A Time for Gratitude and Rainbows
I want to begin by thanking my church family for taking such wonderful care of me the past week and a half while I have been recovering from vascular surgery on my leg. I am deeply appreciative of the meals, fresh produce and groceries that people have dropped off, as well as the prayers on my behalf. The surgery was necessary because of poor circulation in my leg due to a major vein not working properly. The surgeon removed most of that vein, and other veins have now taken over to keep the blood properly flowing in my leg. My surgery was successful and I am healing well. However, my leg is still quite tender where the incisions are still healing, and so I will be working mainly from home while keeping my leg elevated as often as possible, and not driving much until my leg feels better. I am supposed to walk a little more each day, and hope to walk to the church by the end of the week. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call if you would like to talk or make an appointment to see me in person.
After one very long day of heavy rain at the end of August, I was so grateful for sunshine! I walked outside into the yard and saw a double rainbow right on the parsonage! “A pot of gold,” I thought. “What a treasure: this place I call home, my church, my community, my art, this island, my family and friends, my life. I am truly blessed!” As I looked at the rainbow, I felt I could almost explode with gratitude!
On Sunday, we read the ancient Jewish story of the rainbow in Genesis, chapter 9. Afterthe entire earth was inundated with rain, God set a rainbow in the sky to remind human beings of the covenant between God and the entire Earth. There are a few very important points about the story worth mentioning:
- Noah and his family walked off the ark nearly exploding with gratitude. Imagine 40 days and nights of nonstop pouring rain. Imagine being on a boat with your family and thousands of animals for five months. Imagine wondering if you would live through the ordeal. I imagine that the family was feeling many emotions, but mostly gratitude.
- God told Noah and his family that every living thing should be fruitful and multiply. It was not up to human beings to decide which forms of life were worthy to exist. All of life is good and should thrive.
- God provides in abundance. The Earth is and will continue to provide all we need to survive and raise families. There will be more than enough animals and plants for people to eat—and they are to eat and enjoy and share.
- The rainbow is a sign of God’s faithfulness and of the covenant set forth by God. God promises to never destroy the Earth with a flood. In return people are expected to allow every living thing—including every human being—to thrive.
In the story, God gives gifts in abundance and people freely accept those gifts and share them with others. The gifts are are for many generations. They are for all creatures, not just the human ones. They are for the entire earth.
Good stewardship is when we live with gratitude and in right relationship with God, other people, every living thing and the entire Earth. May we remember this as we offer our gratitude and consider how we might live in the days ahead.
Kahu Alan Akana
Our Kahu (Pastor) offers a weekly message in church most Sundays during the year. Click HERE to see a video of his message from this past Sunday. You may see the Koloa Union Church YouTube channel to see many of his past messages and subscribe in order be notified when a new message is posted. Please share these videos with friends and invite them to church. Please feel free to “Like” any of the videos you see and share them on social media, such as Facebook, so that others will notice them.
“A Message from Kahu Alan Akana” is provided most weeks by the Kahu (Pastor) of Koloa Union Church, a congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference.