KS envisions its learners to be grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values. To celebrate the coming of Christmas, nā kahu o Kamehameha have created weekly Hawaiian-focused Advent devotionals for haumāna and others to follow and share.
I remember a time Jesus met me at Maunalua Bay. I had my head against His shoulder and He showed me a picture of myself. I was doing cartwheels and dancing on the shore, trying to get His attention. He looked me in the eyes and said, “There is nothing more or less you could do to win or lose my love.”
I broke down and cried. I couldn’t stop crying. Jesus exposed a deep struggle within me.
His words in Matthew 22:37 spoke to me as I realized my aloha for Ke Akua had been divided. E aloha aku ʻoe iā Iēhova i kou Akua me kou naʻau a pau, a me kou ʻuhane a pau, a me kou manaʻo a pau. ”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love Him with all your mind.”
For most of my life, I had placed my worth in accomplishments and performance.
I strived to be the best and sought the approval of others.
This lead to an exhausting and endless battle of expectation, comparison, and competition. I thought I had to do “X, Y, and, Z” to be loved and accepted. I didn’t feel I deserved love unless I earned it. I was blinded by this false belief and it left me tirelessly trying to do, do, do, to earn love and acceptance of others.
It was hard for me to fathom that the Lord just loved me simply because He created me;
I was created to be loved. It’s such a hard thing to grasp and yet, I don’t think we’re supposed to make sense of it. It’s pretty simple; we’re supposed to receive His love and live loved.
In this Christmas season, I am reminded that God didn’t wait to send His Son into this world until we did something to deserve His love. The first Christmas reveals God’s love through His action of sending His only Son to live in the midst of human sin, then to die on the cross in order to pay the cost for our sins.
I am humbled and brought to tears of gratitude and joy. Receiving and rejoicing in the Lord’s love.
No more running from His love, but receiving it. Surrendering the pressures of performing, achieving, and pleasing others, has freed me. Jesus has freed me of fitting into what others might think I should be, to embracing who He has created me to be.
He has freed me of being a victim of struggle, to living as a victorious work-in-progress. He has freed me of negative talk about myself or others, to speaking His truths of being loved beyond measure – ke aloha ana ʻole.
E aloha aku ʻoe i kou hoalauna me ʻoe iā ʻoe iho. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
I no longer am in competition with others, but an instrument of His love. Through the intentional relationships He has given, I have the opportunity to reveal His love through me. I need to be willing to take actions for the good of the other person, even when they have done nothing to deserve it. Like Iesū Kristo, for the sake of Ke Akua’s love to be known, my life is a living sacrifice.
Furthermore, we can draw mana and inspiration found in a classic and familiar hīmeni haipule (Hawaiian hymn) composed by Robert Nāwahine entitled “ʻEkolu Mea Nui.”
Taken from 1 Corinthians 13:13, it gives us further instruction and inspiration for living life:
Ke mau nei kēia mau mea ʻekolu, ʻo ka manaʻoʻiʻo, ʻo ka manaʻolana, a me ke aloha. ʻO ke aloha naʻe kai ʻoi o kēia mau mea. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.