Aloha! Hawaii Here We Come! Part 1

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Example, Hawaii, Here We Come!, Humility, Jesus, Love, Patience

The first time anyone greeted us with ALOHA on Hawaiian soil was the flight attendant who had been serving us on our flight over the pacific. The plane barely had its wheels on the ground when he spoke it over the microphone. 

It wasn’t the last time we would hear this greeting. In fact, even though it was late at night, it wasn’t even the last time we would hear it that day. Before we could get down to the baggage claim area, we had already been greeted with this famous Hawaiian welcome too many times to count.

Many of you may already be familiar with this Hawaiian greeting, and we were as well. What we didn’t know, however, is what it signified. In our simplistic minds, it was Hawaiian for “Hello”. Or “Welcome”. The first time the idea began to register in our brains, however, that this word meant far more than a simple greeting, was when we saw a road sign that said, “Drive with Aloha!” Well, you don’t drive with “hello” or “Welcome”, do you? Yes, this must be a far more powerful word than we might have initially guessed… It must have “respect” somewhere in its hidden meaning.

It was the third or fourth day of our visit on the island of Oahu that we came across something that was even more puzzling to us… 

We had already learned that Waikiki came alive as soon as the sun went down, with multiple street concerts, vendors, music, magic shows… And people! Thousands of them all wandering down the main Waikiki drag, Kalākaua Blvd., named after the last Hawaiian King. And as we joined those crowds that Sunday evening, we were surprised to see a street preacher with a very different message. At the top of her lungs she was crying out, “Jesus is ALOHA!”

Wait. So ALOHA must mean even more than hello and respect! 

Someone gave us this little poem, and we found it helped us to understand the true meaning of ALOHA: 

A: “Akahai,” meaning kindness, to be expressed with tenderness
L: “Lokahi,” meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony
O: “Oluolu,” meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness
H: “Haahaa,” meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty
A: “Ahonui,” meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance

And the late Queen Lil’uokalani, sister to the late King Kalakaua and the last of the Hawaiian monarchy, was quoted as saying, “Aloha is to learn what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.”

Love, kindness, tenderness, unity, harmony, agreeable, pleasantness, humility, modesty, patience and perseverance, to learn what is not said and see what cannot be seen and know the unknowable… Yes, Jesus IS all of these things, perhaps I had never heard such a good description of Jesus! 

But the ALOHA message goes deeper than this. As Christians, we are told to follow Jesus’ example: 

a. “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6 NIV). 

b. “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:22 NIV). 

c. “… walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2 NIV), 

d. “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” (John 13:15-16 NIV)

And this is just a few of the Biblical texts; but in these few examples, we see we are called to humility, sacrifice, love, patience, unity and so much. We are called to live with — ALOHA! 

One of the things I would learn to love in our brief visit to the ALOHA State was that every time we turned around, someone was reminding us of how we, as Christians, should live: Just as Jesus did, with ALOHA!

May we all spread a little ALOHA today as we look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, the living definition of – ALOHA!

In His love,
Rob Chaffart
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries

(To access the entire “Hawaii, Here We Come!” devotional series, please click here!)

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Aloha! Hawaii Here We Come! Part 1

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