Caterpillar to Butterfly
"What the caterpillar calls the end, the master calls the butterfly."
This quote is attributed to Richard Bach, author of the 1970's bestseller, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. This quote comes from his lesser known book, published in 1977, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. Based on Bach's love for aviation, the book details the adventures of a modern-day Messiah who decides to quit his healing, exorcising and teaching after three short years of barnstorming into communities and healing people who took rides in his plane.
As we approach the "Triduum"-- The Great Three Days-- the evening of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the evening of Saturday's Tomb, you might feel like giving up. It is natural to feel this way. Sometimes Holy Week can seem like too much to even imagine...the violence Jesus endured, his feelings of God-forsakenness, being completely finished. This is a lot to take in.
However, unless we step close to the Mysteries of Holy Week, the washing of the feet and hands tonight at Maundy Thursday, the sharing of the bread and cup tomorrow at Good Friday, the golden glories of Easter aren't nearly as vibrant. Death and Resurrection are two sides of the same Christian coin. They go together. One cannot have Easter Resurrection Brunch without Good Friday Shadows. One cannot taste and see how good God is, without feeling as if Jesus is doing too much to us by washing our feet.
It is hard to wait and watch Jesus suffer. Christians, however, do hard things in Jesus' name. We tend the sick, we feed the hungry, we slake the thirst of those who need fresh water. We do not close our eyes to the suffering of God's precious people, whether they are our children or grandchildren, our next door neighbors Whether they live in Ukraine or Brooklyn or Grand Rapids. We show compassion, as Christ does for us. "Com-passion," remember, means "to suffer with." We learn that best from Jesus this week-end, the week-end of the Easter Feast.
Reading a small commentary on the poetry of Rumi this morning, this quote appeared just when I needed it. Just when I need to be reminded that the Foot Washing isn't the final thing Jesus does for Peter, the Last Supper isn't the last and even though Jesus pronounces "it is finished," God isn't done yet. God isn't done with us/me yet! God transforms the body of Christ's humiliation on the cross so that we might be conformed to the body of God's glory. (Philippians 3:21)
Thanks be to God. AMEN.
Grace and Peace,