As I watched this happen again last night, I wondered what is it about the sunset that is so universally compelling? There are beautiful sunsets in many places.
Hawaii is a major crossroads of the world, where almost everyone is from somewhere else, on neutral turf, we might say. That is, except the Hawaiians themselves who are masters of hospitality.
Their signature greeting is “Aloha”, which means “Affection, peace, compassion, and mercy.”
Today I realized that cultural differences make it very difficult to greet a Japanese family – we simply have nothing in common, and they do not tend to make eye contact in passing. But one Japanese woman happened to say to us as we passed by, “Aloha!”
Of course! If nothing else we have Aloha in common, which transcends all cultures.
That made me wonder. As Christians, what do we all have in common that goes beyond cultural (theological!) differences? Is there one word as powerful as “Aloha”?
There is. It is the word “love” in English, but that is not quite enough. In Greek there are four words for love, but only one defines what Jesus taught. It is agape (a-gah-pay) in Greek.
Agape means deeper love, the love that flows from God, sacrificial love that Jesus poured out his life to teach us (read 1 Corinthians 13).
Streamside dreams of a day when we will be known not as Americans or Japanese, but as agape personified!
This is the voice of perfect unity!