This is taken from the new Springfield SALT magazine to be published on December 12th.
For you the door into Aslan’s country is from your own world
Voyage of the Dawn Treader
I am writing this in anticipation of seeing the new Narnia film: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
There are three things that make me hopeful that I am going to enjoy the film.
Firstly, I know and like the story. I have read the original several times and each time have found more in it.
Secondly, I have experienced the first two films in the series – The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and Prince Caspian; both of which were very enjoyable.
Thirdly, I have seen a couple of clips of the film and from what I saw it looks like it will be a good film and will be great fun.
Now there is a sense in which Advent works like this. Advent looks back to what has already been and looks forward in anticipation of what is to come. Advent is rooted in the witness of the people of God to the first coming – the birth of Jesus at Christmas. As we read and re-read. As we listen to and re-listen to the great Advent readings we discover more and more of the mystery and majesty of God. We see His plans and preparation. We notice His humility and grace as He comes as one of us. One of my favourite services at Christmas is the Carol Service with its lessons and carols. It tells the story of God’s searching for us through time immemorial. And just as we feel that He has given up on us a child is born – hope in the midst of hopelessness. Hope unexpected. Its like so many of the great stories where there appears no way out and then the corner is turned. Hope re-emerges and the rest of the story works out of that axis.
So too for us. The life of Jesus is the pivot about which history turns. And in our lives we get glimpses of God at work in our lives. We receive a taste of what is to come. When we know His presence or when we see a prayer answered. But like the film clip it is not complete.
So, we look to the coming again of Jesus. To see the world set to rights. To see love and mercy and justice to hold sway. The second part of the season of Advent doesn’t look back to a baby lying in a manger. It looks forward to the Lord of Glory returning to set all things to rights. And we see this and trust in this because we have read the story; we have experienced the renewing of God in our lives and seen Him at work in and around us.
And so as CS Lewis wrote in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader we seek Jesus (Aslan) in our own world and in our own day. We seek what the birth of Jesus and the coming of
Jesus means for us this Christmas.