(It has been awhile since I last posted a “weekly” message, due to website issues. It looks like those issues are finally resolved and I’ll start posting more regularly again.)

I thought I would talk this week about a very special evening we had on Sunday. We had a worship service in which we reflected on the message of the season: God’s unconditional love that comes to us over and over again. Judyth Foley and I both read excerpts from her book, “Nikos Brown: A Christmas Miracle.” In the book Nikos and his gang of friends decide to steal the statue of baby Jesus from a large Nativity scene outside a Catholic Church in L.A., even as the old priest is still setting out and arranging the scene! Nikos’ friends distract the priest while Nikos grabs the baby, shoves it into a burlap bag, and runs toward a large fountain where he plans to throw the baby. Everything goes according to plans until the burlap bag begins to feel funny. When Nikos peaks into the bag, he doesn’t see the statue of the baby Jesus. Instead, he sees the real, live, baby Jesus, who looks into his eyes with pure love. From that moment on, Nikos’ life is changed, as are the lives of the people around him. In fact, the entire neighborhood begins to transform, simply because a young “troublemaker” looked into the eyes of Jesus and felt unconditional love for the first time. We closed the worship service with a time of meditation, as we considered how our own lives might be changed if we felt pure love by looking into the eyes of Jesus. I hope your life is changed during this special season of the year as you contemplate God’s pure love for you!

After the service, Judyth signed books for those who purchased them, and decided to give the entire profit of book sales to Koloa Union Church! Additional books are available on Sundays or at the church office during the week for $20. Judyth is happy to sign unsigned copies when she returns from California in January!

Kahu Alan Akana