After reading story after story in our scriptures, are you convinced yet that our God is a God of surprises? Are you convinced yet that every single life issuing from the hands of God is a life filled with purpose? A teenage girl becomes pregnant with the world’s savior; poor fishermen and wealthy tax collectors drop everything to follow a wandering rabbi; a son disgraces and abandons family only to return to a royal welcome; and a man named Peter goes from being a pebble in Jesus’ shoe to being the Rock on which Jesus built His church. If that wasn’t enough, the blind purchase reading lamps, the deaf put on iPods, and the lame enter decathlons; a dangerous enemy becomes a great evangelist, and Jesus makes it possible for Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus to attend their own funerals. Do caterpillars know they’re going to be butterflies, or does God surprise them too? What do you think?
I pray that as you enter this season of Easter, you have eyes wide open for God’s grand surprises. New life, resurrection, renewal and rebirth! Transformation, faith formation and reformation! Child of God, you are not yet what God is fashioning you to be. This side of death, every one of us is a baptismal work in progress and a workshop of the Holy Spirit. If anything, I hope our worship together this Lent has lifted your antennae to discern how Jesus is calling and shaping you. Caterpillar Christians are always willing to go out on a limb, turn over a new leaf, become larvas not fightas, and draw inspiration from the butterflies we have known. We are people of pupas!
I am convinced that our God is a God of surprises. You are one of them. Live like it. Celebrate it in others. Value it in your children, spouses and loved ones. Look for it, listen for it, give thanks for it. When God calls or Jesus unfolds a new sense of purpose for you (Surprise!), don’t tell Him you were hoping to finish your life as a caterpillar. Easter, the most amazing and abundant surprise of all, is the signature the Creator scrawled across the universe. It is written on your heart; it is written above the Cross; it is written wherever two or more are gathered in Jesus’ name. Amen and amen!