C.S. Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia to communicate the powerful truths of the gospel. Narnia was a parallel existence. What transpired in Narnia was what was transpiring on earth. Narnia, like earth, was filled with beauty, brokenness, evil and redemption. Lewis wrote the series in 1940 during the outbreak of WWII. The people of London were anxious and fearful. In part, it was intended to convey the hope of the coming kingdom of God. Into the bleak circumstance of war and violence comes Aslan, the great lion. We all long for the Great Lion to return and make everything right again.
One of the provocative elements in the series is how one enters Narnia. There are two primary considerations. First, only the children may enter. Those that stopped being children were excluded. Of the four Pevensie children, Susan is highlighted in this regard. Aslan ultimately establishes his benevolent kingdom but Susan is excluded – no longer a friend of Narnia. She had grown up and lost interest in such things – too busy pursuing her own agenda. And unless we become like little children, we too will be excluded from God’s kingdom (Matt. 18:3).
But there is second caveat about entering the kingdom. Aslan once told Lucy, “Things never happen the same way twice, dear one.” And certainly that was true when it came to getting into Narnia. They entered through a magic wardrobe. On other occasions, they entered through a picture, through a railway station, and through magic rings. The common thread was that they only entered Narnia when they weren’t expecting it. They weren’t able to force their way into Narnia. And no one is able to force their way into God’s kingdom either. We only enter the kingdom on God’s terms. And God is often inclined to show up when we least expect it – as we are walking in simple, daily obedience. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:3).
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