Yesterday  (April 15) I preached at our morning services with the title “Don’t hold on to me” from  John 20:10-18.  I talked about Jesus wanting Mary not to cling to him so that the Holy Spirit could come and also that she would let him go and share the resurrection story with others.  I talked about Mary being told to let go of the known (the resurrected body of Jesus) and to embrace the unknown.  To let go of the tried, the true, the safe and to set out in faith and in risk.  I used a song before the sermon and a prayer at the end of the sermon.  The song is called “Painting Pictures of Egypt” and the prayer is the Prayer of Saint Brendan.  These 2 things speak to me in profound ways.  I hope they will speak to you as well.

Painting Pictures of Egypt by Sara Groves

I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me either way
The places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling after me like a long lost friend

It’s not about losing faith
It’s not about trust
It’s all about comfortable
When you move so much
The place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
It wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this

I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacked
The future seems so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I”ve learned
And those roads closed off to me
While my back was turned

The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy to discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
Caught between the promise
And the things I know

If it comes too quick
I may not recognize it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
If it comes too quick
I may not appreciate it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?

Prayer of Saint Brendan

Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home?Shall I turn my back on my native land,and turn my face towards the sea?Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy,

without silver, without a horse,

without fame, without honour?

Shall I throw myself wholly upon You,without sword and shield, without food and drink,without a bed to lie on?Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under Your yoke?Shall I pour out my heart to You, confessing my manifold sins and begging forgiveness,tears streaming down my cheeks?

Shall I leave the prints of my knees on the sandy beach,a record of my final prayer in my native land?Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict?Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean?

O King of the Glorious Heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea?

 O Christ, will You help me on the wild waves?If you want to know more about Saint Brendan, let me know or do a google search.

Let’s take risks for the kingdom of God.