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Sunday, August 15, 2010

On the Sons and Daughters of Eve

I have just finished re-reading the C.S. Lewis classic, The Chronicles of Narnia. The entire set, including the prequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a gift from my daughter Sarah. It is a hard back edition and she wrote a thoughtful note in the front. I love my daughter. We share a love for reading, for stories and for Jesus (or Aslan as Lewis called Him).

I cam away from reading the last of the books, The Last Battle with a sense of profound sadness. In previous readings, and throughout the series, I have been overjoyed with the promise of Aslan's land beyond which represents the heaven that awaits the followers of Christ. Lewis called it "the real Narnia" as opposed to the Narnia of most of the stories which represents earth.

I always see new things when I read something again, and this time I read of the apparent choice made by Susan, one of the children who visited Narnia in the early books in the series. In the final book in the series, The Last Battle Peter, Susan's brother, was asked why she didn't return to Narnia for the final battle. Peter replied, "My sister Susan is no longer a friend of Narnia." Eustace, one of the primary characters of the last two books added, "and whenever you've tried to get her to come and talk about Narnia or do anything about Narnia, she says, 'What wonderful memories you have! Fancy your still thinking about all those funny games we sued to play when we were children."

Compare Susan to her sister Lucy who apparently made the connection between Aslan and the Christ of her world. The last battle takes place in a stable which is actually a door that opens up into the New Narnia. the Lord Digory (of the first of the Narnian stories) said of the stable, "Its inside is bigger than its outside." Lucy remarked, "Yes, in our world too, a Stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world."

So Susan was not present at the end of things. She was not in the representation of heaven. She is the only character that is left unresolved. Apparently her faith in Aslan was only a child's fantasy and not one she claimed as an adult.

Powerful theology. The decision that Susan foolishly made to relegate all things faith to the fairy tales of children is like a refusal to acknowledge that Jesus is real and alive and a Savior for the young and old alike. There will be a day when all tongues will call Him Lord. Susan represents those who will call Him Lord but only from a distance. May we worship our King regardless of our age or place in life. He will be with us at the "end of things."

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