Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent. This is the day when many congregations attend church and receive an ashen cross on their foreheads. Marking with ash is a symbolic reminder that we come from the dust and that so much of what we do, and are, will return to dust one day.
Behold, I am making all things new.
Then he said, “Write this down,
for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5
Each spring for a number of years, I would gather Painted Lady butterfly larva and set up a “butterfly garden” in my first grade classroom. The students and I would watch with awe as the larva fed on the food in the garden and grew in size. After several weeks, they would crawl to the top of the boxed garden and attach themselves to the roof. Then, after spinning their chrysalides, they would hang in their sparkling black cases while we waited impatiently for the day they would emerge as new creations. Ultimately our anticipation would be rewarded as we watched them struggle to release themselves from their self-made prisons. As we studied the metamorphosis of the butterfly, we learned that at this stage the butterfly is very weak and must wait for its wings to dry before taking off in flight. If we were to blow on the wings in an attempt to help them dry faster, the butterfly would likely die. This miracle of nature is so like the Lenten story. Jesus, while in the tomb, became a new creation as he conquered death. He emerged from the tomb changed in appearance but radiant with beauty and love. Through scripture we learn that we must die to our old selves in order to become a new creation in Christ. During this Lenten season, let us search our souls and find those things we need to die to in order to become beautiful creations of our glorious God!
Prayer: Creator God, give us courage to face ourselves and become new expressions of your love for all humankind. Amen.
Kathie Clemenz, mission trip leader, New Song membe