Daily Lectionary Readings for Year A
I thought they were dead.
The caterpillars crawled into their cocoons more than two weeks ago. I had since moved them from the church altar to the altar at my home. I even went out and bought them a bouquet of bright yellow flowers. But it didn't look good. I googled it and found that sometimes caterpillars don't survive. I was heartbroken.
I had hoped these would be the ones. I had hoped that this focus on caterpillars, metamorphosis, chrysalis, and butterflies would help us all understand in a new way God's love for us all. I wanted Lent to be understood as a time set apart, within the cocoon. In this isolation, God was at work, transforming us into something new. We were going to become something we couldn't understand. Maybe something got into the cocoons to stop this miracle from happening. They were crusty and dried out. I wondered how to talk about what had happened if this hope had died. I grieved. And I waited.
And then! I walked into this holy space, and I saw that the cocoon had been opened. A magnificent butterfly was gaining footing. A butterfly was stretching its wings! It was so incredibly beautiful. I watched with amazement.
Have you ever assumed that God stopped working, so you gave up hope? Have you ever given up on something only to find that God wasn't done quite yet? This journey of faith is hard. There are times when we are in the valley - there are times when we are stuck in our cocoons. It might seem like nothing exciting is happening. We could grow impatient and frustrated. But imagine in those moments, God was doing some of God's most amazing work. Before you give up too quickly, trust that God will appear at a time that you least expect. And God will do something that you can hardly imagine. The wait will be worth it.
"For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God."
PS: Tune in to our website at www.wesleypark.org and watch the rest of the butterflies emerge.