Over the past few weeks we’ve been treated to the scenes of remarkable butterflies everywhere. I’ve especially enjoyed when running errands has meant I’ve been able to drive along Sugarbag Road. With the trees lining the winding road, when the sun is shining through the treetops, it’s one of my favourite places to be in Caloundra. Last Sunday after the Easter devotion, I left the Church to encounter the seemingly endless scattering of butterflies on a beautiful sunny day. So, I wound my window down and drove up Sugarbag Road to enjoy the morning.
And it struck me of what a wonderful image of the resurrection the butterfly can be. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly, radically different but still the same. It’s a wonderful image of transformation and the idea of transformation is such an important one to Easter. From the crucifixion to resurrection we see a transformed Jesus and with that image so much of the world and our understanding of it is forced to undergo a change.
If we think God is distant and disinterested, that must change. If we think power and might are signs of righteousness, then that must change. If we think love and control go together than that must change. We find that God is interested in us, that his righteousness was humble, and that his love for us means the freedom to make mistakes but endures for us anyway. Easter is all this and more.
Usually at Easter we think of eggs and bunnies. In Europe these symbols are probably effective at conveying the idea of transformation as winter moves into spring, but here in Australia I’ve always felt like the potency of that image fades to the point of being unrecognisable against the bombardment of advertising that comes with them.
So, on Sunday when I was greeted by the sight of these butterflies, I couldn’t help but marvel at the idea of nature renewing itself around me. And I couldn’t help that feel for us here on the coast, we’ve been given a wonderful symbol fluttering around us of the transformation that Easter brings.