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Devotional: The Butterfly – 3rd Thursday in Advent

3rd Thursday in Advent

The Butterfly

Butterfly“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our
Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being
transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the
Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18

One of the more unusual Chrismons on our tree may just be the butterfly. While
we think of a butterfly as a sign of spring, traditionally the church has seen it as
a symbol of our Lord’s resurrection. Advent is not just a time to remind ourselves
of stories of Jesus’ birth; we also look ahead to his life. Many of our
Chrismons focus on the cross of Jesus and his death for our salvation, but thankfully
the cross was not the last of Jesus. It was not the end but rather another
beginning. Death could not hold the eternal Christ. He arose triumphantly on
the third day, breaking the power of sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). His
resurrection also assures us of new life. If Jesus had remained in the tomb, how
could we be sure that the Father had accepted his sacrifice for our sins? But the
fact of Easter Sunday gives us the hope of our resurrection.

So the butterfly is a fitting symbol of Christ’s resurrection and ours — a new
life arising in a new glorified body — like a butterfly arises from the cocoon of
a caterpillar. Metamorphosis, the word used of the butterfly’s transformation, is
the Greek word used for Christ’s transfiguration (Matthew 17:2), a glimpse of
his (and our) glorified body. The same word and imagery is also used for our
future transformation (metamorphosis) into his likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18). So
while we may not see any butterflies fluttering around northwestern New York
in December, we need only look at our Chrismon tree to remind us that an eternal
spring is coming — when we will be “transformed into his image with everincreasing
glory”(2 Corinthians 3:18).

Prayer: Jesus, we praise you for not only dying for us, but for conquering sin
and death through the power of your resurrection. May the butterfly remind us
of the beauty of your glorified body which we will share one day in eternity with
you. Amen.