Near the end of Prince Caspian, Aslan feasted the Narnians (yes, feasted can be a transitive verb with a direct object), and declared Caspian, “a son of Adam from the world of Adam’s sons,” as the true King of Narnia. The story, though, was not so positive about the sons of Adam, and when asked if Caspian understood it, Caspian replied, “I do indeed, Sir. I was wishing that I came from a more honorable lineage.”
When we think about our own history, don’t we wish something similar?
“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”
Not only is this actually true for us, in a non-fiction way, we have even more. We come from the lineage of the cross. We are subjects to, and sons of, the Lord Christ.
The death of Christ on our behalf ought to mortify our illusions of self-importance. We are not great. We have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The cross is our death. The grave is our bed. Such weight bows us.
And also, God sent His Son to die for all those He loved. The benefits of His death are applied to us. We have died with Christ, but we have also been raised with Him. Somehow this is a weight that makes us skip and dance and sing with joy.
So we gather around the Lord’s Table to commune with Him as those who have a the most honorable lineage.
5 of 5 stars to Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
I apparently didn’t write a review the first time I read this in July of 2009 (reading it to the kids if I remember correctly), and I only gave it 2 stars! My appreciation for fiction, and Narnia, has certainly grown. Read it this time along with our school board. A delight.
I read chapter two of The Silver Chair to the kids last night before bed (my first time through, too). Jill meets Aslan, and he explains the reason he called her away from Experiment House and reveals her mission. Before blowing her to Narnia, Aslan urges and warns Jill.
[R]emember, remember, remember the Signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind form following the Signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the Signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the Signs and believe the Signs. Nothing else matters. (21)
The parallels resonate in my head. There are times, often mountaintop type times, when our fellowship with the Lord is pronounced, when we better perceive His nearness. Also during those times His Word appears quite clear. It’s appropriate to linger with Him and rehearse our instructions, burning them into our minds for later when things may not be so obvious. The truth never changes, but we tend to forget it, and it may look different depending on where we’re standing and how much we’re entangled by seen things. We will have done well to memorize our mission and the promises He’s given.
I still have retreat on the brain. It’s been my own experience, and observation of other’s experiences, that a Bible-driven retreat can be a similar time of tasting that the Lord is good. The fact that our perception isn’t exactly the same once back down the mountain doesn’t necessarily mean that what was heard and seen was without substance. In fact, we are more accountable for, not excused from, commitments made in clearer air. We must take great care to remember the signs.