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back to narnia

While working on a sermon this week I remembered the "serious presents" that Father Christmas gave to the Pevensie children when the winter spell over Narnia was finally broken. 

“These are your presents and they are tools, not toys," he said.  "The time to use them is perhaps near at hand.  Bear them well.”   (From The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis)  In the message I wanted to emphasize the importance of the spiritual gifts for the encouragement and upbuilding of God's people.  He gives serious gifts. 

This flashback to the world of Narnia rekindled many happy memories of reading the Chronicles of Narnia as a college student and new-born Christian.  I was enthralled with Aslan -- both the literary and the real version -- which was a wonderful introduction to the "real" world for me.  C. S. Lewis was among the first Christian authors I read after becoming a believer, and the Chronicles were my first introduction to theology.  Here in narrative form, before I ever read Packer, Stott, or Schaeffer, was the real stuff of doctrine in drama.  It was a peek into the world of intoxicating truth and the world ruled by the not-safe, not-tame, but-good Lion.

Now, as someone quipped, "I hate looking in my closet and finding clothes instead of Narnia."

From the first book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, come these memorable lines...

From the old professor: “What do they teach them at these schools?”

From Mr. Beaver:  “Safe? ... Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

The ancient prophecy: 
“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

Restoring traitors: “All shall be done, but it may be harder than you think.”

The deeper magic from before time: “...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”

"He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”

I'm thankful for, and much indebted to, the writings of C. S. Lewis.  

And, I'm ready to go back to Narnia.

Below, are some examples of conceptual artwork of Narnia, by Justin Sweet.  

Aslan and the girls, by Justin Sweet
Aslan and the kids, by Justin Sweet
Aslan and Lucy

Cair Paravel, by Justin Sweet

Queen Lucy and a new horse


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