Aslan is on the Move... and We Should Be Too
- Friday, November 05, 2010
This Christmas, 20th Century Fox and Walden Media will release one of C.S. Lewis' most famous stories, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It's a powerful story that's not so different from our own journey—discovering the risks, surprises, and revelations of life with Jesus Christ.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third of Lewis' seven-book Chronicles of Narnia series. His books have sold over 100 million copies in over 50 different languages.
I remember reading the Chronicles of Narnia series to my boys when they were younger. They loved them. And so did I. I particularly love the line when Mr. Beaver turns to the kids and—with a twinkle in his eye—tells them, "Aslan is on the move!"
That's exactly right! Aslan—Lewis' depiction of Jesus Christ—is indeed on the move!
As I travel the world, preaching to millions of people, I can personally report that something great is happening around the world for the Gospel. God is working powerfully. And Jesus Christ is indeed on the move.
I was born in Argentina. I began preaching at age 18, and moved to Portland in my mid-twenties. From our base here, I have had the rare opportunity to see first-hand how God is moving. And it's always exciting to see new tools and resources that can be used to further the message of Jesus Christ. Now that this epic film is ready to be released, I grow even more excited. Why? Because this story is powerful. It is the story of redemption found in the Bible. And it has the power to change lives.
There is no question in my mind that preaching of the Good News of the Gospel is central to reaching a culture with the Bible's message of hope. But I also understand the power of story.
Do you think it's a coincidence that in His three years of public ministry, Jesus chose to teach mostly through stories and parables? He had the responsibility of sharing the most important news of all time, and how did he do it? With simple but powerful stories. He was willing to risk everything on the power of stories. And keep in mind, his stories weren't even about subjects we'd normally think of as "religious." They were stories about everyday living, and the struggles, obstacles, and frustrations that each of us deal with throughout our lives.
That's why I believe this opportunity to reach your congregation or audience with this C.S. Lewis story is so critical. It is—in a very real way—the Gospel message.
As you think about using this wonderful story with your audience, here are some message points for you to consider:
1. It's an epic journey of a lifetime. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a grand adventure. There are risks. There is danger. Just like our own spiritual journey, these young people wrestle with challenges of all kinds.
I love the fact that like Aslan, Jesus doesn't rescue us from trouble—He takes us through it. What better illustration of this timeless truth. It reminds me of what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:8-12:
"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you."
2. Evil is quite real. You and I know evil exists in this world, but far too often we ignore it. C.S. Lewis knew the power of Satan, and he wasn't afraid to present the reality of sin in the world. In fact, the reality of evil is mentioned throughout Scripture, including Paul's reminder in 2 Corinthians 2:11:
"Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes."
This powerful story will resonate with your congregation because they understand the challenges and obstacles of life. And I would encourage you to show them that although evil exists and is very real, God will deliver. He wants to set us free, and Jesus is the answer.
3. There is great hope. Our task is not an easy one, but just like the characters in this story, we have the strength in Jesus Christ to brave the violent seas.
As those onboard the Dawn Treader embark on this life-changing journey, their courage and beliefs are tempted and tested in various ways. But in the end, Aslan comes through. While courage and determination matter, their ultimate answer is Aslan—who we know as Jesus, our hope of salvation as made clear in Romans 5:1-5:
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
I'll certainly be sharing the Narnia story with my friends and audiences over the next year, and I encourage you to do the same.
Luis Palau and his ministry have shared the Gospel with more than 1 billion people through evangelistic events and media. He has spoken in person to 25 million people in 72 countries with more than 1 million registered decisions for Jesus Christ. He has authored close to 50 books and countless articles on issues of faith, and has counseled with business and political leaders and heads of state around the world.
This article originally appeared at NarniaFaith.com. Used with permission.
Publication date: November 5, 2010
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