Kamehameha Schools envisions its learners to be grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values. Nā kahu o Kamehameha – Brian Boshard, Kordell Kekoa and Kalani Wong – created weekly Hawaiian-focused Advent devotionals. Although designed with students in mind, they can also be used by families or individuals to celebrate the coming of Christmas.
Growing up in Kona my father would take me to go holoholo. He would carry his ʻupena (throw net) and I carried the bucket and we would walk along the shoreline from Kikaua Point north to Kaupūlehu or on some days we would go south to Maniniʻowale.
He was masterful as a kanaka lawaiʻa (fisherman) and would always bring in a bountiful catch of manini, kūpīpī, mamo, nenue and even ʻamaʻama and uouoa. However, the catch wasn’t always just for our family. Dad never forgot his friends so once we were done cleaning the fish we would load up bags with i‘a and place them in our cooler. Then we would jump into the truck and go to my father’s close friends who were church leaders in the small Hawaiian churches that my father served.
We would travel south to Kealia and give fish to Ka ʻOhana Iona. Uncle Fred and Aunty Nancieta owned their own farm and were incredibly gracious to my dad they always spoke with easygoing voices and would give us fruits from their mala.
Then we would travel north to Holualoa to see another retired paniolo Uncle Mahone Kāʻeo from Helani Church. He had the largest hands that I had ever seen, they were rough and calloused, but he spoke with such softness in his voice that he always made me feel safe.
Every time my father and I would do this it was the same thing, we talk story, drop off fish and drive off to the next family. Besides being church leaders in their community, all these kind people had one very important thing in common. They were all very humble and the most haʻahaʻa servant leaders I knew. God loves the humble!
The Prophet Isaiah shared this revelation for us in order to help unravel the mystery behind the coming of the Christ child, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Just think of the incredible magnitude of the kuleana that our Lord Jesus as a child was given. These titles are all about having direct rule over all creation, infinite wisdom, absolute power, unfettered compassion and love. How was a child supposed to fill these lofty positions, and not just how, but why a child?
Jesus could have come charging into our world riding on a golden chariot with millions of angels descending with him proclaiming his Lordship. I can hear the multitude of angels singing Handel’s Messiah, “Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, halleeeeeluuujaaaah.”
In fact, why not roll in with all the bling and swag that heaven can offer, and yet God sent a baby? What kind of triumphant message was God intending for us to receive? Humility and leadership, two seemingly conflicting character traits, but I believe that God also sent Jesus as one of us, as a baby as a strong reminder of what righteous leadership looks like.
The secret of God’s message lays deep within this one fundamental core value that we attribute to all great leaders, humbleness. Jesus the Christ carried the authority of a King and the meekness of a child all rolled into one. Our Lord and Savior chose to give up his Kingly atmosphere and instead became lowly to be a part of us.
Why? Because Jesus’ infancy reminds us that every child’s gentle nature should be highly valued to the point of parents making specific sacrifices in order to cherish and honor God’s gift of life to them. Jesus the Christ child demonstrates that the power of meekness is its teaching that all life is significant and worthy of care.
Even before Jesus became an adult, he already had a reputation of being humble, kind, pono loa and mighty because these character traits had already been given to him before his earthly birth. By the time he was ready to fulfill his purpose here with us on earth he would be identified as God’s humble servant and son who healed the sick, mended broken hearts, spoke to the stormy seas to be still, and raised the dead. All-powerful, all-knowing and ubiquitously present, Jesus, who heaven honored as its greatest majesty, ruler and king humbled himself and sacrificed his life for ours.
Therefore, the lesson for all of us here at Kamehameha Schools is to be aware that the power of a prideful leader is quickly subdued, but the power of humble leadership is everlasting because of its supreme influence to promote love over hate, selfless acts over selfish behaviors, and the blessing of building up relationships over cursing others.
God sent Jesus to demonstrate what true servant leadership really looks like and this Christmas season, like all Christmases before, we honor Jesus’ act of humility by walking with him in a gentle, pliant and trusting manner.
During this Advent season let us rejoice in the majestic message of Christ’s humility and reflect on the power of being a humble servant leader. God’s word says this about those who walk this path of meekness with God and before others, that they will be elevated by the Most High, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
His chosen mother Mary called him, “Jesus,” but let us call him Lord!
STRATEGIC PLAN 2020
SP2020 is a five-year strategic plan that will guide Kamehameha Schools from 2015 to 2020. The plan marks a starting point toward KS’ Vision 2040, which envisions success for all Native Hawaiian learners.
This series of Advent devotionals supports Vision 2040 by instilling in haumāna and others the Christian and Hawaiian values embraced by KS’ beloved founder, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop.
December 09, 2016
KS Kapālama Kahu Kordell Kekoa shares how forgiveness of ourselves and others can lead to inner peace.
December 02, 2016
Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Athletics Relations Associate and Head Football Coach Abu Ma‘afala shares how patience – while oftentimes painful – has its rewards.
November 25, 2016
KS envisions its learners to be grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values. Nā kahu o Kamehameha created Hawaiian-focused Advent devotionals for haumāna and others to celebrate the coming of Christmas.