Summary: That we cannot sit and do nothing..we have to Get Up and become active in our Christianity
One of my favorite children series of books is written by Christian author C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia. Every two years I take these books off the shelf and re-read them and they always seem to have a different lesson for me.
The following dialogue appears in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia (1961, New York: Macmillan, 1950, C.S. Lewis PTE. LTD.). In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Susan and Lucy ask Mr. and Mrs. Beaver to describe Aslan. They ask if Aslan is a man. Mr. Beaver replies.
“Aslan a man? Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
”Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about being safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
In The Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan is C.S. Lewis’ representation of Jesus Christ. He is depicted as the great lion, the king of wild beasts, who is anything but “safe.” But, Lewis adds, he is good.
What do you think about Jesus? Have you domesticated him? Is he safe and non-threatening to you and the way you want to live your life? If you have that image of Jesus—the meek and mild Jesus who doesn’t make any demands on you, then you have a wrong image of Jesus. He is not safe. But he is good. It takes courage—a radical commitment—to follow Jesus. Christianity is not a religion for sissies. When you give your life to Christ, you put your life on the line. Are you willing?
What a way to start a sermon—Today I am not taking it lightly. Today I am hitting you right in the face with the tough questions. Today is a wiggle and squirm sermon. One where I don’t want you to feel or be comfortable.
Too often we, and that includes me, we Christians get comfortable and complacent in our seats. Too often, it’s the same people doing the same things. And too often now we have consumer ideals for the church.
It’s easy to come into the building every Sunday and sit and listen to the sermon. It’s also very easy not to get too involved because after all who are we to interfere—“they” are doing such a great job.
And it is so easy for us to say what can the church do for me—we are consumers—not what can we do for the church. If I go to such and such church they have this for me and not if I want to make a change at this church I can do….you fill in the blank. We have become consumer’s in our outlook of the church. We have become buyers and not shareholders in today’s churches. We look at the church as a product not as something that we have ownership of.
The hard part in any aspects of our lives is change…oh my how we hate change…so that word and people freeze up or they run so fast that there is smoke flying behind them…
But to grow, to move forward, to not be consumers but active and willing participants we have to change…we have to face the hard questions…we have to do more than give lip service to God…we have to make choices.
Two brothers were arguing about the wisdom of their parents. “Father is very wise,” said the first brother. “We should listen to him and do what he says.”
The second brother disagreed. “Father is not so wise! Why, we are just as smart as he is. I’ll prove it to you!”
The next day the second brother went into the woods near his home and captured a small bird. He brought the bird home and said to his brother, “Let’s go find our father. I will show you that he isn’t so smart!”
The two brothers went into their father’s study, the second one holding the small bird between his cupped hands. “Father, I have a question for you,” he said. “I hold a small bird in my hands. Tell me, is this bird dead or alive?”
The boy was confident that his father would not answer correctly because if he said that the bird was dead, the boy would simply open his hands and show that the bird was alive. If his father answered that the bird was alive, he would crush the bird between his hands and reveal that the bird was dead. Then he would prove to his brother that his father was not so wise after all.