5th Sunday of Easter
Scripture: John 13:31-35, Key Verse: 34
I was raised by my grandfather in Kiribati and I remember how I used to go with my grandfather attending various village meetings and functions inside the ‘Maneaba’. The ‘Maneaba’ is a meeting hut that plays an important role in the lives of the Kiribati people. If you understand the meaning of the word ‘Maneaba’ you will also understand how the ‘Maneaba’ function in our Kiribati tradition. The word ‘Maneaba’ is literary shaped from two significant words. The first word is ‘manea’, which means accommodate, preserve or to take good care and the other word is ‘aba’ that can be translated as land or people. The ‘Maneaba’ is a society household where we discuss all matters concerning each household of the village or society to find solutions. It is also a place for society to celebrate special occasions such as welcoming visitors who are new in our society. Therefore, the ‘Maneaba’ becomes a space where we share laughter and sorrow, which builds a strong relationship with each other; and I believe that this is how we have love for one another.
God in His creation we are accommodated, through the abundance of His blessings, our lives are preserved by His creation. God saw all of this and it was good, so true, we have and will always be in the goodness of God’s care. It is through the love of God in Christ Jesus that we are saved, and we are commanded to imitate the love of God to love one another so that we might share joy in bearing one’s burden and to be truly known as Christ disciples. This is how we should live in the household (Maneaba) created by God. It is love that reveals our identity as Christ’s disciples; without love for one another, we will never find peace with each other. It is from our own human desires that created chaos in the household (Maneaba) of God. The household (Maneaba) that God created is in need of our love to share in the household of God. We are now experiencing a pandemic where people are informed to follow health procedures for the safety of themselves and for others, but still, some are not following orders. War broke out between neighboring nations where many have lost their loved ones; families are in need of shelter, food and drink. We are living in a household (Maneaba) of God that is in need of our love for another to prevent and stop issues that are tearing apart the lives of those who live in the household (Maneaba) of God.
-Rev Teari Karibarenga, Kiribati Uniting Church
God of love we pray that you strengthen us in your love so that we may live in your Household and share peace and happiness with one another. Amen.