In the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, on the shores of Aslan’s country, the children find someone they don’t expect, a lamb. The gates to the country of the great lion are watched by a small, delicate animal of sacrifice.
But between them and the foot of the sky there was something so white on the green grass that even with their eagles eye they could hardly look at it. They came on and saw that it was a lamb. – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader chpt. 16 pg. 267/268
“There is a way into my country from all the worlds,” said the lamb; but as he spoke his snowy white flushed into Tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself towering above them and scattering light from his mane. Chpt 16. Pg. 269
I cried great tears when I read this. I knew the lamb would be Aslan, but that made it all even sweeter. Lewis never missed an inch, right down to an image almost akin to Revelation with the lamb waiting at the gate.
Of course the lion of the Narnia saga wouldn’t move me to cry so (I would still shed tears, just not such flowing tears) much if he were just another story, but because the author made him a rendition of Jesus I can’t help but long to be near him. Jesus is such a wonder. He’s a mighty lion and a slain lamb. It’s easy to miss the lamb while being caught up by the lion, but he’s just as much a part of our King. Remember, only the lamb is worthy to open the scroll. That terrifying and wonderful scroll. Lions are so big and powerful and lovely; lambs are small and soft and delicate, no one would choose a lamb to be the hero of a great tale, exept someone who knew we needed a pure sacrifice. Nothing is an accident in God’s plan, no one would sacrifice a lion or a warrior, not without great accolades and songs in his honor- but who notices a lamb? (Plus a lion would not be a perfect sacrifice.)
Yet isn’t that the whole mystery. Jesus is both. He’s a great warrior even if we miss that fact, and He’s a gentle lamb.
Don’t forget that Jesus is a warrior. He said He would return with the armies of the Lord, He’s not sitting back thinking swords look dangerous, He is King and Ruler and we owe Him honor. Someday, we will reach Heaven’s shores and lay our crowns at the feet of the lamb who is also a lion.
Category: CS Lewis
Of other worlds
CS Lewis spoke of a place that you want to go to but can’t because it doesn’t exist. A place you long for with all your heart, but find yourself in desiderium. You grieve for it as something lost, yet you’ve never been there. Narnia was like that for Lewis. Yet as the author he was able to visit there in his mind. I found that, after reading Prince Caspian for 1000th time since my dad read to me when I was too young to read myself, I felt that same ache and sorrow I always did when the children went back to England- back to our world. It’s always so sad in my opinion. Our world is dark and evil. The White Witch hasn’t been slain yet here. Children aren’t permitted to just be kids anymore and adults are stuck into a mill of being what they are told to be and acting as the government demands us to act. It’s sad and depressing some days. I want to go to that world where the great Lion is king and evil is shown to be evil and is destroyed by the shaking of his Mane. Yet that world is fiction. Or is it? My Poppa was singing an old song the other day, one I forgotten about, and it reminded me of a joy that I had been missing lately by being caught up in the world around me, (that happens to us adults from time to time). Want to know what song it was? When we all get to Heaven.
Remember it? If not I recomend finding it on youtube. It goes:
‘ when we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.’ Now slap your knees and sing that one full throated!
We forget sometimes what Heaven is like. We don’t know how it will feel, taste or smell, but we do know that there is no sin, no sickness, no fear, hunger, shame or sorrow. Best of all, Jesus is in Heaven. This world feels so real right now that we feel desiderium for the past and for worlds that don’t exist. Yet Heaven is real. Heaven is not a faèry tale. Heaven is promissed to those who run the race and keep the faith. There is a place where evil has been seperated from God, a place where sin is not welcome or relevant, a place where the great Lion of Judah shakes His mane and all wickedness is destroyed, a place that I am unworthy to enter but by Jesus’s love, death and Resurrection, and my choice to leave my sins behind and follow Him, I am permitted to come and join in the feasting.
We long for a world other than this one because God programmed us to long for where He is. The made up realms are nice for now, but it’s the very real place of Heaven that is the true escape. We just have to hang on until the end and remember that we are strangers and aliens and not of this world, we are from God, we are Heaven bound.
Lent day 1
Be not cast down
“But do not be cast down.” Said Aslan, “evil will come of that evil, but I will see that the worst of it falls upon myself.” -The Magician’s nephew.
I don’t really need to say it. Maybe all that needs to be done is to change one word here:
“But do not be cast down.” Said Aslan, “evil will come of that evil, but I will see that the worst of it falls upon myself.”
(Don’t forget that CS Lewis himself claimed Aslan as a reflection of Jesus, so every moment with the lion has a great meaning.)
Evil came. People weren’t created evil, we were created in the image of God. Yet evil was here. Long before there were any people anywhere, jealousy grew in the heart of one of God’s angels, and evil crawled it’s way into existance. Yet God saw all this coming, why didn’t He stop it? I have no idea. Some may theorize about it, but I am not so bold, I try not to touch what I don’t understand lest I confuse someone else also. But God saw this evil coming and Jesus knew He was going to bear the worst of it Himself in order to save us. The crazy part is that God would want to save us! He could just make new people, start everything from scratch, yet He already loved us. He still loves us, and it breaks His heart when we fall away, because He loves us so much that He sacrificed His most precious treasure to save us. We mean so much to Him that it’s hard to believe, yet it’s true.
As We Begin Lent let us remember why we have the freedom to Lent, a reason to Lent, and why lent begins and ends. It begins in Jerusalem, it climaxes at the cross, and it ends at an empty tomb.
Do you know Him?
“It is well. You know me better than you think you know. And you will live to know me better yet.” -The magician’s nephew
Aslan chose the cabby, the humble man of low means and education, to be his first king of Narnia. The Cabby was the only one who had shown a knowledge of someone greater than he guiding things. In the dark and lost feeling of the world not yet born, the Cabby chose to sing a hymn, and in the midst of them up sprung a deep song of no words; Aslan was singing the world into place. The Cabby didn’t feel he deserved to be anything great in the presence of the Lion. Yet when he saw him he knew him. He had always known him. In a different land, by another name, and never yet in person. And here he stood, and he knew the Cabby too. Because when he couldn’t walk by sight, he walked by faith. He grew to be friends with Lewis’s Christ figure in a world where he never saw or heard him, he simply believed.
We can’t see Jesus and rarely do we hear Him as though He were physically standing next to us, but if we choose to seek after His heart and try to know Him in this world, as the lion says, “we will live to know Him better.” So when we stand before Jesus He will say, “I have known you long, do you know me?”
And trembling, we can reply, “no Sir, least of all, not in a regular manner of speaking. Yet I feel somehow, if I may make so free, as how we’ve met before.”
Hanukkah- Final day
Hanukkah- final day
On each day of Hanukkah an additional branch of the nine branched Hanukkiah is lit with the candle in the middle, the shamash, the helper or servant candle.
As we end our journey through Hanukkah I want to focus on the first candle lit. The helper candle. We don’t realize how important this candle is. In Judaism certain men who work in the temple are also refered to as Shamash, one important job they have os the reading of the Torah.
We too have a helper inside our temple, the temple of our souls. Jesus left His Spirit with us to be our helper candle. We cannot be lit without the Spirit, we cannot truly find God without the Spirit and we cannot serve God to our fullest without the Spirit. We need God’s Spirit to do anything. He tells us where to go, what to do and what is wrong and right. We see a world full of people who ignore and throw the Spirit away, they don’t like that voice that says they should act a certain way and give up certain things that offend God. Because of this we see a world that is dark and broken, void of God’s light. We need the Shamash, we need the helper candle so we can be set on fire for Jesus. The thing is, we see how we work to serve God, but without Him helping us we can’t serve Him. Like C.S. Lewis said, “it’s like a child taking money from their father so he or she can buy him a gift. We take what we have from God and use it to serve Him, but it was always His to begin with.”
We need the Holy Spirit to keep us from riding in the middle complete darkness and complete light, there is no Twilight Zone with God, you either serve him or you don’t.
Look to our helper today and ask Him to guide you in your life.
Indiference in disguise
In C.S Lewis’s book ‘mere Christianity’ (which is a must read if you have questions about the Christian walk and life- but do remember that nothing you read can replace the Bible itself) he talks about love and asks us not to turn off the radio because we don’t want to go there. If you’re wondering, the book is made up of four of his radio talks, that’s why he doesn’t want the radio turned off. But it is so true. The second someone gets onto a platform and starts in on loving one another we often tend to tune them out, hang on before you tune me out as I go into this. I have the same problem. I turn off the radio too when it’s talks about loving thy neighbor. Not because I hate my neighbor, I’m actually very close with many of my physical neighbors, but let’s not get into all that- I tune them out because I find what we are preached is a little too… floating orbs and fluffy lamas if you get what I mean. As Christians we are not trying to get to a higher plane, we are not opening our chakras, we are not engaging our inner eye, and walking softly and only saying nice things is not the way to love one another. But I have heard pastors speak such things before. Love hurts, love is hard and love is an action. Remeber the old song ‘love is a battlefield’? It’s true. All love is. That’s why what CS Lewis said not only felt like something all people could connect to, but it was very solid and truly Christian, not something we’ve adopted for some reason from a cult group. He says, ‘if it’s hard to love someone don’t feel it, do it. It’s not a feeling of particular liking for that person, in fact you may dislike them very much and for a very good reason, but if your actions are love then any hate you have toward them will start to deminish.’ I’m paraphrasing because the chapter on love was long and the whole thing won’t fit here. Why does he speak so boldly about people you could easily hate being shown love through your actions? Because when he first did his talk on loving even your enemies he was verbally attacked by people for saying such things, why? Because the war had just ended and people felt great hate that was very justified, hate toward Hitler. They wanted to know how they could be asked to feel love for this man. So after Biblical study and discussion with many of the great Christian minds Lewis answered. You can’t. There is no way to feel love for someone so evil. But. If there was a chance for him to change and try and make up for the wrongs he caused (though he never could. My grandparents suffered through the war, my nana had minor PTSD because of being a child in the bomb shelters, and in those horrible moments she didn’t make it to the shelters and was simlpy saved by the grace of God from the falling explosions around her. Trust me. I have no pity for this man so don’t think that I’m saying he should have been given another chance or that we misjudged him or anything rediculous like that.) would you want him to change and become a better person? Or do you hate them so bad that you hope they are the evil of evil no matter what and burn for it? That’s a hard question. You see, the soft, love everyone in a cuddly do no harm sort of way could never face this. That kind of love that says we should all hold hands and say we’re sorry and then it’s all better couldn’t fix this. Pain is deep. And evil cannot be loved. And ‘sorry’ doesn’t erase all wrong. You cannot love a man like that. Not in the feeling sense. But can you pray that a man like Hitler would change? Can you ask God to fix his mind and make him a new person? Do you see him doing something good for a change and go ‘thank God he isn’t completely evil’? Yes? That’s love. If instead you hope he never changes, never realizes the horrors he’s caused and when he does something else horrible you go ‘good. He’s still evil. I can still hate him.’ That’s obviously not love.
And you know what? That’s hard too. Because there are some people who are so evil that you hope they stay evil so that they receive God’s judgement. I know there are because I have heard people say as much, I have felt this way at times too. Love is a battlefield, and most of the time you are battling yourself. Love also means calling people out when they are wrong. Reminding them of what sin is and that what they are doing is wrong. Not because it makes you feel good about yourself, and it should never be said in a condescending way, but if you love someone then you want them to do right because you want them to please God and you want them to go to heaven. If you don’t care about them, if you don’t love them, then when they sin it won’t bother you because you don’t care if they go to heaven or not. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, or you don’t actually know them personally, then pray for them. And hope that they pray for you too. Because we all sin and mess up. And we all need someone who loves us enough to tell us when we have messed up. Love isn’t a fluffy, easy, cuddly thing, love is suiting up and doing what is hard.
I hope people love me enough to pray for me when they notice a sin in my life that maybe I haven’t spotted. Or just in general. None of us are Christs. We are all people striving toward the cross and hoping for Heaven.
So rightly, amiably, spiritually, sensitively- anything but usefullyCS Lewis
So rightly, amiably, spiritually, sensitively- anything but usefully
Let us not permit our belief in Jesus and the doctorine we stand on turn into something that is pleasing to the whole world and useless to it at the same time. The cross is offensive because it holds our sins and condems them as sins as Billy Graham said. When it becomes pretty and easy to be around because we no longer have to change to be present with God then we have lost the purpose. A sinner who continues to sin freely cannot claim Christ – so says 2 Peter.
Let us not make the Cross and Jesus something coated in neon lights and fully accepting of us in a way that makes it so we never have to take on the new person and leave the old behind. Let us not preach and believe a doctorine that is useless to those seeking God.
Watch out for donkeys in lion skin
Remember in The Last Battle by CS Lewis? There was a monkey who had a donkey who hung out with him and they found a dead lion, then they skinned the lion and dressed the donkey up in the skin. Many came to give gifts and worship the donkey thinking they were worshiping the king, but in truth it was just a donkey in the skin of a lion.
The Bible warns us about people who will rise up claiming to know God, they will preach sermons and have visions and even heal people, but it will be through the devil’s power that they do these things, they will claim they are leading the way to Jesus when in reality they are leading away from Him. Don’t follow a donkey made up to look like the King. The Jesus in the Bible is the only true Jesus there is, if the Jesus being told to you doesn’t coincide with the scriptures then it isn’t the authentic Jesus, just a sorry look alike; and like the false donkey king, if you look too closely you will see the seams and strings holding this copy together. Jesus is all holy like His Father, He is so pure that if He hadn’t chosen to have us with Him, if He hadn’t decided to die for our sins, we wouldn’t be able to stand in His presence. He is so good that He loves us sin and all, but He also loves us so much that He offers to us the chance to repent of our sins and be the full person He made us to be.
I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Jesus when a person who didn’t repent dies, because He loves them so much, and at the same time sin cannot exist in God’s presence, so those people go to hell. Like when He went into Jerusulem before He was arrested and said to her gates that the people within was a people He could have loved and was heartbroken that they were going to betray and kill Him.
Imagine the first of Jesus’ accusers who died without repentance, standing there and seeing Jesus, then as the Christ cries and denys him entrance to Heaven he realizes he was wrong. Because even those people who betrayed Him Jesus loved, yet many would never see His kingdom.
Don’t be decived by a cunning monkey and a false Aslan, there is only one Jesus, and unless you know the real one you will never see the white shores of Aslan’s country.
When in doubt of anything, but certainly of something you heard someone say or preach that doesn’t reflect well with the Holy Spirit inside of you, turn to the Bible and see what it says; because the Bible is always true and always the answer, if the Bible disagrees then throw away what you heard, because false doctrines are everywhere, and they can sound true if you aren’t careful.
Watch for the coming of the true King. When you meet Him you will realize how great it is to know the real Jesus, and the peace and paradise of Heaven.