It’s Spring… and with it, come butterflies… fluttering butterflies
Flutterby’s, as my little girlies used to say. Tender and fragile, little Flutterbys flit, float and fan a kaleidoscope of colors.
We would not think them so beautiful if they hid under slimy rocks or if they did not fly, or if they flew straight and briskly like bees, or if they stung, or if they did not fan, flutter and flirt like long wispy lashes. But I think most of all we are intrigued by the mystery of metamorphosis:
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, and I must say, women know the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. I used to go to a Nail Salon where the gal who did my nails would always say, “No pain, no love!” Isn’t that true, there can’t be love without pain. With birth comes pain. With the death there is pain, and with obedience there is pain. My beautiful Asian friend was right, no pain, no love…
Today I wanted to explore Metamorphosis- transformation
Romans 12: 1-2 says,
So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves
as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true
worship that you should offer. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but
let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know
the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.
Metamorphosis- What does that mean?
To put on another form or a new creature.
Another way to define metamorphosis is transfigured: This word is used only 3 other places in the bible besides here in Romans 12: 2
Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him. They went up on a high mountain,
where they could be alone. There in front of the disciples, Jesus was completely changed
(transfigured). Mark 9:2
There in front of the disciples, Jesus was completely changed (transfigured). His face was
shining like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
Doesn’t this sound as if Christ was changed just like that flutterby? What are your thoughts about these verses?
The last of the four verses is very interesting and applies to us. Let’s read 2 Corinthians 3: 18
So our faces are not covered. They show the bright glory of the Lord, as the Lord’s Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord.
2 Corinthians 3: 18
I once wrote…
Evermore, I sit… waiting… endlessly waiting for skin to split and to wiggle out of the old flesh and completely emerge from the chrysalis cocoon… to emerge transformed, made anew into a delicate and graceful flutterby…fanning endless praise to God.
But this thought is wrong and skewed. We don’t have to wait to go to heaven to be a butterfly. 2 Cor 3: 18 tells us, we can be that butterfly now. The verb tense is present, not future or past. Christ came to transfigure us, morph us from death to life. We can look at the glory of the Lord revealed and unveiled in the gospel and can “reflect as mirrors that same glory.”
What is a sacrifice? A sacrifice in this context is talking about any offering made to God as an expression of thanksgiving or homage. It implies that he who offers it presents it entirely, releases all claim or right to it, and leaves it to be disposed of for the honor of God.
What are your thoughts about being a sacrifice? Is sacrifice giving your extra change that you use for coffee into the benevolence fund? How much are you willing to sacrifice? Is giving up chocolate for Lent a sacrifice for God’s kingdom?
Other thoughts about sacrifices…
In the movie, The Passion there was one particular scene that haunts me…
Christ had received the 39 lashes and was carrying the cross, along what we now call the “Via Dolorosa, The “Way or Path of Sorrows”, Mary was trying desperately to see Jesus. She, with the help of Jesus’ youngest disciple, John ran together through the side streets so that she could get to an intersection where she could touch her son, one last time. In this poignant scene, Jesus under the weight of the cross, falls face down into the filth of the street, right in front of Mary. In Mary’s mind, she recalls a memory of him falling as a child, in the street, crying out and how she as a mother, ran to him. As she comes back to the reality of the moment, she looks up at his current face not that of little boy; Christ is bruised, bloody, beaten beyond recognition, their eyes meet and he says to her, “Behold, I make all things new”. Christ, God in flesh (John 1: 14), said in one sentence, the meaning behind His sacrifice and therefore revealing the mystery of the gospel.
We are not told in the bible that this happened and the verse is not quoted in the gospels, but in the book of revelation, but it does bring out the point of sacrificing oneself to God.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5
What happens when we allow God to renew of your minds?
It’s an inward change that produces the outward.
Christ died to make us new- so we become a new creature- renewed – Making us over fresh
Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. Galatians 6:15-16
You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits.
Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy. Ephesians 4:22-24
Yesterday I was watching a movie trailer about a new release coming out in a couple of weeks. It’s Iron Man 3. I feel very connected to Iron Man right now. In the trailer, the villain makes a very interesting statement and one that Christians all over the world, but especially in America need to hear… And I too would echo his question to you today…. “I’m gonna offer you a choice… Do you want an empty life or a meaningful death?”
We all will die. Death is inevitable. So why are we so reluctant to commit to sacrifice…. we hold close so many meaningless things.
There is a story about an older gal who wanted to go to the Middle East and serve in a Muslim country, for a short term mission trip. Her family was not up for it. They were in fact, adamantly against it and did everything they could do to stop her… everything. But she kept after them and kept after them and they finally agreed to let her go just to shut her up. Upon arriving at her home airport, she was driving on the freeway, was involved in a car accident and was killed instantly. On the way home from her trip:
There are no guarantees…. Don’t we want our life to count for ‘the kingdom’.