After the passing of his mama – Iris Uliʻi Kanakaole Boshard – KS Hawai‘i Kahu Kaunaloa Boshard shares how faith in God has given his ‘ohana a strong and unwavering sense of joy in knowing that she has reached her final destination with our King. Share his sentiments and sing along with the KS Hawai‘i Kula Ha‘aha‘a keiki choir as they perform “O Holy Night” in the video below.
KS envisions its learners to be grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values. To celebrate the coming of Christmas, nā kahu o Kamehameha have created Hawaiian-focused Advent devotionals for haumāna and others to follow and share. This week’s devotional includes a message by KS Hawai‘i Kahu Kaunaloa Boshard, a pule and a keiki/ʻohana activity.
This advent season will be a little different for our ʻohana. This blessed time of joy, peace, and love has always inspired hope within our family and that hope is in Jesus. The magnificent story of the coming of the Christ Child is a moʻolelo hemolele that our parents held on to with great faith, it is a moʻolelo hemolele that they shared graciously with us, and its mana was lived out daily before us. Their hope will always be in Jesus.
Nevertheless, this Kalikimaka we open up a new chapter of our lives because this time a loved one is missing from our household. This time we will experience a sadness known to those who long for the closeness and the company of a cherished one who has left this world. You see, this particular holiday season will be our first Christmas without mom, without tūtū, without our beloved angel here on earth.
Iris Uliʻi Kanakaole Boshard made that heavenly transition from the temporal to the eternal earlier this year, and even though my mom’s physical absence from our homes has always felt a bit awkward, this time it’s Christmas. This time of year has always been a special time for our ʻohana because our faith reminds us of the power of Emmanuel – God with us.
Thus, our collective memories of holiday seasons past as a family will summon a multitude of deep emotions that will sway our hearts and minds back and forth from the cheerful to the melancholy as we navigate Christmas without her.
Yet, there is always a blessing that our Lord Jesus delivers to those who have uttered the words, “Lord Jesus be my Savior.” When these words are spoken in faith, the connection between the crib and cross is revealed by God’s promise of salvation.
Hence, this Advent Sunday also brings our ʻohana a joyfulness because we have chosen to live by faith, which is a gift of God’s grace. This faith empowers us to enjoy an endless hope as we honor, and believe the night that our Blessed Jesus was born was a night unlike any other. This was a Holy Night of Love Divine!
Luka or Luke 2:11 describes Jesus as our Redeemer our Liberator and our Rescuer:
“No ka mea, i kēia lā i hānau ai, ma ke kūlanakauhale o Dāvida, he Ola no ʻoukou, ʻo ia ka Mesia ka Haku.”
“For today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Mom was rooted in an unshakable reliance that our Savior’s birth was all for our eternal well-being. Thus it is by faith that we know for sure that her absence causes us a strong and unwavering sense of joy in knowing that her final destination is with our King. That is the connection between this Holy Night when our humble Savior’s crib was a feeding box for farm animals and the undisputable day when God’s love through Christ was powerfully demonstrated on the cross.
This Holy Night of Jesus’ birth started a chain reaction of events so closely tied to the ultimate symbol of LOVE that we are able to celebrate it with reverence and gratitude. This kind of humble adoration during Christmas is not only meant to help fill our own hearts with love, with peace and with the hope of life to come but for us to help fill other hearts, too! Our mom lives in peace with her King, and her earthly life filled our hearts with joy because of Christ in her. We bow before the King of kings and look forward to going home.
E Ke Akua Mana Loa, e aloha mākou iā ʻOe! E hoʻomaikaʻi iā ʻOe, e ke Akua, no kou ʻike a hoʻōla ʻana i nā kanaka, e hele mai la iō kākou nei i loko o Iesū. Ua hele mai ʻOe e hoʻokuʻu a hemolele mākou, i hiki iā mākou ke hana nou me ka aloha i nā lā apau o ko mākou ʻohana. I loko o Iesū Kristo hāʻawi mai ʻOe ka naʻauao o ka hoʻōla ʻana a ke kala ʻana i nā hala. Ma ka inoa kau Keiki Hiwahiwa o Iesū, ʻAmene.
Dear God Almighty, we love You. Blessed are You, O God, for You have visited and redeemed Your people, coming to visit us in Jesus. You have come to set us free that we may serve You with love all the days of our lives. In Jesus Christ, you have given us knowledge of salvation and forgiveness of sin. In the name of your precious Son, Jesu, Amen.
KEIKI / ‘OHANA ACTIVITY
How do you prepare for this Holy Night of remembrance of the coming Christ Child? First, bake some of your favorite cookies, take the time to make some really good hot chocolate and prepare your household for your family’s very own rendition of “O Holy Night.” That’s right, this evening you and your keiki all get to live out this amazing story of the birth of baby Jesus right in your own ka lumi hoʻokipa. (Ok, if you don’t have any children invite a family over to your crib, or it’s time to take this show on the road and spend time with a family : )
Next, pick up your Holy Bible and look up Luke chapter 2 verses 1-20. With this story in hand, it is time to get creative by filling the character roles, staging the props and having some family fun. Here are a few suggestions: 1) You will need a narrator who reads the passages or share the responsibility – remember to have fun! 2) You will need a few star performers to play as many of the Bible characters that you can fill, so use your keiki first! CAST: Jesus – Real baby or a baby doll, Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds, animals. 3) Be creative, picture your cat as a cow.
Recreating the Nativity Scene will bring great joy to any family gathering and office party. Did I just throw in the office party? Remember, have fun no matter where you retell this amazing story of hope and joy! I promise you that by the time you have figured out who is playing whom, what props you will use and have gone through the first seven verses, your hearts will be filled to the brim with JOY! Caution – there may be a few tears mixed with laughter from watching your children role play and that for me my nā hoapili is JOY overflowing! Follow it up with reflection or a testimony of what this Christmas time means and may our Lord bless you and your very own Holy Night!