From a modern American perspective – one of the interesting components of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is to find yourself largely outside of the news cycle. There has been no television or radio. I have looked briefly at the internet, but mostly to answer email or tend the blog site. I am not unaware that the American economy is having difficulty, and I understood from my daughter at home that our city had the highest gas prices in the nation last week (pipeline problems). But the constant chatter that is the American news cycle has been at a great remove. It is a kindly reminder that despite the importance of the world’s “most powerful nation” it is still not the center of the world.
This morning I was again in the tomb of Christ, kneeling, praying – at the place which Met. Kallistos told us is traditionally understood as the “center of the world.” It is surely the case that Pascha is the center of the world, or the world has no center. Of course, the empty tomb in Jerusalem is not the location of Pascha, for Pascha is greater than the entire universe. Pascha subsumes everything, overcomes everything, forgives everything, raises everything from the dead, restores innocence to the fallen.
Pilgrimage is a restoration, or an attempt at restoration, of the proper order of things. To rise from bed with the sole intention of walking to the tomb of Christ seems a right way to start the day. But on what day from anywhere on earth can that journey not be made?
Economies come and go. May God keep and protect us all from harm. Politics come and go. May God keep and protect us all from harm.
Pascha abides. May God remember us all in His Kingdom, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.