Butterflies are beautiful and delicate creatures. Some of them even live as long as a year. They begin their lives in an egg attached to a leaf. A few weeks later, a caterpillar emerges to eat things like leaves. Once it is fully grown it wanders around for a suitable place to surround itself in a cocoon. It remains unmoved as its cell move around to create it’s beautiful wings. It soon leaves its cocoon behind, but it doesn’t go anywhere. It can’t use its new wings until they are unfolded and dried. It is most vulernable at this time, more than at any other. In some cultures, butterflies are seen as good luck, while in others as bad luck, and in others still, they personify the soul, signal nervousness, or are a symbol of rebirth.
The don’t really have all that much in common with Christianity or the Church. Even though we’re supposed to be becoming like Christ, we’re able to move. In fact, we should be moving in the footsteps of our teacher. I once watched a program that talked about how our modern system is vastly different than the one the disciples experienced. Most rabbis of the day would have one to three students. These students would walk with them, eat with them, and learned everything they knew in their time together. Jesus would often single out a few disciples to walk with them, leaving the rest of the twelve behind. Beyond them, there were other disciples, who walked along with them, but some turned back. There was a point where the disciples couldn’t follow, but most of them were martyred for their faith all the same. As the church moved on, it soon became apparent that the Apostles couldn’t continue to have disciples of their own. Eventually the line was broken, but a new system was put in place. Each church had overseers, bishops, and elders to learn the things of Christ who would teach the things they learned to the others. We can and must be moving to advance the gospel. There’s no knowing when it will be our turn to fly, and there is much to be done.