Advent in Narnia: Mr. Tumnus 12/01/2019

“Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” ~Matthew 9:13

To follow along in the book, read chapter two “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”

Lucy meets a strange, stranger in the mysterious woods inside the wardrobe. As the story goes, she meets Mr. Tumnus who appears half human and half animal to Lucy. Mr. Tumnus, befriends Lucy and takes her back to his home to feed her and provide warmth from being in the cold snow. But, we quickly learn that Mr. Tumnus has an alternative to his kindness, to save himself and earn the favor of the White Witch, he tries to kidnap Lucy and turn her over to the Witch. Feelings of guilt overtake Mr. Tumnus and he becomes nearly inconsolable and confesses everything to Lucy. He seems quite sure that betrayal of his new friend is the only option he has; however, Lucy, turns out to not be as naïve as she might have appeared. After all, she did bravely enter the wardrobe and continued through the furs hanging overhead and out into an unknown forest in the cold and snow. Lucy reaches out to console Mr. Tumnus, even offering her own handkerchief and then quite sternly tells him he must repent and not do this horrible thing. Imagine just how brave Lucy was in this situation. In the end, Mr. Tumnus becomes Lucy’s friend and not her kidnapper although this act places him in grave danger especially if the White Witch finds out.

When you think of Advent what kind of things come to mind? It is defined as a waiting period, in anticipation of the Christ child’s birth. As Christians, we celebrate this season every year, what is it that makes it so special and unique each year? The story doesn’t change, we have Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem each year, the inn is always full and they must seek shelter in a dark and damp stable…what then is there to be waiting in anticipation for…

I cannot provide your answer but I can share mine. For me the beauty of the story is it is the same, it is me that is different each year. I’m thankful for the gift of salvation that came in the form of a baby, innocent and pure. I’m thankful for the grace that is extended to me and for the forgiveness of my sins. None of these things would be possible if that baby is never born. I love the firm foundation that the manger serves in my life. Every year it is new to me, no matter where my life has taken me over the past year, I have renewed hope through the birth of Jesus. Advent is reconnecting with the baby in the manger, a time of prayer, repentance and renewing of my faith. Stripping away all the cumbersome and pointless acts I’ve have placed upon myself that has separated me from Jesus…guilt, greed, punishment, neglect, fear, sin, competition, pride, pressure, things and many others can keep me from the love of Jesus. He’s there waiting for me, He’s never left me alone, even when I try to chase Him away, His love remains. I know I am loved, I just let the world cloud my judgement from time to time.

You are also loved with an everlasting love that only Jesus can provide.

The book, “Advent in Narnia” offered these questions to contemplate:

• Has there been a time in your life when you felt like you were doing the right thing but in actuality you ended hurting someone or betrayed someone? This is a tough question for me because I have hurt people that I cared deeply for. I never set out to cause hurt but I did and it was messy and it was because I was unable to be honest. Honesty can hurt but in the end it’s better than lying and trying to cover it up. Some of those relationships have healed but trust is not easily regained.

• What would it mean to consider mistakes you’ve made, believing that God is both just and merciful? Does it make is easier to offer up your mistakes and sins or harder? For me it’s still hard because I don’t like to be a disappointment and especially to God, I know that God loves me and forgives me when I earnestly seek his forgiveness but it’s hard and I think that’s a good thing. I would not want sinning to become comfortable or asking for forgiveness to be numbing .

• Which is harder for you: confronting others when they’ve hurt you or to be merciful to them? Do you know why? I have been a bit of both, I like to live passionately. I’ve had to learn what battles are worth the fight and which are better to surrender. I try to practice mercy because in return I would like the same. I’ve learned that being revengeful and holding onto hurt in the end causes me way more pain than my intended opponent. I do appreciate compromise and a good debate. I like the idea of agreeing to disagree as long as respect is mutual. Everyone should have a voice and afforded the opportunity to be heard. Long story but my final answer is to be merciful!

Thank you for joining me in this journey through Advent and the magical world of Narnia.