The Witch’s Triumph

What is a sacrifice?  Today we talk about how many sacrifices we make, what we miss out on and everything else.  To sacrifice something means to give an opportunity up in order to better serve something or someone else.  For example a stay at home mom, could say she sacrificed her career to stay at home with her kids.  Or you might say I sacrificed my dessert so that I wouldn’t put on any extra weight.  If you’re a kid you might want to sacrifice your homework in order to have more play time, though that’s never a good idea.

So we know about the idea of sacrifice, but the Bible also talks about sacrifice and I don’t think it’s talking about dessert or homework.  In the Old Testament the nation of Israel were given certain laws by God and when they broke those laws they were supposed to sacrifice an animal to pay for those sins.  The idea was that God hates sin and the penalty for sin was death.  So in order to save themselves the Israelites would sacrifice animals to pay for their sin.

But we don’t go around killing animals anymore, so why not, is God okay with sin now?  No, God still hates sin but he sent his son Jesus who was God.  Jesus lived a perfect life, he never sinned so Jesus died to pay for the sins of the whole world.  And then to prove he was God he rose again and is alive today in heaven with God.  Because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us we are saved from our sins if we accept Jesus as our savior.  Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

What does all this have to with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?  Well in chapter 14, The Triumph of the Witch, that we read this week we see all this happen.  Aslan is a picture of Jesus, he doesn’t do anything wrong and yet he allows the witch to kill him instead of Edmund, in order to save Edmund.  That is what Jesus did for us and while this chapter ends on a dark note, there’s hope just around the corner.  During this Christmas season remember that Jesus was born to save us.

John 3:16

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

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Fear

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since our last blog, due to Thanksgiving and the Holiday season.  This week we are reviewing chapter 13 in, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time.

 Have you ever been afraid?  I know I have been scared many times in my life because I scare quite easily.  I’m terrified of snakes, the way they move and slither and flick their tongues creeps me out.  I also fall for every jump scare in any movie and have been known to jump at anyone I’m not expecting.  So I’ve experienced my fair share of fear, but I don’t think I’ve felt true fear, like the kind that Edmund experiences in this chapter.

The White Witch decides to kill Edmund to prevent the prophecy from coming true.  Edmund is ultimately rescued before he can be killed but then the witch comes to Aslan’s camp and demands that Aslan hand Edmund back to the witch because of the old magic.

But ultimately Aslan works out a deal and steps in and saves Edmund.  We might not find ourselves in Edmund’s life threatening situation in our every day lives, but we do end up in scary places sometimes.  Maybe it’s having to move to a new school or work full of people you don’t know, perhaps you lost a grandparent or a loved one, or maybe you just feel a little lonely or left out lately.  All these and many more are challenges we all face at different points in life and it’s hard to know what to do in these situations.

Perhaps like Edmund we should turn to Aslan who saves Edmund not once but twice, though not without a cost.  But who is the Aslan in our lives, I know He is in my life but is he in yours?  That’s something that you have to choose yourself.

Family Questions: spend a few moments discussing the following questions together as a family.

What are you most scared of?

Who or what is Aslan in your life?fear-of-heights-2040805_1920

Aslan

lion-2850138_1920When C.S. Lewis began writing the Chronicles of Narnia he started with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  The book began as a picture in his mind that featured a Faun standing in the snow with an umbrella.  From that picture eventually the Chronicles of Narnia emerged and Lewis used the character of Aslan to tie it all together.

In Chapters 7-8 we first learn of the character Aslan who is introduced as a somewhat mysterious character, he is described as, “The King,” “The Lord of the Whole Wood,” and “The Son of the Emperor-beyond-the-sea.”  He seems to be a Lion who is lord over Narnia.

Lewis, wrote Narnia partly as an allegory?  But what is an allegory?  If you don’t what that word means you’re not alone, it’s a big word that’s hard to spell.  The simplest way to explain it is to say, an allegory is a story that uses fictional characters to tell the story of something that happened or is happening in the real world.

In Narnia, Aslan represents Jesus.   He is the true king of Narnia and he overcomes to overthrow evil and the white witch and end the winter.  Later on we will see how he defeats the white witch in the same way that Jesus defeated death and rose again, but for now all we need to know is that Aslan represents Jesus.

And each of the four Pevensie children have a different reaction when they hear Aslan’s name for the first.   For Peter, Susan, and Lucy, Aslan’s name inspires them and brings them joy and thoughts of happy times.  When Edmund hears Aslan’s name he begins to feel terror and dread because he has already come under the influence of the white witch.

Just like the children feel something when they hear the name of Aslan, we should feel the same way as Peter, Susan, and Lucy when we hear the name of Jesus.  The Bible talks about how important the name of God is, one of the 10 commandments is to not misuse the name of God.

Today it’s easy to not think about the name of Jesus, we hear it misused all the time, when we say it we often use it to reference something that has happened.  But C.S. Lewis is reminding us that we should remember what the name of Jesus stands for, a God who loves us and gave his life for us so that we live forever with him.  So next time you use God’s name remember how much it means and say a quick thank you for all that he has given you.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think Aslan is a lion?
  • Mrs Beaver says that Aslan isn’t safe, is God safe?
  • What are a few things you can thank God for today?

Responsibility

Responsibility is something that we want everyone to have’ we begin teaching responsibility to our children at an early age.  Even at 3, 4, 5 years old we give children the responsibility of cleaning their room, making their bed, choosing their clothes.   As they get older we give them more responsibility; take out the trash, wash the dishes, clean the bathroom.  These are all personal responsibilities, we also learn about our responsibility to others as we get older.

When we’re really young our responsibility is to play well with others; share our toys, don’t hit people, don’t say bad words.  When we get into our teenage years they grow even more, be a good driver,  don’t take advantage of others, respect the law, and many more.  As an adult our responsibilities to others can often times seem overwhelming; care for our parents, raise children, help those in need, such as refugees, and more.

All of these responsibilities are important they help us reach out to those around us and share the love of God.  In chapter 6 of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Lucy also feels a responsibility to someone.  Mr. Tumnus, the Faun who befriended her, has been arrested by the white witch because he helped and became friends with Lucy.  Because Lucy feels responsible, she and the rest of her siblings decide they they must try and help Mr. Tumnus in some way and so they begin their Adventure in Narnia.

The idea of of responsibility to others is the one we are exploring today.    Lucy felt guilty because she had gotten Mr. Tumnus in trouble. As followers of Christ the Bible tells us that we are responsible to help others when we can even if we didn’t get them into whatever trouble their facing.  (Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”)

So when we look around our world and the situation we’re in, we should look for those who need some help and do what we can to support them.  We might only be able to encourage them and nothing else, but that shouldn’t stop us from helping.  When we do this we share God’s love in the world and we preach the gospel through our actions.

Talk about a few of the questions below as you read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe together.

  • What are some responsibilities you have right now?
  • Are your responsibilities fair?
  • Have you ever helped someone who was in trouble?  What was that like?
  • Who can you help out this week?puzzle-2651912_1920  

 

 

Pride

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Have you ever thought about what the word Pride means?  Pride is often thought of as a good thing.  We are proud of our children, we’re proud of the picture we drew or the goal we scored.  We are proud when we cook a great meal or do well at work.  We take pride in our favorite team or in our school.  And as long as we keep our pride in check, these can be good things.

But pride can also go too far, when we are too prideful it can hurt the people and things around us.  That’s what happens with Edmund in Chapter 5 of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Edmund is too proud to admit that he was wrong about Narnia; he can’t admit that he was wrong and Lucy was right.  This leads to him lying to his siblings which upsets and hurts Lucy and causes Peter and Susan to worry about their sister.  And all of this happens because of Edmund’s pride.  In the Bible, God tells us over and over again that pride causes people to stumble and fall.

Proverbs 16:18-19 says

Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall.

19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
    than to share plunder with the proud.

My younger sister is one the most stubborn people I know.  I remember one time we were playing the game Bananagrams, which is a lot like Scrabble, and she spelled a word wrong, but she refused to admit that she was wrong even after we looked the word up in the dictionary.  That is one example of many, of my sister not wanting to admit that she was wrong.  But when we can’t admit that we’re wrong, it can easily lead to us hurting the people around us who we love, like our family members.  So this week let’s try and do a better job of admitting our pride and letting it go, especially when we’re with our family members.

Turkish Delight

Locum With A RoseThis week we get an in depth look at the character of Edmund in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Edmund is the youngest boy and second youngest of the Pevensie children, and Edmund seems to have middle child syndrome.  If you don’t know what middle child syndrome is then you’ve either never been a middle child or never been a part of a large family.

A middle child often feels forgotten because they’re not the youngest or the oldest, they’re not born with any characteristic that makes them stand out; if you’re a middle child you know what I’m talking about.  And often a middle child will do one of two things, they will work very hard and try to stand out from the crowd because they want to distinguish themselves from everyone else.  Or they will pick on other people and try to make themselves feel better because they are able to bully people younger or smaller than them.  Edmund falls into the latter of these two categories.

He enjoys teasing his sister and ultimately teases Lucy so much that she begins to wonder if Narnia is real or not.  But then something amazing happens, Edmund finds his way into Narnia as well, and his encounter is quite different from Lucy’s.

Edmund is met by the Queen of Narnia, who is also the White Witch.  Of course he has no idea of this and begins talking with her and is eventually given some enchanted Turkish Delight.  Because it is Enchanted this Turkish Delight makes Edmund not only reveal his whole family to the Queen but also leads to him promising to bring back his siblings to the Queen.

When we look at this section of the story from the view of our Christian Faith we see that the Turkish Delight represents greed and Edmund represents us.  It’s easy for us to often want more of something whether it’s more money or more free time or more friends or more time to play video games or any number of things.  But the Bible tells us to be content with what we have (Hebrews 13:5).  God knows what we need and what we want and he will take care of us.  We should seek to follow him instead of always wanting more because, as we will see, when we follow that path it often leads to pain and hurting.  So learn from Edmund’s example and don’t long for too much Turkish Delight.

However, if you’ve never had Turkish Delight and want to know what it is there’s a fun way you can try it out.  When you have some time, gather your family together and make Turkish Delight.  It’ll be a fun way for you to spend time together as a family and it’s a neat way to experience a little bit more of Narnia.  There’s a link below with a great recipe for Turkish Delight.

Turkish Delight

Lucy’s Choice

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Have you ever had a chance to explore a new house?  It’s a truly magical experience?  When I was in junior high my family moved to a new town two hours north of where we were living.  While my parents closed on the house, my siblings and I were able to stay at the new house and explore.  What better way to do that than a game of hide and seek?

As my siblings and I went from room to room exploring the house it felt like we were on our own adventure, I learned that you can a shower on by turning the handle when I accidentally doused myself.

I imagine that the four Pevensie Children felt the same way as they explored the professor’s huge house in the country.   Lucy has the most curiosity as she is drawn to the wardrobe.  She then discovers that this wardrobe is much deeper than it appears.  When she discovers that there is no end of the wardrobe but rather it leads into a snowy forest she has a decision to make.  Does she take the safe route and head back to the spare room or does she explore the unknown and unexpected?  Which one would you choose?

Of course Lucy chooses the unknown making her either brave or foolish depending on how you look at it.  And because she chooses the unknown she gets sucked into an adventure that brings her joy, sadness, fear, excitement and more.  The journey of Christianity is sometimes like the journey that Lucy goes on.  We can choose to live a safe life filled with what we can see and touch and know for certain or we can choose to trust in Jesus and place our faith in him.  If we choose the latter we might lose the privilege of deciding how our lives turn out, where we might live, what job we have and so on.  But we gain the adventure of serving Jesus wherever he calls us whether that’s in Washington, the United States, or around the world.  When we become Christians, followers of Christ, God wants us to give control of our lives to him and trust that he has the right plan for us.

So what will you do?  Will you be like Lucy and dive into the unknown and trust in God?  or will you head back to the spare room and the comfort of familiarity?