Today’s ʻOlele Hawaiʻi word is Aloha! Aloha is, hands down, the most widely known of the Hawaiian words. Aloha is a word that can mean hello, goodbye or love here in Hawaiʻi. It is actually two words being put together. Alo means to share and Ha refers to the breath of life. So, to wish someone Alo-Ha is to say “I am sharing my life’s breath with you.” That’s a lot more powerful that simply saying hello or goodbye.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!
As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
And with that he breathed on them and said,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.~ John 20:21-22
Sharing Aloha Spirit
In our Scripture today, Jesus breathes onto the disciples and says “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Essentially, Jesus breathed Alo-Ha into His disciples. Pacific Islanders have another tradition called the Honi. It is a special and sacred type of greeting. Two people stand forehead to forehead, nose to nose, their right hand on the back of the other person’s head. They breathe in and out, literally sharing each other’s life breath. We speak often of the Aloha Spirit here in Hawaiʻi as well. Essentially this means “to treat others hospitably” and “to accept one another with love.” This is what Jesus called “doing unto others what you would have them do unto you.” The world would definitely be a better place if everyone had a little more Aloha Spirit.
Breath, Spirit, Wind
It is interesting to note that both ancient Hebrew and ancient Koine Greek use one word that can be translated as breath, wind or spirit. It is “ruach” in Hebrew and “pneuma” in Greek. This is the “ha” in ‘olele Hawai’i. Who are you giving your ha, your life’s breath, your Aloha spirit to today?
I’ll give everything I’ve got
to help you become
everything that God has called
and created you to be!
Aloha! (I share my life’s breath with you!)
~~ Pastor G ~~