“Take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces God’s character in you.”
Ephesians 4:24 (The Message)
When I walked into the sanctuary on Easter morning, I was in awe. The Easter flowers were beautiful, but I had expected the flowers. I had no idea that the entire church would be filled with butterflies. There were butterflies hanging from the lights and butterfly banners on the walls; butterflies clipped to the garland around the altar rail, on the pulpit and the lectern…butterflies everywhere! Our church looks amazing! It was also amazing that my new stole, that I would be wearing that day, was also covered with butterflies…yet another sign that makes me feel that I belong in this church.
So, I want to talk about butterflies. Butterflies are a true sign of new life—they are the perfect symbol for Easter and for Resurrection. They signify change and transformation.
They are beautiful creatures but sometimes we forget how they become who they are. They start out as caterpillars—a completely different creature; and then they enter the darkness of a cocoon and they wait and they wait. Is it painful? Are they scared? Do they know if they will see the light of day again?
I think we all experience the darkness and the loneliness of the cocoon at some point in our lives. We go through painful and dark times, scary times, times of doubt and confusion when we’re not sure if we will see the light of day again. I think we all experience “growing pains.” Our times of trial change us in certain ways and we grow and learn from the ups as well as from the downs of life. We grow and we change and transformation takes place.
Sometimes it’s gradual and sometimes it happens suddenly; we burst out and we realize we’re not the same anymore. Maybe we feel like the butterfly—that we have wings and we can now “fly” or do something we never thought possible. God rescues us from the darkness of whatever cocoon had us confined and God guides us out and we find our way again. Maybe it’s a new and different way that we are not used to but maybe we can give it a chance.
Change is painful at times but change equals growth. And it seems as though God always has more growth in store for us than we would like. But we have to remember that God knows best! We have to trust God with everything…even with the difficulties, the challenges and the changes in our lives.
Whatever changes or challenges you might be going through, whether planned or completely unexpected, I hope you will trust that God is right alongside of you and that you will emerge on the other side (or out of that dark cocoon) transformed! Allow God to fashion your life, to transform it and make the changes in you that will give you the wings you need to fly!
Peace be with you!
FROM THE PAST DESIGNATED PASTOR
“I thank my God every time I remember you.” -Philippians 1:3
I have served as your designated pastor and designated visitation pastor, in one form or another, over the last two years. During that time, I was involved in the lives of many of the people at St. Peter’s, and I am thankful for the many ways in which you show the love of God towards each other and towards others in the things that you do.
Even so, St. Peter’s is now ready to enter into a new chapter as you have called a new pastor! I am incredibly excited and happy for you that you have entered into this partnership with Pastor Heimer. I will continue to pray for the continued growth in love and grace as you move into this new chapter.
I wanted to briefly take this opportunity to thank you for inviting me into your hearts and into your homes over these past two years. It was certainly a joy to come back to the church of my high school and college years and to see once again the many faces of people whom I have loved and prayed for.
As St. Paul says to the Philippians, so I say the same to you: I thank my God every time I remember you!
As of my writing of this letter, more news regarding the transition to Pastor Heimer’s start will certainly be forthcoming.
Thank you, once again, for everything!
Thanking God for you,
Pastor Ken Melber, Jr.