We love stories of a tragic fall and sudden return. When the homecoming occurs, the story is complete. It is, after all, the story of the Prodigal Son: the beloved younger child who went to the distant country and then came home again. That is the whole story, or, so it seems.
In a world grown cold without wonder, how do you reimagine the drama and joy of Christianity? For C.S. Lewis, the answer was to invite us into a different world that would help us see this one with fresh eyes. That world was Narnia, and when Lewis wrote that world into existence, he created more than a story — he created the possibility for a moral and spiritual journey.
“The Chronicles of Narnia” span seven books, each a narrative unto itself, that come together to form a larger whole. Lewis started writing these stories with “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” (published in 1950) because he had this image in his mind of a faun standing next to a lamppost, and he wanted to tell a story about that. In the course of writing that first story, it soon became a Christian story because he imagined what kind of redeemer a world like the one he was imagining would need.
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Jesus is obedience incarnate. He is nothing other and nothing less than everything the Father gives to him. To consume his words, to consume his works, to consume his example, and, in the end, to consume his very life--his body, his blood--is to receive nothing other than his uninterrupted obedience to the Father.
Perhaps there is no greater threat to our own security than the gods we create out of our own expectations. These gods constantly swirl in our hearts and masquerade in our imaginations. There is the god of my own convenience; the god of my condition; the god of my hidden agenda; the god of my private religious worldview. These gods get broadcast far and wide by the "crowds", who present an divine image that serves some end that they or we or I seek for their or our or my own purposes.