“Bwana asifiwe!” (Praise the Lord) as they say in Tanzania. I’ve recently returned from there, visiting the Diocese of Morogoro with a group from the Diocese of Worcester.

We learnt how to walk together as sisters and brothers in Christ; to share the good things – wonderful food, and dancing, and music, and the great joy and vibrancy of worship there – the zest of life.

We also embraced something of the pain of Africa; of crop failures, of poverty, of drought. We shared something of the agony of those who are facing really difficult times in their lives, including a young girl in Berega Hospital who had lost her baby, just before we had arrived.

In these difficult times we prayed; waiting on Christ and the transformation that he promises.

Lent has been a time of waiting as we have prepared for this most holy of weeks. On Palm Sunday we entered Jerusalem in the company of Jesus and his friends, with the joy of the “Hosannas” and the joy and vibrancy of the procession.

On Maundy Thursday we remembered how Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it, yet was soon to be arrested.

On Good Friday we shared in the sense of the bereavement, the gut-wrenching emptiness of his disciples and his mother. We prayed and waited with them.

The joy of Easter comes out of this long journey and patient waiting. It is to be caught up in the transformation that Jesus brings for the life of the whole world. In a world divided by conflict, he seeks reconciliation. In a nation divided by Brexit, he seeks communities coming together. In families divided by different loyalties, he shows us how to love each other.

I know that in Tanzania they’ll be celebrating Easter with joyous music and dancing. My prayer is that something of their joy will fill your life this Easter.

+Graham