Our lives have many different stages, and we move through sometimes easily and sometimes with difficulty.
It is also this way in our faith journeys as individuals and as a congregation. Following Jesus as disciples changes us over time.
As children we can throw ourselves into the joy of Jesus, delighting as a love that is concrete. Yet as we age we can find ourselves facing situations and asking questions that cause us to be weighed down with doubt and even despair. That Jesus who was so easy when he held us on his lap can seem elusive or just plain gone.
Supporting stages of faith development have not been the strong suit of congregations over the last decades. We have often been running on the fumes of our days in Sunday school, relying on early memories to navigate profound and complex life questions. And the world around us is changing at break neck speed.
So this Lent, we are spending some time considering the topic of Emergence.
Emergence is the process of coming into view or becoming exposed after being concealed. We are using an Easter butterfly project to help us imagine and cultivate hope around change this Lent — change that we are tempted to rush.
The Sufi tell a story about what happens when we force things: Once upon a time, the story goes, a seeker found a cocoon resting quietly. Intent on seeing the butterfly within, the seeker held the cocoon in loving hands, breathed warm breath upon it and watched with excitement as the butterfly emerged. But hardly had the newly
hatched beauty spread its wings than it dies. “Why did my butterfly die?” the seeker asked the Holy One. “To teach you a lesson,” the Holy One said. “Everything can be born in due time; nothing can be rushed.”
We will offer devotions this Lent that have the congregation mining the scriptures for themes of Emergence.
We will have several opportunities to participate in the butterfly making project. The butterflies will adorn the church, inside and outside!
And we invite you to a butterfly party, the morning of Easter Eve (April 4) to install our beautiful butterfly project.
May you be blessed this Lent as we travel together in Jesus,
Pastor Karen Brau