In this week's Advent devotional, KS Kealapono Program Director Kalei Cosma shares how she found peace after the passing of her hiapo (first born) Kaʻoli two years ago. Share her sentiments and sing along with KS Cultural Specialist Hauʻoli Akaka as he performs the hīmeni, "Hāmau e Nā Kānaka" – "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" 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 Kealapono Program Director Kalei Cosma, a pule and a keiki activity.
The Christmas carol “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” – appearing in 1739 written by Charles Wesley, and translated into Hawaiian more than a century later by Kahu Lorenzo Lyons – speaks of the reason we celebrate the Advent season.
Jesus descended from heaven to earth. He came to hoʻokuʻikahi – to reconcile humanity back to him, ʻAba, ka Makua, the rightful Abba Father. The sense of hoʻohauʻoli – rejoicing and joy – resounds with this mele:
Hāmau e nā kānaka – Hark! the herald angels sing,
Mele mai nā ʻānela – "Glory to the new-born King!
Eia ke ‘liʻi hānau hou – Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
E hoʻonani aʻe ʻoukou – God and sinners reconciled."
Malu nō ko lalo nei – Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
E hoʻohauʻoli hoʻomaikaʻi – Join the triumph of the skies;
Ke Akua ko ke ao – With th' angelic host proclaim,
Kuʻikahi pū lākou – "Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Ke Akua ko ke ao – Hark! the herald angels sing,
Kuʻikahi pū lākou – "Glory to the new-born King!
The irony is that today, as we open the newspaper, we don’t see or feel maluhia, a sense of peace. In fact, we may see quite the opposite: uncontrollable wildfires, heinous violent crimes, hate, and controversy. Sometimes we might wonder if there will ever be a peace. Yet, the mele continues e hoʻomaluhia, provide peace of the knowledge of Christ despite the unrest:
Christ, by highest heaven adored:
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the favoured one.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
Hail, th'incarnate Deity:
Pleased, as man, with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the new-born King!
Believe it or not, ka Baibala Hemolele (the Holy Bible) tells us that peace is here among us. This peace is in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, who came to earth over 2,000 years ago.
Hānau ihola ʻo ia i kāna makahiapo kāne; wahī ihola iā ia i ke kapa keiki, a hoʻomoe ihola iā ia ma kahi hānai holoholona, no ka mea, ʻaʻole wahi kaʻawale no lākou ma loko o ka hale hoʻokipa.
This means that the same Iesū (Jesus) who came to the earth a long time ago, is the same Iesū who dwells with us today. The bible tells us in Hebrews 13:8, that Iesū Kristo (Jesus Christ) is the same yesterday and today and forever!
ʻO Iesū Kristo, he ʻoia mau nō ia, i nehinei, a i kēia lā nō, a i ka wā pau ʻole.
Recently, I have been captivated by the book from about 200 years past: “Memoir of Keʻōpūolani, Queen of the Sandwich Islands,” written by William Richards in 1825.
On her death bed, one of Hawai‘i’s revered Mō‘ī Wahine, Keʻōpūolani, sacred wife of Kamehameha Paiʻea, was said to have grown in her knowledge and relationship with Jesus in her last days, as is written in her memoir:
“…do not cast away the word of God, or the Sabbath Day. Neglect not prayer, neither cease to love Jehovah, that he may love you, and that we two may meet in heaven…”
Keʻōpūolani’s peace came from a place of satisfaction that she knew she could meet again with her loved ones in heaven if they loved and knew Iesū and Iēhowa (Jehovah) as their savior. Her words spoke to my innermost being. The mele continues as it exalts the identity Keʻōpūolani found in Iesū, who was born to give her and us second birth-life after life on earth:
E aloha ke ‘Liʻi mau, – Hail! the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Ke ‘Liʻi pono no kākou – Hail! the Son of Righteousness!
Lama ola malu nō – Light and life to all he brings,
No ko kēia ao a pau – Risen with healing in his wings
Mele e nā kānaka – Mild he lays his glory by,
Mele me nā ʻānela – Born that man no more may die:
Eia ke ‘Liʻi hānau hou – Born to raise the son of earth,
Pōmaikaʻi a ola mau – Born to give them second birth.
Eia ke ʻLiʻi hānau hou – Hark! the herald angels sing,
Pōmaikaʻi a ola mau – "Glory to the new-born King !"
For me personally, there was a season when my ‘ohana felt as if peace had left us. As my oldest son, KaʻolimālamalamaokaHaku’s life slipped away from us two summers ago, we found it hard to find rest in Jesus. We cried, screamed, and fought with God while my son fought for his life. We felt a grief beyond what our earthly minds could ever fathom.
It wasn’t until weeks in the hospital, that I felt an overwhelming warmth envelop my body. It was warm, comforting, real…and tangible. It was like a huge hug. As if to say…but without words:
Philippians 4: 6-7 says:
“Mai manaʻo nui ʻoukou i kekahi mea; akā, i nā mea a pau e hōʻike aku i ko ʻoukou makemake i ke Akua ma ka pule, a me ka noi aku, a me ka hoʻomaikaʻi aku.
A ʻo ka maluhia o ke Akua, ka mea i ʻoi aku i ko ke kanaka manaʻo a pau, e hoʻomalu mai i ko ʻoukou naʻau a me ko ʻoukou manaʻo ma o Kristo Iesū lā.”
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the PEACE of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
And so it is true for us, that this maluhia, this peace that the Apostle Paul writes about, can guard our hearts and minds if we are feeling any kind of fear, worry or unrest. This peace is Jesus Christ. I believe Jesus wants us all to experience the warmth, love, and the authentic peace He has to offer us – especially in this advent season. The reason He came to Earth was for us to realize His peace.
E Iesū ē, e hoʻomalu mai iā mākou i Kou maluhia pumehana. May all who read this be filled with Your warm peace. May they rest in the fact that your Word says that You give us the peace, not as the world does. (John 14:27) E hoʻopiha ʻia ko mākou naʻau me ko mākou manaʻo i Ko maluhia i nēia kau nani hemolele. May that peace that surpasses all understanding guard our hearts and minds in you this beautiful season.
Ma ka inoa hemolele o Iesū mākou e pule nei, ʻĀmene.
KEIKI / ‘OHANA ACTIVITY
During the busyness of this season, as weekends begin to fill with holiday activities, performances, and gatherings, take a moment as a family to welcome Jesus into your day. Ask him to help you to be conscious of His presence with you. At the end of the day, come back together as an ‘ohana and reflect together on the different ways you encountered Jesus throughout your day.