The Psalmist declares:
The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. [Psalm 118:14]
As I write this letter to you it is Wednesday in Holy Week. I am travelling to Juba in South Sudan to spend the Great Three Days (The Sacred Triduum) with Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, his clergy and his people. I am to be away from all the things that are familiar, except that the Church is one throughout the world, and the old, old story does not change (yet changes everything).
Flying today I could see the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays (Kent Island, Cape Henelopen, Cape May), places associated with boyhood and early ministry. Hours later there were Cape Trafalgar and Gibraltar and the North Coast of Africa, places I had never been but about which my historical studies and interests caused me to reflect over lots of years and lots of learning.
Easters have been spent mostly with the Church communities I have known well and with those who are family (blood, marriage and church) whether in New Jersey or Connecticut or New York or North Carolina or Delaware or Western Pennsylvania. One Easter, Nara and I spent at Canterbury, which was to be surrounded by things we knew (the cloud of witnesses, the music, the architecture) and those we did not know (the worshippers we were present with.) I know that this Easter in South Sudan will be all at once different and the same.