Have you noticed all the monarch butterflies around lately?! T he other day I was walking up by the hayfields near my house, and saw FOUR monarchs together, all fluttering around the same bunch of wildflowers. I don't think I've seen a monarch butterfly for years, much less four of them! These days, I am seeing one nearly every day. Sometimes, they just flutter right past my window as I sit in a Zoom meeting! Lovely!
The butterflies feel like tiny little messages, little reminders of hope, little signs of resurrection. We all know that the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly involves the creature turning into goo, literally dissolving its old structure before re-forming a new one. And yet, it is the same creature. And yet, it is entirely new.
Churches everywhere are going through a similar transformation. We are the same communities, and yet in some ways, everything is new. We have been dismantled and re-formed. We have been wrung out and reborn. We have let go and we have taken up. And so it goes.
As we continue to dwell in this liminal - ("occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold") - time, may we not fear the change. May we rejoice in our future. May we trust that we are the same church, even though we are sprouting wings, instead of clinging to the ground.
Thanks be to God!