Advent in Narnia: Week One – Repentance

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Matthew 3:1-6

Hello friends—

I do apologize for the late posting of today’s Advent in Narnia. Seems like I’ve come down with a “bug” or COVID-19. I was tested and hopefully it was just a precaution. So, keep the presses moving and on with our story…today we talk about REPENTANCE. The scripture passage from the Gospel of Matthew tells us the story of John the Baptist. John is preaching to the people about the repenting of one’s sins and receiving baptism by water. He tells the people of one who is coming that will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. The person is Jesus. In Narnia, we have read about Lucy and Mr. Tumnus, his evil plan to kidnap her and turn her over to the White Witch. Feeling of guilt overwhelmed Mr. Tumnus and he confesses to Lucy and decides that her kindness and extension of friendship towards him is reason enough to REPENT!

The companion reading is Chapter 2 of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”

Who knows how long Mr. Tumnus has been waiting in anticipation of meeting a human and was prepared, he thought to kidnap and turn over them over to the White Witch. He quickly realizes in his heart to do so, would be wrong—he had not anticipated the kindness of Lucy. Doing what’s right is sometimes the bravest act we can do. Mr. Tumnus must have felt relived after he told Lucy the truth and repented, it also must have been very freeing. Repenting of our mistakes and sins to God is freeing, this is also true when we seek forgiveness from individuals we have wronged. I have experienced that freeing feeling of forgiveness and it feels like a weight is literally being lifted right off your shoulders. When we carry unnecessary burdens, guilt and shame it causes much hardship and agonizing pain. That pain often goes beyond just ourselves, it has a cascading effect on all of our relationships and as a result we often push God away. It is the “sin” that separates us from God and only through sincere repentance can the relationship be healed. When I have been in the midst of these experiences I know God is still with me but my guilt distracts me and I feel like I need to keep God at a distance. Selfishly thinking I can fix or hide whatever “it” is from God. How very foolish of me, I am hurting myself and God with my stubbornness.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines REPENTANCE:

• to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life. 

Advent is a season of preparation, anticipation and waiting. We learn from the story that Mr. Tumnus had previously made an agreement with the White Witch that if he ever encountered a human child, he would hand them over to her. As the story progresses, we learn that Mr. Tumnus decides to place himself in danger by not reporting Lucy and seeks forgiveness from Lucy for wanting to cause her harm. 

During the next four weeks we will be preparing our hearts for Jesus’ birth through Hope-Peace-Joy-Love.

Some interesting correlations between John the Baptist and Mr. Tumnus: they were both hairy, wild men who lived in times of conflicts, oppression, and in need of a savior. In the book, Advent in Narnia is is described as being on or near the border of two kingdoms. Mr. Tumnus met Lucy at the border between Narnia and the Wardrobe. The people of Judea traveled to meet John at the Jordan River. John, too stood at the border between what has been/what is to comes, the Kingdom of God, through Jesus Christ. The People in the surrounding towns and villages come to the Jordan to confess their sins and to be baptized by John. This was their preparation and anticipation of the coming of Jesus, though at the time they did not fully know what that meant. The same feelings erupt when individuals realize who God is and accept Jesus as the Son of God, repent and follow Him!

Advent is a “borderland” season, the closing of one year and season and stepping into a new year. We are waiting for the birth of Jesus that we celebrate on Christmas Day and the Coming of Christ to take us home.

Questions for Reflection:

• Does Advent feel like a strange time of the year to ask for forgiveness? Why or why not?

• What ways might you pursue repentance and forgiveness in your life? A few suggestions offered are to write a letter to God; reach out to someone you have been estranged with; talk with a spiritual leader; or perhaps consider a rite of reconciliation.

Tomorrow’s companion reading is chapter 4 of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.” 

~Peace & Hope~Charlotte