The holy week provides me a time and space to reflect on my faith journey. It has been a long journey of twenty-eight years in my island Kingdom, Tonga, and thirty-eight years in the Democracy United States of America. I had lived in two worlds, one classed as an under-developed, agrarian society. The other is one of the richest and highly developed, complex social structures. To grow up in these two lands and social systems have been a great blessing and sort of a miracle for me. Within the broad spectrum of poverty and rich, millions of people live the life of poverty, in worldly goods but rich with abundance in God’s grace and love. I have met many of these people in the ministries of the churches.
This holy week marks the sixty-sixth anniversary of my faith pilgrimage with this religious tradition. When I was little, my concept of God was a clean slate; my mother opens my imagination to the creation story wonders. There was God, and God speaks things to be and become. As I grew older, there was no one greater, mightier, smarter than God, but above all, God is love. Through the years of growth from youth to adulthood, some critical players fed and informed my faith. They were agents of God who nurtured my faith, my parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, friends, Sunday School teachers, and pastors. They remind me of God’s greatness, love, and salvation. They had watered, rejuvenated, tilled, weeded, encouraged, protected, and enriched the growth of my mustard seed faith with the re-affirmation of God’s truth, love, grace, and hope.
Here I stand on the shore of this Holy Week, thankful grateful to witness with all the holy saints who had guided me on my faith journey. Once again, I raise my voice and sing with the crowd, Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! King Jesus, my Lord, and Savior!
I marvel with my blessings, my first Holy week with the people of Open Door Churches of Salem Keizer, pandemic time. We have learned that church and worship are not contained and are limited to the church buildings. We are open to sharing God’s message to living rooms, lunchrooms, break rooms, bedrooms, parks, recreation areas, beaches, airlines, boat liners, mountains, valleys, and the poles. My family and friends in Tonga and the diaspora can join us for worship.
We look forward to the time we can all come together to worship in our sanctuaries and know that the world wide web and audio communication had increased and extended our Open Door Churches Parish ministries to include the world.
Pastor Kalina Malua Katoa