Sunday, February 3, 2008
An Island Sojourn
We’re spending the first few weeks of retirement on Maui. We’ve been coming to these islands every year for twenty-five years, and for me they are a place of instant relaxation. I am fascinated by the history, culture, language and geography of Hawaii and have always wondered why it affects me so. But I digress, and will again. We worshiped today at Holy Innocents in Lahaina where we have often worshiped before. More than ever I was taken by how wonderful it is to sit in the congregation, focus on worship and open my mind to the wonders of God’s holy Word preached in a sermon that is so very different than one I would have preached. Bill Albinger is the Priest-in-Charge, and if I recall correctly he came here about three years ago agreeing to a temporary assignment of six months. I suspect that Bill is another one whose soul lives more fully here than anywhere else. The fluency of his liturgical Hawaiian would say yes to that. My own first trip here was in 1968 and I knew the moment I got of the plane that somehow a part of me was deeply connected to these islands and their people. Notice the use of ‘their.’ These islands seem to have life and personality that makes it impossible to think of them as just the tops of volcanoes sticking up out the mid-Pacific. But I also know that a part of me is as deeply connected to people and land of our adopted home in the rural west of the Blue Mountains. One of these days I need to look into the spirituality and psychology of connections like these. It’s one thing to have such feelings about one’s native land, but what causes that within the soul of a stranger, a visitor?