Don't Miss the Real Meal
I love The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I remember reading it for the first time as a little kid, not having a clue what the story was about and feeling very confused about the title. Now the book carries such childhood nostalgia that I can't describe it as anything other than magical.
Watching the movie when it first came out, I got chills when Mr. and Mrs. Beaver recited the prophecy of Aslan's coming to save Narnia:
Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we will have spring again,
When Adam's flesh and Adam's bone,
Sits at Cair Paravel in throne,
The evil time will be over and done.
I was reminded of the Narnia story again when I read my Bible the other day, and the old nostalgic feeling stirred up in me once more. I was reading in the book of Numbers, of all places—it was the part where God tells Israel to make silver trumpets and promises that if they blow the trumpets in battle, He will hear and help.
Suddenly—in a very ADD moment—I thought of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Doesn't Susan get the same kind of present? Like God's people, she was given a magic horn and a promise that if she sounded the horn, help would always come.
My mind wandered back to the Bible reading in front of me, but then I had a thought. Why is it when I read the Bible, I don't usually have the childlike wonder as when I read about Narnia? Reading through Numbers, I didn't get that same shiver-up-my-spine "This is an awesome story!" feeling. Instead, I just sat there and let my mind turn to an old fantasy book for children.
Truth be told, I often miss the amazingness of the Bible. When I think of adventure, the book of Numbers isn't the first thing that comes to my brain. I don't usually remember that God's miracles happened to normal, usually-dull people like you and me. I forget that Israel's "magical trumpet" and God's leading happened on the same earth that I live on right now. I forget that the Bible's stories are true and should really be jaw-dropping.
This caused me to wonder: How often do I lose sight of the miracle that is Christmas? I may get a little mushy inside when I hear sleigh bells or see Christmas lights, but that's like digging into chips and salsa appetizers while the real meal is on its way. And I usually miss the real meal.
The story of God becoming man, of being born in a barn as an "illegitimate child," is an outstanding one. That God became a king-in-disguise on earth, that He slept on the ground, touched people with skin diseases in order to heal them, and allowed himself to be killed so that a greater heavenly purpose might be fulfilled.
We quickly get lost in the Christmas shopping list, the Black Friday deals, holiday parties, decorating—and yes, even the tradition of watching The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe on TV. But we don't have to, and we certainly shouldn't. After all, we still live in a place and time of miracles. The God of Numbers still lives. He is still healing sick souls and still plans to take back this world once and for all.
He's coming back. Did you hear? He's coming back. Because saviors and kings aren't things of stories. They're things of history—the current, everyday progressing story of God.
Has anything you've read in the Bible lately taken your breath away?