joy does not wait until all is right with the world. It is easy to forget that Jesus was born during a time of horrible oppression and injustice. Life was really hard for Mary and her relative Elizabeth. Life was filled with fear and anxiety for the Jewish people living under both Caesar Augustus and King Herod. Nevertheless, we read in Luke, chapter 1, that Elizabeth and all who knew her experienced joy. Mary was so filled with joy that she burst out in song and claimed, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”
In the same way, we too can experience joy without having to wait until all oppression and injustice disappear from the face of the earth. In Mary’s song, she identified the reason for this: it is because God loves the oppressed and those who are considered to have very little value in the eyes of society. God looks upon them with favor, has mercy upon them, blesses them. It is important to recognize God’s immense love for all of us—even those who feel like their lives are the least valuable of all. It is in this acknowledgement that the greatest joy can be found.
May you feel deep and lasting joy this week!
Aloha nui loa!
Kahu Alan Akana
“I am a beloved child of God,
who loves me unconditionally,
cherishes and adores me.”
“A Message from Our Kahu” is provided by Rev. Dr. Alan Akana of Koloa Union Church, an Open & Affirming (ONA) congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference. Rev. Dr. Akana is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and has been the kahu (pastor) of Koloa Union Church since 2014. Click HERE to learn more about him.
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.