In our Children’s Time this week we will talk about the metamorphosis of the caterpillar. I chose it because it is such an easy example of resurrection. The caterpillar comes to a point in his career where he cannot stay as he is. He has to transform into something new. In order to do that he has to die. The skin crusts, creating a cocoon and reminding us of death and decay. But just when it seems there is no hope for the caterpillar, something emerges from the cocoon which is a startling surprise.
The butterfly is born, stretching. It must stretch to free itself from the cocoon. It must stretch to open its wings and become the new creature it is meant to be. As pretty as the caterpillar might have been, most folks think the butterfly is exquisite. It just lifts your spirit to see one in the wild. Airborne it is so free and full of life.
I don’t know if you have ever been to a butterfly sanctuary. We went once and sat on a bench as dozens of these creatures came to us and lighted on us. It as an experience I won’t forget.
The miracle of resurrection is around us all the time. But it is hard to hold on to. Like a butterfly, it eludes our grasp. We get worried about the caterpillar moments in life. We despair when things are sad or crumbling. We grow anxious in the face of change when things seem to die. We forget the cycle of life depends on the twin experiences of loss and new life, death and resurrection. We are startled by this mystery, and quite often upset.
It is hard to remember the caterpillar, or Jesus. It is hard to accept that this is God’s way. Jesus told his followers that seeds fall to the ground and die. Unless they do, they cannot break apart and put down the shoots that become the roots of something new.
I think this happens in life all the time and Easter helps us to look for it and better appreciate it.
Since Easter fall on April Fools I found a few cartoons you might enjoy.