Wednesday, March 20th is the beginning of spring 2019. The clothes we wear, our outdoor activities and even our clocks are adjusted to take advantage of all that spring has to offer. So like many people, I relate spring to change. It is the Season when so much of nature begins and or changes.
As children, we learn how the lowly caterpillar goes through a process called metamorphosis and is transformed into the beautiful butterfly. The origins of the word metamorphose lie in the Greek word Meta, or “change,” and morph, “form.” In spring the caterpillar changes form while the trees and flowers put on their new festive garments. This vast universe God has created is in a constant state of change.
But change is not limited to nature. We aren’t the same person we were in the spring of 2018. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher born in 544 B.C. said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Heraclitus reasoned that the river’s constant state of change makes it a different river. He also reasoned that this “change” is fundamental to the function of the universe. The Apostle Paul also addressed change. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Rom 12:2. Paul uses the Greek word anakainosei, which is translated into our English word, renewing. Renewing is the verb renew used in its present participle form, meaning continuous – like running water. Hence Paul points us in a direction of continual change that is grounded in the Word of God.
Last month we celebrated thirty-nine years as a church family and at the same time began our countdown to year forty. The videos and photos we’ve seen chronicle our days – younger days – gone by. Just like winter turns to spring and the lowly caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly, we are being transformed by the “renewing of our mind.”
Pastor Rick Warren says the lowly caterpillar feels domed. His day is spent crawling on the ground and looking up at a world looking down on him. That is his destiny in life. He makes the best of what he has been given until one day life takes a turn for the worse. He begins to feel his world being torn apart from the inside out. He struggles to hold together what’s left of his caterpillar existence. And when he is just about to give up hope, boom! He turns into a butterfly.
Thirty-nine years ago God made another home for caterpillars. He named it Fellowship Bible Baptist Church. We come in as caterpillars and leave as He has predestined us to be.
What did He give you? “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Eph 4:10-11 KJV
What is your ministry? “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” I Cor 12:4-6 NIV
What we shall be! “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” I John 3:2 NIV It doesn’t matter when we started on this journey of change – Feb 1980 or Feb 2019 – because we have been predestined to conform. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Rom 8:29 NIV.
Written by Henry L. Hopson, Jr.