Daily Devotional

Devotionals


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CUC’s 3 C’s: 

Part 2 - Continue


Devotional for the week of 

September 17, 2017


This year, on our 130th anniversary of the merger that created Central Union Church, we want to ensure we continue the legacy of the generations that have come before us, and that continue to lead us.  Over these 130 years, ministries have come and gone as each generation wrestles with the call of Christ for this day.  Yet the one thing that remains is our DNA—that which makes us CUC! Last year, we adopted six values that help name our DNA…the strands that are at the root of our decisions and that which we continue.


Monday

The first strand of DNA is that of Mana`o`i`o, or faithfulness.  We believe “God is faithful in bringing love to life; therefore, we live with hope.”  Our story of faith is marked by the faithfulness of God to us.  1 Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful, and you were called by him to partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” This partnership opens the doors of seeing that God is a part of every breath and step of life.  We live with the hope that God will never leave, nor forsake us, even when life may become overwhelming.  In CUC’s Hymn of Values, we start with a refrain singing…


(Refrain) Surround us, Our Living Lord, remind us to rest in you; When life becomes overwhelming, help us to trust in you. Impart us with your vision, that we might clearly see; And crispness of our hearing, to hear your words of grace.


(Verse 1) Our God you are faithful, redeeming all of life; and through your constant presence, we dwell with eternal hope. Your love has granted us our birth, and sustains us all our days; Remind us that you hear us, along the winding way.


Tuesday

The roots of our tradition are a people who stand, open to new discoveries and understanding.  Back in the early 1600s, the pilgrims, our ancestors of faith, were embarking on a trip to a new land to continue to allow their faith to flourish.  Their pastor, John Robinson, sent them off with these words—“The Lord has more light and truth yet to break forth out of God’s Holy Word.”  It has been our belief that God continues to inspire and lead us, as we contemplate our sacred scriptures and discern our times, to understand who we are called to be.  


Therefore, we value Kaunānā, or discovery. We say, “We prayerfully contemplate the Scriptures discovering God’s direction for us.”  It is through the story of what God has done that we are granted the ability to see with fresh eyes, an ancient story.  The story of scripture is no longer their story (the people who wrote it and lived it) but becomes our story.  We see ourselves in the midst of these stories and are invited to awaken to what God is doing within us and around us.  


The Hymn of Values says it this way…

We gather with our scriptures, listening for your voice; Grant us the quiet to hear you, that we may discover truth.


Infuse us with your passion, and grant us peace within; May your Word be the word that guides us into each new day.


It takes great courage to read these scriptures in a way that invite us to change!  Yet God is still speaking and we continue our legacy by not only listening, but acting!


Wednesday

The Easter story is God’s proclamation that resurrection is the last word.  Resurrection, at its core, is about transformation.  It is interesting that the first seers of Jesus didn’t recognize him immediately.  Instead, they had to see the transformed Jesus with new eyes.  Transformation is the goal of spirituality.  We are invited to be transformed into our truest self rather than living in the world of mirage and false pretense.  In essence, we are invited to become who we already are…the one who God sees and we are awakening to see. 


CUC values Loli`ana, or transformation.  We say, “We reflect the continual transformative work of the Holy Spirit through our life and our service.”  As we spiritually mature, transformation is the apparent fruit of a faithful life in the way we love, serve, prioritize our lives and that which we pursue.  Transformation is realized in a tree that bears good fruit and that blesses others with the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  


Our Hymn of Values decries, 


Your Holy Spirit dwells here, stirring us from within; Inviting us to silence, to discern Your holy way.


Gift us the Advocate, who renews our spirits now; By transforming us that we may reflect Your grace anew.


Transformation, or spiritual growth, is measured by fruitfulness.  The Spirit is at work within us and through us.  May the fruit of your life be reflective of the gifts of the Spirit!

 

Thursday

Our scriptures plant the seeds of justice to help create a world of wholeness.  Through prophets and Messiah, we are reminded of a world, marked by God’s reign and way, as the normative way.  This way is one in which all people and creation are able to flourish.  We strive to continue this legacy of the scriptures that has been realized through CUC.


Therefore, Kaulike, or justice, is a key value of our faith community.  We say, “Inspired by the courage and conviction of the saints of our church’s history, we continue to act on God’s love and justice for all.”  A few years ago our congregation made a bold statement that we will be guided by a unified mission statement—“We Engage and Embrace ALL as we seek to Embody Christ!”  The ALL is not easy, yet the one who birthed creation into being, and holds all things in his hands, is the same one who invites us to be the hands and feet of Christ in a broken world.  We have the joy, and privilege, of working towards a more just community and world.


Our Hymn of Faith proclaims, 


We stand on sacred ground, of pillars of our faith; Who stood in the face of injustice, with God’s unfailing love.


Inspire us to be pillars, for this time and this place; And never let us rest, until all stand beneath God’s grace.


Friday

One of the core DNA of the early church was its ability to care for others in a way that the world had never seen.  Jesus modeled this in his touching of lepers and in his healing ministries.  In a world that shunned and rejected the least, he gathered them and called them the greatest.  The early church, faced with mass persecution, thrived in large part because of their ability to  



care for people.  Out of that tradition, the hospital movement was birthed by nuns willing to care for the poor and marginalized.  Christians have never seen care as a matter of value or privilege; instead, it was the call of the Church to care for the hurting and sick!


Therefore, we value Mālama, or care.  We say, “As an ohana of Christ, we joyfully accept all by caring for one another.”  The health of any church is its ability to care for one another.  This isn’t the ordained clergy’s job alone; instead, it is the responsibility of a community committed to doing life together.  We have the honor and responsibility to care for each other in the good and the bad times.  What a joy!


Our Hymn of Values joyfully resounds,


We are God’s ohana, bound by our mutual care; We joyfully accept each other, answering Jesus’ prayer.


‘That they all may be one, O God, like you and I are one;’ Empower them with unity that they may live as one.


Saturday

The heartbeat of God is love.  We gather under the greatest truth the world has ever heard—Love Never Faileth!  The message from the start to the end of scripture is that God’s essence is love; our cosmos is birthed in love; Jesus comes to reveal love; and at the end of all things, love wins!


Therefore, our final value is Aloha, or love.  This love is the other-worldly love that God has and has revealed.  We say, “As disciples, we follow the way of Jesus Christ by loving God and loving others.”  This is, after all, our only commandment!  Jesus made clear that all the laws are simply summarized as “Love God, love each other.”  What a high calling!


Therefore we sing together,


Our crowning call is love, to love God and all others; Through all the peace and scuffles, may mercy be our guide.


For we proclaim an endless truth, that Love will never fail; So come, let us embody Christ in all that we might do!


- Central Union Church -


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