Many visitors make Te Maeva Nui a part of their annual calendar and return to enjoy the festivities with the locals here in Rarotonga and our people in the Pa Enua.
Seeing the enthusiasm of our youth and the joy and anticipation of the older generation as they prepare to showcase our culture, reminds me, that this is a very special time of the calendar year.
We see the happiness and joy as our people perform on stage singing and dancing and giving praise and thanks to God for all we have been blessed with as a small independent nation, it is inspirational.
We also see times of celebration recorded throughout the holy scriptures. Here are a few examples.
The children of Israel observed various feasts in celebration of God’s goodness and blessings upon them, delivering them from bondage: “For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom…” (Isaiah 43:3)
Often David the psalmist would sing and dance “with all his might” giving praise to God: “I will sing (and dance) to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.” (Psalm 104:33)
The shepherds, wise men, and angels celebrated the birth of Jesus with gifts, songs, and prayer.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:13-14)
We learn of the father who celebrated the return of his prodigal son. “It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:32)
It is clear from Scripture that celebration is a spiritual discipline that God desires for us to practice.
I give gratitude unto our God for his outpouring of blessings upon our people and our little nation especially at this time of the year. He has been a huge part of our celebrations.
The principles that He teaches us as we come together and celebrate. The sacrifices that are made in preparing and running such a wonderful event.
Many long hours of organising, practising, weaving and sewing. Laughing and arguing together, aches and pains, prayers and more prayers, tears of joy and tears of relief and thanksgiving.
All the emotions of the human spirit are experienced during these times of celebration.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)
Gratitude and thanksgiving must go to our government and traditional leaders, to the wonderful sponsors, our business community and not forgetting our spiritual leaders who have come together to share with us their aroa, for the people and our country.
A special prayer from our hearts goes out to those who are sick and afflicted, the poor and the destitute, those who are in hospital, and in Jail, those who are grieving and mourning, may God lift you up in your hour of need in the name of Jesus Christ.
“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
Kia maeva tatou katoatoa
God bless us all.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.