December 1st, 2020
Hello dear friends—
Welcome to December 2020
“Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
If you are following along in the book, read chapter two “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”
Lucy encounters a strange looking creature in the mysterious snow covered woods inside the wardrobe. The creature was startled at the sight of a human girl. The two introduce themselves to one another. The odd stranger is Mr. Tumnus, he cordially invites Lucy out of the cold and into his home. He offered her food and drink as she warms herself near the fire and she falls sleep. Lucy, a child is completely unaware that her new friend has malicious intentions for her. In fear of the White Witch, he plans to kidnap her and turn her over to the Witch. All Narnian’s had been warned by the Witch, if every they encountered a human she must be told and to hand them over to her. Mr. Tumnus felt quite sure that betrayal of his new friend was his only option. What Lucy’s new friend was not yet aware of was her deep sense of compassion and kindness, and her enormous bravery. After some time had passed, feelings of guilt overtook Mr. Tumnus and he became nearly inconsolable and confesses everything. Lucy reaches out to console Mr. Tumnus, even offering her own handkerchief and then quite sternly tells him he must not do this terribly horrible thing. Just imagine how brave Lucy was in this moment, after all, she had entered the forest all alone through the wardrobe. In the end, Mr. Tumnus recognizes the bond of friendship with Lucy and simply cannot kidnap her or turn her over to the White Witch. This decision indeed was a courageous act because it most definitely places him in extreme danger should the Witch ever find out about Lucy.
Things to Ponder about Advent:
• When you think of Advent what kind of things come to mind?
“In the Christian faith 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 answer for you and your life; however, I would like to share mine.
The beauty of the Advent/Christmas story is indeed the same each year, it is me (and you) that is different each year. I’m so thankful for the gift of salvation that came in the form of a pure and innocent baby, fully human and fully divine. I’m thankful for the grace and mercy that is extended to me and for the forgiveness of my sins. These things would not be possible if Jesus were never born. I love the imagery of a solid and firm foundation that the manger serves in my life. I keep my manger scene out all year long to always be mindful of God’s love for me. Each year brings new challenges, joys and circumstances and they allow me to experience Advent in a new way. Each year and season offers renewed hope through the waiting in anticipation of 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 things I have accumulated and placed upon myself. These things cause a sense of separation between me and Jesus, things like…guilt, greed, punishment, neglect, fear, sin, competition, pride, pressure, just to mention a few. Jesus is always present for me, He has never left me alone, even though at times I try to push Him away or when I try to runaway from Him. No matter what…His love remains. I know that I am loved, it is my own judgmental flaws, my sense of right/wrong that tends to cloud my mind/spirit from time to time.
You are so loved and 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?
—I have to say it’s hard because I don’t like to be a disappointment to myself or anyone else and especially to God, I know that God loves me and forgives me when I earnestly seek his forgiveness but it is hard. I think if forgiveness was easy people would do it more easily and more often. I would not want the acts of sinning to become too routine and comfortable nor would I want asking for forgiveness to numbing, with no feeling or emotion involved.
• 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 recipient. Although, I do appreciate compromise and a good debate. I like the idea of agreeing to disagree as long as there is mutual respect for one another. 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.