In our final Advent devotional, KSK Assistant Kahu Barrett Awai speaks about the extraordinary act of giving. God gifted us his only begotten Son Jesus Christ to offer us salvation and eternal life with Him. Kamehameha Schools was born out of the generosity and foresight of Ke Ali‘i Pauahi whose gift of education has helped her people thrive. Pauahi’s vision was made reality with a gift of ali‘i land from her hānai sister Princess Ruth Ke‘elikōlani. Let us celebrate in this true spirit of love by doing all we can to give of ourselves to others!
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 Kapālama Assistant Kahu Barrett Awai, a pule and a keiki/ʻohana activity.
Christmas Eve for me is like the National Anthem right before the Super Bowl kickoff! The excitement, suspense, and adrenaline are rumbling like the start of “The Eddie” at Waimea Bay for us kānaka maoli! Many across the globe are still running around looking for that perfect gift for loved ones, or having ohana pāʻina, or attending the annual Christmas Eve service at church! Excitement and joy is in the air!!!
As I write this advent in advance of my awakening to the exciting eve of Christmas 2018, I’m hoping that my past will remind me to i mua! I mua from falling into the worldly ways and reflect on what this day truly brings!
History tells us that this evening was not at all like it is today. May I add that the date of December 25 is not the exact day of the birth of Emmanuel, God with us. Though, historically this chosen day dated back to 336 A.D. to celebrate Emmanuel’s birthday is accepted and honored around the world. So, in this respect this advent on Christmas Eve is about the birth of Emmanuel who is most known today as Jesus Christ.
That eve in Bethlehem was most likely in September which would average temperatures between 45-70 degrees. To put that into perspective, anything below 60 degrees we kānaka are indoors under the thickest of comforters and blankets! Now, imagine traveling about 100 miles of rough terrain with wild animals and thiefs, for about five days, ready to hānau at any moment, and on a donkey probably sitting sidesaddle right? Mary was one faithful and tough wahine and all the more why I believe God chose her to carry out this miraculous calling!
Hopefully this will humble our hearts to see deep into this valley that Mary, with Joseph beside her, had to endure before gifting all of us with the Savior of all mankind! This eve, may we focus on the reason for ALL seasons that God gave (gifted) us His one and only begotten Son Jesus Christ to offer us salvation and eternal life with Him.
In our Kamehameha Schools history we see the power of hoʻokupu (gift)! Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani gave her second son Keolaokalani to her hānai sister and cousin Bernice Pauahi Bishop who was unable to conceive children of her own. Sadly, after an official adoption and baptism of Keolaokalani, he passed at the age of 6 months. Yet, the hoʻokupu continues from Princess Ruth. In her will, she stated “give and bequeath forever to my beloved younger sister, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, all of my property, the real property and personal property from Hawaiʻi to Kauaʻi, all of said property to be hers.”
Let us celebrate in this true spirit of LOVE by doing all we can to give of ourselves to all whom God blesses us to be around! Whether it be through presents, or best yet our presence which is the greatest gift we can ever share with another. May we point to God and His LOVE by loving not only our ‘ohana, friends, and coworkers this season. Let us love those who are in greater need than us! We were all in great need of a Savior, and God provided us His eternal LOVE!
Dearest Heavenly Father, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace! May you ignite the true spirit of aloha in our hearts and minds and guide us to live for Your love! May you show us the many ways we can give of ourselves to those around us to shine Your light of hope! Amen!
KEIKI / ‘OHANA ACTIVITY
Make care packages that can fit in a gallon zip lock bag. Fill them with nonperishable food, travel toiletries, and a message of hope from the Bible. Ask your mākua or kūpuna to take you to share these gifts with those who are houseless and in need around your community. Another great way to give in this season and winter break for all haumāna is to go through your dressers and closets and take out all the clothing items you do not use anymore and take it to a nearby Salvation Army donation drop-off.