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Finding Sustenance In the Wilderness

Andrew's message to the community for the Easter & Pentecost seasons

Andrew's message to the community for the Easter and Pentecost season is embedded within a service for the Second Sunday of Easter, April 19, 2020, broadcast from his home during the closure of all of our church buildings in this time of global pandemic. 

Originally addressing the 40 days from Easter to Ascension, Andrew now extends this message into the first 40 days of the Pentecost season, as we continue to focus our lives on the priorities of expressing our love and care for one another through being safely at home, staying physically-distanced when we leave our homes, and building social cohesion and community through telecommunications and online services.   

In one of the foundational guiding images and stories of Scripture, the oppressed children of Israel are liberated from their slavery in Mizraim (modern-day Egypt), and cross the waters of Yam Suf (Red Sea, or Sea of Reeds) into freedom, only to find that they are facing difficult new challenges, uncertainties, and opportunities for growth.  What are the lessons for us about change, trust, and unexpected sustenance in our difficult times? 

The message (14 minutes) goes from 25.28 to 39.44.

"Let My People Seek Their Freedom in the Wilderness Awhile" ~ Herbert O'Driscoll, Common Praise Hymnal (1998), 471 

(the tune is attached as an audio file, to accompany the lyrics:)

“Let my people seek their freedom
in the wilderness awhile,
from the slave pens of the Delta,
from the ghettos on the Nile”:
So God spoke from out of Sinai,
so God spoke and it was done,
and a people crossed the waters
toward the rising of the sun.

“Let my people seek their freedom
in the wilderness awhile,
from the aging shrines and structures,
from the cloister and the aisle”:
so the Son of God has spoken,
and the storm clouds are unfurled,
for God’s people must be scattered
to be servants in the world.

When we murmur on the mountains
for the old Egyptian plains,
when we miss our ancient bondage,
and the hope, the promise, wanes;
then the rock shall yield its water
and the manna fall by night,
and with visions of a future
shall we march toward the light.

In the maelstrom of the nations,
in the journeying into space,
in the clash of generations,
in the hungering for grace,
in the agony and glory,
we are called to newer ways
by the Lord of our tomorrows
and the God of earth’s todays.