Saturday, July 23, 2005

a glimpse of the golden mane

"Aslan! Dear Aslan!" said Lucy, "what is wrong? Can't you tell us?"
"Are you ill, dear Aslan?" asked Susan.
"No," said Aslan. " I am sad and lonely. Lay your hands on my mane so that I can feel you are there and let us walk like that."
And so the girls did what they would never have dared to do without his permission but what the had longed to do ever since they first saw him - buried their cold hands in the beautiful sea of fur and stroked it and, so doing, walked with him. (The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis, p. 146)

"Off my back, children," shouted Aslan. And they both tumbled off. Then with a roar that shook all Narnia from the Western lamppost to the shores of the Eastern sea the great beast flung himself upon the White Witch. Lucy saw her face lifted towards him for one second with an expression of terror and amazement. Then Lion and Witch had rolled over together but with the Witch underneath; and at the same moment all war-like creatures whom Aslan had led from the Witch's house rushed madly on the enemy's line, dwarfs with their battle-axes, dogs with teeth, the giant with his club (and his feet also crushed dozens of the foe) unicorns with their horns, centaurs with swords andhoofs. And Peter's tired army cheered, and the newcomers roared, and the enemy squealed and gibbered till the wood re-echoed with the din of that onseset. (The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis, p. 174)

In these two passages from C.S. Lewis' classic, we see the Christ figure, Aslan, in two very different lights. One as a gentle, loving freind who craves and delights in the child-like affections of his faithful compainions and the other as a furious beast, ripping apart his enemies into literal shreds. In the Marine Corps there is a saying, "No better freind, no worse enemy". What a wonderful description of our Lord. The Jesus presented to us in Scripture is both compassionate and terrifying. I believe that both of these qualities are equally important motivations for submitting to the authority of Christ. We must never forget that God is violently enraged at even the hint of sin and will punish it, yet is ever extending His nail-pierced hands out to us, pleading and drawing us into His forgiveness and compassionate intimacy. Will you meet God on the field of battle, or will you listen to that still small voice that is gently whispering in your ear, asking you to meet Him at the cross?

(inspired by the musical, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, performed by the youth of First EV Free Church of LA - pictures to come soon - I hope)

For His glory, by His grace,

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