Summary: A Short Funeral Meditation
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”
Webster’s defines metamorphoses (as in transformation) as a change of physical form or substance.
I remember when I first observed the process of metamorphoses: a change of something from one form to another. I must have been about four or five years old, but I still remember it well. On the N.W. corner of my grandparents house and just beneath the eaves-trough, downspout, stood their trusty wooden rain barrel. For those of you too young to remember such things - a rain barrel was used, as the name suggests, to collect rain water to be used around the house for those project’s requiring soft water. I don’t remember it being used for much by the time I came along, except that the ladies and girls used water from the rain barrel to wash their hair.
At any rate, that was grown-up stuff and my personal interest had nothing to do with the hardness or softness of the water, but with the world of water bugs, water striders, dragon flies and mosquito larvae that called my grandparents rain barrel home. How fascinating it was to a young boy, to dip up a scoop of water in a mason jar, and watch the mosquito larvae, which my grandma called “wigglers,” scoot around in the water in their herkey-jerkey way.
I recall the wonder I felt as my grandmother tried to explain to me that one day these tiny “wigglers” would leave their watery home and sprout wings and fly - becoming one of those pesky critters I knew as a mosquito. I truly must confess that I sincerely doubted her and my oldest sister’s sanity as they tried to enlighten me concerning the physical world I was just waking up to.
But it was true, and they were right I would discover, many times over, as I grew older. Things aren’t always as they appear to be and some things do, even while here on earth, change from one form to another. In coming years I would observe a tadpole become a frog; a creepy, crawly caterpillar become a butterfly; and, I also learned, that given enough time, an old chunk of coal would become a priceless diamond.
But enough of bullfrogs and butterflies and diamonds. What about you and me? Does Jesus’ promise that we shall not die, but simply be transformed from one form of life to another hold a message of hope for us?
Yes it does - and it is this hope that has sustained Christ’s church throughout the centuries. Christian people know, as they look upon this sin-darkened world, that we were all created for better than this. We also know that this life is not meant to be the sum total of our existence. We know because the Bible tells us so, and the lessons of nature corroborate it. In Philippians 3:20, we read, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they are like His glorious body.
Transformation, metamorphosis, resurrection, - a permanent change is in store for you and me. Are you ready? Do you draw comfort from this fact? I hope so.