The ‘Ohana Factor
For those who have never lived on the Hawaiian islands the word ‘Ohana is usually linked with the definition from the Disney movie Lilo & Stich: “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” It’s not a bad definition to start from, but I get the joy of introducing and re-introducing people to God’s ‘Ohana which goes so much deeper and farther. You can read a portion of God’s definition of ‘Ohana right here to see what I’m talking about:
3 But let the righteous be glad ; let them exult before God ; Yes, let them rejoice with gladness. 4 Sing to God, sing praises to His name ; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him. 5 A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. 6 God makes a home for the lonely ; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land. 7 O God, when You went forth before Your people, When You marched through the wilderness, Selah. 8 The earth quaked ; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God ; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel. Psalm 68:3-8 (NASB)
When I read this I can’t help but think of how a true ‘Ohana of faith provided a place for me to grow in faith right here in Kona! Now I and my family get to join with the amazing people of New Hope Legacy to welcome people of all ages, races, traditions, and places… home. What does that look like? Glad you asked. The ‘Ohana of faith is…
…rubbing shoulders and rubbing each other the wrong way.
…seeing heart to heart even if we don’t always see eye to eye.
…life on life rather then life alone.
…walking a mile in another persons shoes even if you prefer slippahs.
…going the extra mile even if you would prefer to stay right where you are.
…vegetarians loving carnivores and vice versa.
…white men who can’t jump and brown men who can’t fish, but have fun trying anyhow.
…singing to Jesus with those who think they can sing… But can’t.
…serving a brother or sister without expecting anything in return.
…giving each other a lot of space and grace knowing the measure we use with others is the measure God will use with us.
…learning to not take ourselves too seriously and taking our Gods call to love each other more seriously then ever before. After all, “love one another” isn’t a suggestion, it’s a command.
…a submission to the Heavenly Father in serving a brother or sister and raising up the next generation
…sticking it out rather then running out.
…choosing day in and day out (not just on Sunday mornings): Dependence over independence, forgiveness over bitterness, sincerity over cynicism, joy over mockery, acceptance over rejection, patience over frustration, hope over despair, loyalty over loneliness, tomorrow as well as today.
It’s the people of God living in the presence of God living out the purposes of God in the positions He has placed us in!
If you are looking for a place to call home, come just as you are and come right on in. You may have just found your ‘Ohana of faith!
In His Adventure,
Pastor Jon Burgess