Saturday, June 7, 2008

Attaining the Resurrection

My dear son-in-law recently lost his father to age and illness.  Jim was a godly, upright man who walked faithfully in the ways of the Lord, and is assuredly enjoying that walk in a full, new way - not as in a glass darkly.  These things bring us temporary sorrow, and rightly so, but we Christians can also rest in the hope of glory, for death was only the short transition from this life of toil and care to one of glory and rest.

In The Seaboard Parish, George MacDonald writes of the resurrection,
"In the animal world ... you behold the goings of the Resurrection.  Plainest of all, look at the story of the butterfly - so plain that the pagan Greeks called it and the soul by one name - Psyche.  Psyche meant with them a butterfly or the soul, either.  Look how the creeping thing, ugly to our eyes, so that we can hardly handle it without a shudder, finding itself growing sick with age, straightway falls to spinning and weaving at its own shroud, coffin, and grave, all in one-to prepare, in fact, for its resurrection;  for it is for the sake of the resurrection that death exists.
Patiently it spins its strength, but not its life, away, folds itself up decently, that its body may rest in quiet till the new body is formed within it; and at length when the appointed hour has arrived, out of the body of this crawling thing breaks from the winged splendour of the butterfly....... not the same body - a new built out of the ruins of the old - even as St. Paul tells us that it is not the same body we have in the resurrection, but a nobler body like ourselves, with all the imperfect and evil thing taken away.  No more creeping for the butterfly; wings of splendour now.  Neither yet has it lost the feet wherewith to alight on all that is lovely and sweet. Think of it - up from the toilsome journey over the low ground, exposed to the foot of every passer-by, destroying the lovely leaves upon which it fed, and the fruit which they should shelter, up to the path at will through the air, and a gathering of food which hurts not the source of it, a food which is but as a tribute from the loveliness of the flowers to the yet higher loveliness of the flower-angel:  Is not this a resurrection?

Its children too shall pass through the same process, to wing the air of a summer noon, and rejoice in the atherial and the pure."

No comments: