More Than Family
If you've ever seen Disney's "Lilo & Stitch," you know the Hawaiian word for family is 'ohana. But it means much more than just the parents and siblings you grew up with or even extended blood relatives, it encompasses anyone close to you. The concept of 'ohana really emphasizes that people who are brought together are bound together and should cooperate and be remembered.
'Ohana means you always have a place to go and people who will take care of you.
As we reflect on this section from Acts 16, we see that the Holy Spirit opened Lydia's heart to understand Paul's message and then brought her family into a faith in Jesus. However, the Greek translation of "household" is " oikos," which extends beyond her actual blood relatives to anyone living within her residence: adopted children, slaves, visitors - her 'ohana. And since we know she had considerable wealth and respect in the community, as well as a hospitable heart, her 'ohana, and therefore those she helped bring to Christ, was probably quite extensive.
As Christian's and followers of Christ, our 'ohana - those we love and care for - should encompass more than just our immediate families. Sharing Christ's love needs to go beyond the four walls of our homes and our churches.
At LIM, we are building our 'ohana in the rural villages of Alaska, among the students at Haskell Indian Nations University, in Hawaii, and daily reaching new Natives with the love that comes from being part of the 'ohana of all God's children.
Who can you include in your 'ohana today? Who do you know that needs to be cared for and loved?