(Meditation for the first Sunday of Lent)
Picture a desert. Likely hues of brown, dryness, and heat come to mind. Have you ever spent time in the desert? If you have you know that there is a beauty about the desert that is unique to its need for survival.
Most deserts receive around ten inches of rain per year. In some, it may be several years between rainfalls. In others the runoff and evaporation rate is such that there are bursts of rain in great amounts and then periods of drought.
Plants in the desert are spaced further apart than in areas with more rain. Plants often have a root network that run fifty feet deep. Characteristics like this allow them to survive in their arid environment.
While the predominant color scheme is brown with grays and a bit of green, there is life in the desert. Life that relies on receiving water when it becomes available.
It is no coincidence that we begin Lent watching Jesus head out into the desert after his baptism. It is a reminder to us that there is a need for connection to the source of living water, the source of the covenant, the source of the kingdom of God.
In the desert the focus is often on sustaining life. Unnecessary movement ceases. The goal is to go deep to find water, sustenance, and life giving basics.
During this season of Lent may we go deep. May our roots penetrate through the unnecessary that we might find the source of all life. May we connect again with living water and the keeper of the covenant. In doing so may we remember that kingdom of God is indeed near. It lives deep within us and calls us to be a reflection of it in our arid world.