March 12- Day 12 of Lent

OPENING PRAYER:

Lord God, during this Lenten season, teach us to come before you in humility, lamenting the signs that your kingdom has not yet come in its fullness. Help us to acknowledge our finitude and failings, and guide us into a journey of remembering rightly, repenting honestly, and responding faithfully. We long for the coming of your mosaic kingdom in Jesus Christ, our Lord, and invite your Holy Spirit to lead us now.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: MARCH 12, 1959

Congressional Approval to (Illegally) Admit Hawaii as the 50th State

On March 12, 1959, the tenuous relationship between the United States and Hawaii experienced a significant moment when the House of Representatives approved a vote for Hawaiian statehood. A few days later, the Hawaii Admission Act was officially signed into law, and Hawaii became the 50th state under U.S. law.

Many Americans today embrace Hawaii for its beaches, beauty, and tropical oases while unaware of the painful history that exists for native peoples of Hawaii- centuries filled with violence, loss of land, political overthrow, and deception at the hands of colonial powers and settlers. In 1893, a group of American businessmen enacted a paramilitary coup, which led to the overthrow of the royal monarchy of Hawaii, military occupation of Hawaiian lands, and the dissolution of Hawaiian independence. In 1895, a failed attempt by Hawaiian royalists to restore Queen Liliuokalani to power resulted in her arrest. The Queen was forced to sign a document of abdication that relinquished all her future claims to the throne, made to endure a humiliating public trial, and imprisoned in an upstairs bedroom of the Iolani Palace.

A few years later, on August 12, 1898,  the United States passed a joint resolution of Congress to consider Hawaii as part of the United States, an act that almost all of the 40,000 Native Hawaiians, including Lili’uoklani and the royal family, rejected as an illegal transaction.

Since that time, the Native Hawaiian community has often been the subject of extreme prejudice and political exclusion, and experience some of the highest poverty rates among ethnic groups in the state. Amidst these struggles, various political organizations seeking some form of sovereignty have continued to fight for the rights of Native Hawaiians. For some, the focus has included a federal US recognition of Native Hawaiians, redress from the United States for the 1893 overthrow, as well as an apology from the U.S. government. Others continue to fight for federal deoccupation and independence, as they long for the recognition that the U.S. presence and occupation of Hawaii is an illegal enterprise.

SCRIPTURAL REFLECTION: HOSEA 10:12-14

“Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.

But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors, the roar of battle will rise against your people, and your lands will face devastation.”

RESPONSE OF LAMENT AND CONFESSION: Please spend some time in personal response, crying out to God with prayers, poems, songs, or art that expresses your lament and confession. If you feel led, please share these responses with others, using #lentenlament #day12

You may close with the following:

Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy,
Lord have mercy.

CLOSING PRAYER: Ke Aloha O Ka Haku (written by Queen Lili`uokalani during her imprisonment, 1895)

`O kou aloha nô
Aia i ka lani
A `o Kou `oia `i`o
He hemolelo ho`i

Ko`u noho mihi `ana
A pa`ahao `ia
`O `oe ku`u lama
Kou nani ko`u ko`o

Mai nânâ `ino`ino
Nâ hewa o kânaka
Akä e huikala
A ma`ema`e nô

No laila e ka Haku
Ma lalo o kou `êheu
Kô mâkou maluhia
A mau loa aku nô

(Translation): Your loving mercy is in heaven and your truth so perfect. I live imprisoned in sorrow; you are my light; your glory, my support. Behold not with malevolence the sins of humankind, but forgive and cleanse. And so, O Lord, beneath your wings protect us and let peace be our portion now and forever more.

Amen.

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