April 2022 Community Spirit

We usually don’t associate the month of April with the desert. In our bayfront climate, thoughts of arid wasteland… scorching heat, poisonous snakes, prickly cacti, a scarcity of water would not be on our radar. On the contrary, pondering this first full month of spring most often evokes a deep breath of refreshing air that has been cleansed by winter. More likely are images of birth, resurrection, fertility, earth quenching rains and blossoming flowers. Yet, for those of us who are journeying toward Easter, the season of Lent continues. Until the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated mid-month, April, despite its signature upswell of beauty, includes a time of exploring our inner landscapes. We spend forty days before the celebration of Christ’s resurrection intentionally mindful of parched places within, seeking to turn away from practices and mindsets that serve neither ourselves nor the world. That is why you may hear of someone “giving up something for Lent”, as in fasting from a favorite food or perhaps a tendency to be negative in some way, in order to draw closer to God and walk in solidarity with Jesus, as He fasted in the desert for forty days prior to setting out on His ministry. This is a solemn season as we prepare to acknowledge His suffering and death. But on Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and the lush images of spring become holy reminders of God’s love and the renewed life He offers, which is the foundation of our faith. As we move through the month of April, I invite you to join me in some courageous inner landscape exploration, no matter what your tradition may be. May you find yourself increasing in self- awareness, and  a deep inner knowing of God’s love and mercy  in this unfolding season of renewal.