November 28, 2020
It has a few weeks since my last post and I have missed the interaction and exchange of ideas discovered through this medium. The year 2020 has been difficult for many reasons and also filled with many blessings as well. If you’re anything like me it can be almost paralyzing when things happen beyond our immediate control. It is true, I have struggled during this past year but my blessing outweigh all the struggles. I sometimes have to remind myself of them, but they are always there. I have family that loves me, a church that feels like home, friends who care and want to see me, a job I love, coworkers who inspire me, food, clothing, transportation, clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, health care…the list goes on and on. Don’t misunderstand, I struggle with balancing finances, making good informed decisions, frustrations with government and local politics, ridiculous rules and regulations (my opinion), not reading enough, not writing enough, not praying enough, questioning am I enough…Friend, we are all ENOUGH! As each day begins and ends, it is because of God Almighty! He knows you by name! He loves you! So, no matter how tough and difficult things may seem, God is always with us. I found myself thinking this thought not long ago, “why is God so far away?” The answer came almost immediately to me, “God has never left me, I have neglected my connection with him.” I love the photo below, the imagery is so beautiful, showing that we are always connected to God.
This Advent series is one that I started last year but was unable to finish. I will be updating the original posts and I only made it through the first nine days. If you are familiar with my posts you already know I’m a huge C.S.Lewis fan and I was most disappointed I was unable to complete the book last year. I hope you will join me as I explore Narnia and God this Christmas Season of Advent 2020.
Today marks the first day of my advent blog series, “Advent in Narnia” Reflections for the Season by Heidi Havetkamp.
“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” ~Luke 13:24 (ESV)
If you have never read, C.S.Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia,” I highly recommend them. They are not simply for children, but adults alike. The Chronological order of the books are as follows: Publication Order The books were originally published in this order:
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
- Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951)
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
- The Silver Chair (1953)
- The Horse and His Boy (1954)
- The Magician’s Nephew (1955)
- The Last Battle (1956)
Chronological Story Order –
Sometime after the death of C. S. Lewis, British editions of the books began appearing that were numbered according to the order the stories take place:
1. The Magician’s Nephew
2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
3. The Horse and His Boy
4. Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
6. The Silver Chair
7. The Last Battle
These books focus on the life of four children, two boys and two girls. Their parents send them away to live in the country during wartime. They were placed in the care of two adult caretakers to escape the bombings of World War II. As the story goes, Lucy the youngest wonders into a room with a large wardrobe, being inquisitive as most youngsters are, she opens the wardrobe door and steps in. To her surprise, she walks past many fur coats, I imagine they were hanging about waist high. As Lucy presses on, shoving coats from side to side, she begins to feel cold and something underfoot. All of a sudden, she’s no longer in the wardrobe but in a forest with freshly fallen snow and a lamppost.
Have you ever found yourself in a place where your not exactly sure where you are, metaphorically or literally? Advent can be a season of wondering and finding, when we are open to the Holy Spirit. Much like Lucy, let’s be open to where the path leads us. Advent is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus and the return of Jesus. The Advent and Christmas Season (Santa and gift exchange) can both be celebrated together. Celebrate the joys of giving gifts and receiving gifts, gifts from the heart are always priceless. Give of your time and talents, they are more valuable than gold or silver. No matter what your traditions may be, be intentional with all of them. Seek to serve those in need, this season is a great opportunity to be the literal hands and feet of Jesus in a world that screams for “Peace on earth, Good Will towards all.” I am committed to this Advent Season, not because I’m ready but because I’m willing. Being a Christian does not mean all your days will be perfect, it means we never have to face them alone. I hope you will join me for the next four weeks as I share thoughts of Advent and my journey. If you are interested in following along in the book, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” today’s reading is Chapter 1 and will also be included in day two and three.
Questions to ponder:
Do you have traditions or preparations regarding Advent that are most meaningful to you?
Do the traditions/preparations reveal something about Jesus to you?
Do you have any thoughts about Luke 13:24?
Specially, the imagery of Jesus as the “narrow door?” Some have said that they see the narrow door as “the hard road” and “difficult road.” Possibly even a negative and costly gate. What if…we were to see the door as an invitation, a gateway to life more fully and as positively challenging and worthy of the journey. *Additional references: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/christian-conversion/the-sermon-on-the-mount/narrow-is-the-gate/
We are all God’s children and we are all special to Him. So special in fact, that were created with a purpose and a plan. Here’s a few of my favorite Bible verses are…
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Psalm 139:13-14 You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.
Here’s some music from the soundtrack “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”
Prayer: Lord, we ask for your guidance as we journey through our wardrobes, I pray this in Jesus name~Amen
Book by Heidi Haverkamp, “Advent in Narnia-Reflections For The Season”