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ASLAN IS ON THE MOVE - By Ted Schroder

ASLAN IS ON THE MOVE

By Ted Schroder
Christmas Eve, 2005

When my children were young I used to read to them before they went to sleep. At one time we read through all the seven books of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. The first book in the series is The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which has been made into a movie. Like The Lord of the Rings, some of it was filmed on location in New Zealand.

It is the story of four children who find a way into another world called Narnia, where it is always winter and never Christmas. Think about that for a moment. It is the description of a world where it is freezing cold all the time, where it snows rather than rains, where the rivers have iced over, and where there is nothing to look forward to, no Christmas, no gift-giving, no thaw, no spring, no rejoicing.

This state of affairs has been brought about by the White Witch, who terrorizes the inhabitants, and turns to stone any who thwart her will. But there is a prophecy that some day two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve will sit on four thrones and then it will be the end, not only of the White Witch's reign, but of her life.

The children: Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, are too small and too weak, to defeat the White Witch. In fact, Edmund has been enchanted by her and runs away from his brother and sisters to join her. He has to be rescued before she can kill him. How can the enchantment of the White Witch, which makes Narnia always winter and never Christmas, be lifted, and spring return?

It takes the return of the rightful ruler - Aslan.

"Who is Aslan?" asked Susan of Mr Beaver, who has taken them into his home. "Aslan? Why don't you know? He's the King. He's the Lord of the whole wood, but not often here, you understand. Never in my time or my father's time. But the word has reached us that he has come back. He is in Narnia at this moment. He'll settle the White Queen all right..... He'll put all to rights as it says in an old rhyme in these parts: -

Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,

At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,

When he bears his teeth, winter meets its death

And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again."

Aslan is the King of the wood and the son of the Emperor-Beyond-the Sea. Don't you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion - the lion, the great Lion."

C.S. Lewis uses the imagery of the Bible to describe the coming of Aslan. In the last book of the Bible, Revelation, Jesus is described as 'the Lion of the tribe of Judah.' (5:5) In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, the lion of Judah, the Messiah who is to come, will be a ruler. "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his." (49:9,10) In the intertestamental book of 2 Esdras 12:31, which comes historically between the Old and the New Testament, is a similar description: "And as for the Lion whom you saw rousing up out of the forest and roaring and speaking to the eagle and reproving him for his unrighteousness and as for all his words that you have heard, this is the Messiah whom the Most High has kept until the end of day, who will arise from the posterity of David."

In Narnia, Aslan the lion is on the move, Christmas arrives, gifts are given and received, the thaw begins, and spring comes. The White Witch's power is challenged. There is much more to the story, but I will leave it to you to read it and see the movie.

C.S. Lewis, in this splendid work of the imagination, reminds us that there are other worlds than ours. St. Paul writes about being "caught up to the third heaven...and to Paradise." (2 Corinthians 12:2,3) The Bible tells us that there is heaven as well as earth, and that, one day, there will be new heavens and a new earth.

From heaven God descended to our earth to be born as an infant, and to grow up to be the Messiah, the Lion of Judah. He came to set things right. He came to break the spell of sin, and the power of evil and death. He came to set free those whose lives have been turned to stone by that which opposes the love of God. He came to give new hearts and spirits to the cold and the despairing. He came to end the winter of our souls. Since that first Christmas, the King of Kings has been on the move, liberating people from bondage, and making all things new.

In this world a power, what C.S. Lewis calls the White Witch and her surrogates, still exercises great control. Jesus called that power of evil, the Prince of this World, or the Father of Lies, or the Devil, or Satan. Despite his influence, which bewitches many, and causes them to experience winter in their souls, and have stony hearts (hard hearts), we believe that the universe belongs to Jesus, and the obedience of the nations is his.

Today, there is a big battle going on between good and evil. That battle exists both outside us, and inside us. Each one of us struggles between the power of self-centeredness and unselfishness, between the power of love and hate, between the power of hope and despair, between the power of freedom and addiction, between the good we know we should do and the evil we often do. God gives us the opportunity to make a choice between which power we would serve. That choice is called faith.

Christmas reminds us that the King is on the move. We cannot defeat evil on our own. God has come into our world to enter into our struggles and to help us. God does not fight the battle on his own. He recruits us to his side to achieve the victory. He wants us to experience with him the joy of overcoming sin, death and the devil. He desires for us to experience the freedom that comes from entering into his world, the world of the kingdom of heaven, where, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Let us join his forces this Christmas, and pledge our loyalty to his campaign to overthrow the ruler of darkness, and coldness, so that all people can be free to love others.

Amelia Plantation Chapel
Amelia Island, Florida

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