photo by Charles Edward Case

This weekend includes Memorial Day, always the last Monday in May, when we commemorate those who have served and died in our nation’s military conflicts. It is also the commonly regarded “official” beginning of summer. After Memorial Day weekend we usually start to move into a more relaxed framework. Days are longer and warmer. Schedules become more relaxed. Schools get out, and vacation plans are made.

But not this Memorial Day—or at least not fully. Much is being redefined as we move through this season, imprinted as it is with Covid-19. Our struggle with the virus has been compared to a war, and indeed some of the same sacrifices are being asked of us. We are also longing for vision; as with every struggle, armed or not, we want to know what we are fighting for and what possibilities lie beyond the pain and uncertainty of the present moment. Much of that is still taking shape. There are still many unanswered questions about what those possibilities will look like and how they will unfold.

In our church year it is the time when we focus on the Holy Spirit. Perfect timing, given everything going on around us! For the Spirit inspires us to open our hearts and minds to a new reality beyond what we have known. The Spirit demands some humility from us, even as it expands our awareness of God’s promises to us and our understanding of God’s hope for our future. Awareness of this same Spirit, sent by Jesus, gives us confidence to step into whatever comes next: ready to resist evil, open our hearts and stand firm for a world defined by the love and compassion of Christ.