| May 2013
Flittering in Worship
If you have been in worship you will have noticed the presence of colorful butterflies hanging from the celling and perched on the pulpit. The butterfly is not only beautiful but is symbolic of change and transformation. According to Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things by Lafcadio Hearn
(1) a butterfly was seen in
the personification of a person's soul; whether they be living, dying,
or already dead. One Japanese superstition says that if
enters your guestroom and perches behind the bamboo screen, the
person whom you most love is coming to see you.
The ancient Greek word for "butterfly" is ψυχή
primarily means "soul" or "mind" (2) Along with the Japanese and the Ancient Greeks, Christians also use
the life cycle of the butterfly to symbolize God’s transformative work
and resurrection. Hatching from the egg as a larva or
insect grows and eats until it reaches the chrysalis stage
. During the
chrysalis, a shell forms around the caterpillar, protecting the insect as
it undergoes a metamorphosis into a beautifully colored
Of course we are in the midst of change and metamorphosis as we
continue to seek a new installed pastor. The good news
is that while
there has been some apprehension about the process I have
not witnessed this congregation as having a stomach full of butt
erflies. Instead elders are working on vision, deacons are providing
care and members are hard at work in various ministries
...both locally and around the world.
Over the next few weeks we will continue to talk about the history of
the church and how this community of faith has transformed the lives
of so many people. Worship will focus on how faith has the power to
transform even the ugliest parts of our lives. I encourage you to reflect on how Christ and the community of faith have bee
n a part of
your Christian life cycle. Whether you are in the caterpillar stage of
learning more about your faith or you have already spread your
wings your story can be an inspiration to others.
As we worship together I pray the butterflies will encourage you to ponder and pray not only about change but also about how we as a community of faith can care for those in need.
Rev. Whitney Dempsey
Hearn, Lafcadio(1904). Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Thing. Dover Publications, Inc.ISBN 0.486.21901.1
Hutchins, M., Arthur V. Evans, Rosser W. Garrison and Neil Schlager (Eds)(2003) Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, 2nd edition.Volume 3, Insects, Farm.ington Hills, MI: Gale Group, 2003.