Article in “The Reporter”
Lansdale, PA - April 23, 2022
Celebrating this season of renewal
Isn't April amazing? Rains that fall as nourishing showers beckoning the blooms of spring after the chilling snows of winter, the packing away of warm winter woolens and refreshing our wardrobes with lighter fabrics and brighter colors, exchanging heavy boots for sandals (don't get me started on new shoes!) – all of these are the harbingers of a change of seasons and the refreshment of our spirits. We do not emerge from past seasons unchanged.
In spiritual terms, April is a meaningful and celebratory month. We have greeted each other with cries of “Happy Easter.” “Blessed Ramadan.” “Happy Passover.” Vaisakhi and Mahavir Jayanti are widely celebrated as well. April is, truly, an Interfaith festival of holy days.
These days of honor are filled with both contemplation and prayer as well as actions of service mixed with a good dose of feasting. Our spiritual muscles are getting a welcome workout! This is an opportunity for those muscles to be stretched, tightened and re-shaped. It is a time for us to fully integrate our practices in a way that balances our times of reflection and action that allows us to hold steady on the balance beam we straddle each day, this time on a higher level.
As nature sheds her dead branches, preparing for new growth, this meditative time is a chance to let go of that which binds us to the past, the lost, the deadened branches of our false self and to enter into the new season of spiritual evolution and renewal. This meditative time is not so much about taking in the new as it is about releasing the old. Clutter from past seasons will prevent new growth.
We are prepping for transformation – one that does not impose our will but one that is ready to receive, to be refreshed, resurrected. Contemplation, the resting time, allows us to refocus, to step aside from that egoic need to be right, to rely solely on the past, and to enter into the stillness of surrender followed by the breath of joy.
And so, dear friends, celebrate the resurrection and take joy in the risen Christ, break matzoth with deep gratitude, enjoy the lusciousness of the sweet, sticky dates as you break fast and chant with great enthusiasm.
Let us look to the gifts of this season to pause, pray, meditate and move into the next season shedding our skins and rising to new levels of service. In the name of all of the many holy names of God.
The Reverend Dr. Deborah Darlington celebrates people of all traditions and honors all belief paths. She can be reached at GraceMatters@TheSpaceForGrace.com