While again reading The Magician’s Nephew, the first in the Chronicles of Narnia, I was once again struck by a scene that seems to suggest some curious perspective on our origins. The book is the first about Narnia (in terms of Narnian history) and presents the creation of the world with the song of the lion, Aslan, who Lewis uses as his representation of Christ. At one point Aslan has created the entire world, then calls forth two of each animal (male and female) and gives them the gift of language. They not only have the ability to speak, but they have knowledge to speak about as if they had spent time in classrooms for years.
Foregoing the interesting connections to the doctrine of election (one that Lewis strongly opposed), it is intriguing to think about a creature, just finding itself to exist, but having knowledge and “age.” How rarely do we talk about the first chapters of Genesis and think about how odd it is that God did not create seeds and eggs, but he created plants, fish, and birds.
Deep down inside we all think that there is something magical about marriage. Too often we watch those movies where the scintillating set of sweethearts saunter off into the sunset and, even though we can consciously identify that as fantasy, we let it creep into our expectations for what this venture is all about.
In the following audio track, pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Texas speaks out about marriage and sets down a charge from Scripture on what it really should be all about. Chandler expels the “you complete me” mentality bequeathed by Jerry Maquire and replaces it with what we can really expect from a marriage. Not only are we given firm expectations, but Chandler challenges us to see how marriage is a picture of what God would have for us and how marriage can draw us into a deeper relationship with him. Here are some highlights:
If you read only one book of the Bible this year, make it the book of Galatians. Contained therein is the Apostle Paul’s admonishment of the church in what is now Turkey because of their errors in presenting a gospel that is not consistent with the message of Jesus Christ.
The people of the church were concerned because many believed that in order to become a Christian you first must become a Jew and follow all of their laws. Yet with amazing brevity Paul lays out the whole of Biblical history, God’s laws, and God’s ultimate plan for salvation in a way that makes it exceedingly clear that it is not what we do, but it is the atoning work of Christ that accomplished that work for us.
Sadly enough, the prayer life of the average Christian is not unlike this report from Onion Radio News. In this report a Christian loan shark prays for the strength to break thumbs. Let’s not even mention that a Christian loanshark should be a walking oxymoron, but the earnest prayer of a scoundrel of this sort, well it is as likely to be answered as any other.
Certainly a characterization of prayers that people actually offer (then there are those for the high school football team victory), prayer has become for many a payment in a vending machine. What has happened is that we have begun to have the em-PHA-sis on the wrong sy-LA-ble.
Christianity is about putting God first. We believe God’s ways are best, even if they do not meet our own desires. It is not only our duty, but it is an outpouring of the example and action of Christ himself: while we were yet sinners, Christ gave his life for us. God came to us, so God is first.
…thy will be done… (Matthew 6:10)