We had a wonderful Easter that started with the sunrise service aboard the Mighty MO.
Why yes, we did get rained on for a second. Also…I readily admit to being slightly vain and have a need to explain away my fuzzy hair and that hot mess on Bria’s head.
There is so much to be said about a sunrise service aboard the USS Missouri. I may have mentioned the chicken skin I get every time I cross over to her deck. I love love love stepping on the deck and thinking about the history that surrounds that ship. As we sat waiting for the service to begin, a veteran was sitting just to my left. As the sky brightened she was looking out over the water and she started to cry soft silent tears. Oh my goodness, my own eyes welled for a minute. Sitting there preparing to remember the death and especially the resurrection of Jesus Christ combined with the history of the ship, I literally felt like my heart could burst. Jesus died for me and all the people who gave their life so that I can freely worship him. Knowing the Arizona rests behind me and Pacific was in front of me, a wonderful example of God’s creation. It was all truly overwhelming. Isn’t that what an Easter worship service should be like?
My absolute favorite part of this worship service is the hula. Where is that soap box? Oh. Here it is. Give me a second and let me climb up on it. We are members of the Church of Christ. At times I’m pleased as punch to let that bit of information slip. At other times, boy howdy I know a lot of people who are also members of this congregation that claims it’s non-denomnational but I sometimes wonder if having that name on the door makes it a denomination(Wait, that’s another blog.) that won’t be happy that I loved a hula performed during a worship service. Anyway, as we were leaving overseas orders and at times different worship services we visited home. We were at a Vacation Bible School of all places. I don’t remember what led to the discussion but a gentleman pulled me aside and said that instrumental music during worship would send me straight to hell. Good times. About the time he said that, I looked at my two very little girls dancing and singing praise songs on the church stage. (VBS was over.) I grabbed their little hands and hightailed it out of Dodge. Good gravy. I was quite sure if he thought instruments were that bad my girls shaking their groove thang in front of the congregation was bound to be an abomination. You see, we’ve been at worship services all over the world. Some were denominational and some weren’t. Some had instruments and some didn’t. I will say there are times I prefer acappella and times when the instruments made me weep. So, I’m hard pressed to tell anyone that they are going to hell over instruments and I still understand why my church chooses not to use them. Let me also say, while I’m up here on this soapbox. Jesus’ resurrection should be remembered and celebrated every day, every second really. Easter Sunday is one day a year that some people choose to willingly walk into a church. Shouldn’t we share that most important story that day? Sorry. Instead of Monday morning quarterbacking I’m Monday morning preaching. I’ll stop.
I promise I’m getting to the point. I’ve talked about one of the first churches we visited here featuring a hula and it moved me. That’s too mild. I left sobbing. I could barely catch my breath. I didn’t even understand hula at the time. Hula tells a story but instead of words from your lips, it is literally supposed be from your heart and soul. The hula that quite literally broke me was performed (is that the right word) by men to represent their testimony after coming back from a horrible place. In fact, when I think about that particular hula sometimes tears still well up in my eyes.
Hulas are said to have come from a ritual dance originally performed for the goddess Pele. Missionaries arrived on the islands and thought the dance was pagan, vulgar and so disgusting it had to be sinful. When they converted Queen Ka’ahumanu to Christianity she destroyed the heiaus. Heiaus are temples. She banned hula as a pagan form of worship. King Kamehameha III decided that everyone should be free to worship in whatever form they chose. Hula came out of the secret shadows and was being performed again. Sometimes it was for the ancient rituals. Other times, it was simply to tell a story. By the time King Kalakaua reigned, he encouraged the performances and added moves, sometimes costumes for festivals. That’s where the Merrie Monarch began. Hulas became a way to tell a story, any story even the story of Jesus. When I’ve seen it performed in that context or as someone’s personal testimony, it’s indescribable to watch and leaves me with at least chicken skin, often in tears.
As much as I would like to share the video with you, I’m having technical difficulties. I have managed to add it to my Facebook page. I’ll check in with
nerd geek tech savvy husband and ask him to add the video here.
We walked around as much of the Mighty MO as we could. Did I mention I’m a fan? I try to soak her up as much as I can every chance I have. Then we made our way to Liliha Bakery for brunch. Yum! I must say Ray has the very best ideas sometimes. We were hoping to catch up with some friends visiting the island but that had to be postponed to later in the week so the girls and I hit the pool after a much needed nap. 4 am wake up calls don’t exactly agree with me. We had a leftover supper from our egg dying experience. Everyone was off to bed pretty early.
I hope you had a wonderful Easter celebrating the resurrection. He is risen indeed.