Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday of the Second Week of Easter

(Acts 4:23-31; John 3:1-8)

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” the saying goes. Likewise we excuse the elderly for not learning how to use the computer. No doubt, old peoples’ minds react more slowly so that they are often challenged to do things they have never done before. But to say that it is impossible is to deny the force of the Spirit which constantly moves us more righteous ways of being.

For people aware of the Civil Rights movement during the latter half of the twentieth century the prime example of the force of the Holy Spirit is the about face that Governor George Wallace of Alabama took before his death. During the 1960s Governor Wallace was the Sam Adams of resistance to integration. He defied Presidential orders and federal marshals at every turn. It was a losing battle, but the victory was diminished by the acclaim given to Wallace as a folk hero. He maintained his segregationist views until the late 1970s when he claimed to have been “born again.” Wallace’s acceptance of African-Americans certainly changed as he publicly apologized for his segregationist views and appointed many African-Americans to public positions during his last term as Alabama governor.

As we age, we too can improve. Hopefully, we haven’t taken egregious stands like that of George Wallace, but perhaps we judged people harshly or defended our shortcomings doggedly over the years. Easter time with its renewed awareness of the Holy Spirit seems apt for us to change and learn more loving ways of being.