How C.S. Lewis can help us this Christmas

Discussion in 'Welcome' started by youRprecious!, Dec 22, 2012.

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  1. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    OK, so the traditional Christmas story of Jesus being born in a manger that most of us (in the West anyway) heard about when we were young, has how much relevance to our lives today? The world goes crazy with the commercialisation, tinsel, glitter, parties and Santa etc. and that seems to be about it - leaving the lonely and depressed still the same, if not more so.

    Half an hour ago on waking up, I started for some reason to think of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis which, there's a good chance some here would have read or seen the movie of. And it hit home to me that - in story form - it can actually help to understand more about the relevance of what, in our busy/superficial lives, both stories are actually pointing to. In short, what our lives are for and the ultimate purpose of them, to give us a future filled with hope, despite our awful circumstances.

    I know it's a tough call but I'm calling upon God's wisdom to help me type it out - please bear with me, it might take a while, but splitting it up during the day will make it easier to read than one long post.

    Just want to start though by saying - or suggesting - not to be afraid of being carried off into fantasy land :) Books are written by authors to convey a message and to make us think, with a practical application for our lives, should we choose to go with it. This is definitely the way God has chosen to work within creation - the reason being that anyone who is dead set and permanently decided against belief in anything they cannot touch or see - can stay that way if they want :)
  2. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    So, the title of the book introduces us to the main characters and theme - the Lion (named Aslan) is a symbol of "The Lion of Judah" (God/Jesus); the Witch is a symbol of all opposing forces against the Lion, and the Wardrobe is a symbol of the means of discovery/transition to a new world.

    The four children in the story - Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy are evacuated during World War II to a large rambling house in the country owned by an old professor - and have great fun playing hide & seek in its unused rooms and attic. Lucy runs off to hide and finds an old wardrobe full of fur coats, but then the coats give way to something different - she begins to feel cold and can touch snow - and, long story short, enters the world of Narnia.

    She learns that Narnia is at present under the spell of the White Witch who rules it with an iron fist and no opposition is tolerated (a Hitler in other words). Edmund is the next to enter Narnia and falls under the Witch's spell as she bribed him with sweets and promises of power to do her bidding, which he fell for and began to think of all things Aslan as a nonsense.

    The rest of the story's centred around the forces loyal to Aslan, including the 3 other children, fighting those of the Witch in order to save Edmund.

    But there is one scene in particular which struck me as being totally relevant to the stuff that goes on in our own lives, in our own journeys.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2012
  3. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    But before describing that scene, just want to say that the 4 children in the story are very indicative of the totality of each of us. Basically, we all desire to be happy and for life to be an enjoyable experience. We have certain expectations about how things should be, and are delighted when things work out well - I mean, all this is obvious. So, we do believe in 'Good' innately.

    However, on our journeys, especially in times of 'war' we come to hate all things Hitlerian - such as might be encountered with the authority figures in our lives, those who put expectations upon us without providing the resources to meet them, school teachers who take a personal dislike in us for some reason, etc. And then our peer group's expectations coupled with our natural desires to accepted and how that can shape our belief system about life and its meaning etc.

    Edmund felt under pressure to compromise his values in the pursuit of more immediate "gratification" that was tempting him, and could not see, until it was too late, what he was actually doing. Same story in different words as Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden with the snake and the apple :)

    There's no getting around it - there's some Edmund in us varying degrees. Even if three-quarters of us are still loyal to 'Good' (Peter, Susan, Lucy).
  4. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    Anyway, back to the scene - Peter, Susan and Lucy are befriended by animals loyal to Aslan who insist they must set off at once to make the journey to meet the Lion as the only way to rescue Edmund. The Witch gets to hear of this, and knows it would mess up her plans, so sends out her pack of hounds to destroy them before they get the chance to.

    And it's these hounds I want to major on. C.S. Lewis was a very clever, insightful man, (as you would expect from a professor at a prestigious English university) who could spin a good yarn and had a vivid imagination - and - forgive me if my next comment seems banal but I can't help making the connection - he might have chosen 'dogs' to symbolise the opposite to 'god' (that's my take on it anyway).

    The dogs pick up the scent and go hunting - the children hear them approaching and are terrified. The animals, knowing the forest, find a place for them to hide........(this is what happens in storybooks, lol!) After which, they hear a sled approaching and fear it is the sled of the White Witch, but it turns out it's Father Christmas's sleigh. The White Witch refused to allow Christmas in Narnia - so this was an indication that her spell was losing its hold and things were returning to their rightful condition. Father Christmas gives the children gifts which he says will come in useful later on in their mission.
  5. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    The anti-Aslan forces, the dogs, are what it is that try to prevent us from meeting Aslan and rescuing Edmund. In picture language.

    But in actual fact, if we will allow ourselves to be guided by pro-Aslan loyalists, even while we are lost in the forest and cannot see where we're going, ........ we come in the end to meet Aslan and the power of restoration. In picture language.

    That is it in a nutshell.

    It is also the message, fleshed-out a little more, of the story of the Baby in the manger - which actually did happen physically in history on the planet.

    The missing piece of the puzzle.

    Such a shame that it tends to get thrown away with the discarded wrapping paper :(

    Next post - a bit more about how the dogs helped me in my life to see what I needed to see.
  6. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    I was lost in the forest, I "could not see the wood for the trees", as the expression goes.

    The dogs were sent by the witch to 'get' me - and what I knew about Aslan seemed to be insufficient. My particular dogs were, very probably, of a different breed to yours - but they still had teeth, four legs and a tail, and the instinct to destroy.

    I look back on my road to recovery and am now starting to see the dogs for what they were - even naming some of them such as 'confusion', 'mis-guidedness', 'projection', 'hostility', etc. And the parts of Edmund that led me astray.... 'pride, self-centredness, ambition, entitlement, independent autonomy'.......the dogs would not have had cause for the hunt if Edmund had not defected.

    But Aslan used them all in his calling me out of the forest.

    And that's the hope of the Message - that - no matter what your dogs' names are - they are part of your journey and - under God's provision when we set out to meet Him, we can, in the end understand why and how it had all seemed to be necessary. In other words, even the dogs have their part to play in our lives :) [My 'father issues' had been the main dog for me - but the 'type of Aslan' is restoring this particular dog-damage]

    Just a little Christmas message to perpetuate the hope that started it all :) May that Star still shed its light on us all :) God bless you dear friends, you are dearly loved, and already provided for :)
  7. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    Have you ever read his Screwtape Letters?
  8. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    Oh yes, they are brilliant!
  9. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    Maybe a few more dots need to be joined - like how is the birth of baby Jesus really relevant a) to this other story and b) to our own lives?

    Well, if there had not been the first Christmas, there could not have been the first Easter 33 years later.

    The birth of the baby Jesus was prophesied by Isaiah (ch 7) 400 years before it actually happened. "The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel" (meaning, 'God with us') - and in Isaiah ch. 9: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

    (to be cont'd....)
    but having just typed "Wonderful Counsellor" ......... I have to say I know that to be the total truth. There's only so much human-being counsellors can do for a soul..... but because of Christmas and Easter, we can have the most wonderful counsellor available 24/7 :)
  10. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    So back to Aslan and the witch - because the latter was holding Edmund as a prisoner in her fortress, and would not let him go, Aslan struck a deal with her which she accepted. She would have preferred to kill Edmund rather than set him free - but above all things she desired for Aslan to not exist to trouble her take-over plans any longer. So Aslan agreed to be killed by the Witch in Edmond's place. The other children couldn't actually believe this turn of events was taking place - they had no understanding of what it all meant, and assumed that everything had turned permanently to custard. Edmond would remain imprisoned with Aslan dead and then the witch would do the same to them.

    But the death of Aslan on the stone table is a picture of Easter..... and the deeper magic that brought Aslan back to life enabled the conquering of the witch once and for all.


    So, this is how the story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe ilustrates for us the realities of what we do not/cannot see in the spiritual realm (but we feel the effects of them, nevertheless)...... This is the true meaning of why the world goes moggy at Christmas, even (for the most part) without realising it, lol! :)


    So you might well ask, well, if the witch died and Edmond got released and Narnia was restored to its rightful condition - what the heck is still wrong with the world and my life? That's a very good question.........

    the short answer being - our lack of faith in it. And, cumulatively, the effects of that. This is why wars and everything unpleasant happens, people become victims to others' greed and manipulations etc. However, the offer given to us via Christmas and Easter is eternal, if we choose to look into it and accept it for ourselves...... we can know the Wonderful Counsellor too :)


    I think that's joined up the dots......... Merry Christmas to all, and especially all connected with SF ...........:sf:
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