I should really own The Chronicles of Narnia series of books.
For one, C.S. Lewis is the reason I want to be a writer. I was 9 years old when I had to read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe for 4th grade reading group. I loved it. Then my parents and I read through the rest of the chronicles, discussing it together. Either that same year or the next school year I did a report on C.S. Lewis. I had loved reading previously, but learning about Lewis made me realize what an author was. From then on I didn’t just want to read stories; I wanted to write them too.
But the second reason is that I’m thinking of Narnia with all the snow outside. In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the White Witch has cast the land under a powerful spell where it’s always winter and never Christmas. Only a month has passed here in Indiana since it was Christmas, but it has been a long month with the battering of the polar vortex. Having grown up in northeastern Ohio and knowing the effects lake effect snow, I know winter’s grip can close even tighter in February and may even last until April if it so pleases. It feels like winter will never end. So I want to read about that long Narnian winter and hear the hopeful rumors that Aslan is on the move.
With the Chronicles of Narnia being so allegorical and Aslan being Christ-like, I guess Aslan has already moved and is still moving. It took a long time for the Messiah to come. As recounted in the Old Testament of the Bible, generation after generation were looking forward to a time when a Messiah would come to free the people from the bondage of sin. Sacrifices had to be made for the people to be considered clean, but that cleanliness did not last. And it was selective who could approach God in the Holies of Holies. People were distant from their Creator, even as they were beckoned to follow him out of bondage, across Red Seas, to a Promised Land. And one day Jesus came as promised. His sacrifice was the ultimate one, making it possible for sins to be atoned and creation to be connected to the Creator. The Holy Spirit could even dwell within people, giving power against sin.
This is the power recounted in the New Testament of the Bible:
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4 (NLT)
Jesus conquered death and the power of sin, that never-ending winter for the soul. We do not have to be slaves to sin anymore, but can be made more and more like Christ. The Stone Table is cracked. The tomb is empty. We are set free and able to be in communion with God again. And one day Christ will return so that the cycle of physical death will finally end. Then we will be with him forever, with creation fully restored.
Winter won’t last forever if freedom is made possible with Christ. The reminder has brightened my morning this snowy day.
So I’m off to church, staying within my neighborhood this week with all the snow. I hope they serve Communion this morning. That is another even more powerful reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice and invitation to life with Him, that we can have communion with God. We are no longer separated by sin and death.
Hallelujah, Aslan is on the move.
Edit: I wrote this in the morning. I tried to go to church, but both places I tried were closed because of the snow. So my Communion was toast and jam.
Also, I thought about the Audrey Assad song “Even The Winter“. Perfect tie in.