Christ has set us free to live a free life ... it is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows.
-Galatians 5:1a, 13 (The Message)
Butterflies are some of the most beautiful creatures in our environment. Captivated by their flight, I am always in awe that their paper thin, fragile wings are somehow strong enough to sustain them as they sail through the air. Knowing that a 12-legged pest eventually morphed into the delicate insect before me seems nothing short of a miracle!
The process by which a butterfly develops - metamorphosis - is a Greek word that means transformation. The evolution of furry crawler into airborne fairy is the perfect metaphor for change, new life - even life after death.
Jesus' death on the cross and subsequent resurrection set us free from the yoke of the law. We are no longer bound by the burden of the rigorous demands of the law as the means for gaining God's favor. However, the apostle Peter admonishes us that the genuine freedom we find in Christ is the freedom to serve God.
Just as a butterfly is eventually freed from its cocoon, we in Christ are transformed. The old things have passed away, and we are no longer struggling caterpillars, but brand new creations! Through Christ's suffering, we have been set free, but with Christ as our example, we are to exercise this freedom by serving others, treating everyone we meet with dignity, and loving our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Our chapel will be adorned with hundreds of butterflies this Easter season, crafted with love by some of the children in our church, their parents, and grandparents. As you come to worship each Sunday, I invite you to imagine yourself as a butterfly - free to fly, free to love, free to serve.
Prayer for Today
If I were a butterfly, I'd thank you, Lord, for giving me wings! Help me to exercise my freedom in you by serving and loving others as you first loved us. Amen.