Sunday, October 11, 2015

More From Mr. Lewis

Following up on the last post.
"Two sights have I seen," said Farsight. "One was Cair Paravel filled with dead Narnians and living Calormenes: the Tisroc's banner advanced upon your royal battlements: and your subjects flying from the city--this way and that, into the woods....
No one could speak.
"And the other sight, five leagues nearer than Cair Paravel, was Roonwit the Centaur lying dead with a Calormene arrow in his side. I was with him in his last hour and he gave me this message to your Majesty: to remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no one is too poor to buy."
"So," said the King, after a long silence, "Narnia is no more."

Who, who has ever read the Narnia Chronicles can ever forget the way he felt the first time he read those words? I'm not sure I've ever read anything else that gave me such a feeling of loss.

A while back I posted Carl's Sandburg's poem Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind. This poem always reminds me of a talk on teaching history that I attended at a homeschool conference about 20 years ago during which the speaker said, "The thing to remember about our age, is that it's only an age." I had never really thought about that before, and it has really stuck with me. 

We are born into a certain time and place and culture, and we accept it for what it is; and for a long time it never occurs to us that things won't always be the way they are. Gradually, we learn that we are wrong. Things always change, but sometimes they change slowly and the changes don't seem to be important--the basic culture seems to remain the same. This obviously isn't one of those times. Things are changing so quickly that we can barely keep up with the changes.

Lately, it has been born in on me that the country that I was born into is no more. We turned a corner and it seems that we can't or won't go back. From my reading, I know that the corner was turned long before I was born, but we seem to have always been in hailing distance of where we started. Now we have completely lost our bearings.

Perhaps this sounds overly pessimistic or defeatist, but I'm not talking about throwing in the towel. I'm just saying that looking back over our shoulders in hopes that the past will return is useless. The above quote from The Last Battle is, after all, in the exact middle of the book, the end of chapter 8 of 16 chapters. King Tirian and the Seven Friends of Narnia did not just pack it up and go home, but they did realize that whatever was to come was going to be different than what had gone before.



This morning's biblical reading from the Office of Readings is from the book of Haggai. The Lord is encouraging Zerubbabel who is trying to rebuild the temple after the Babylonian Captivity.

     Who is left among you 
     that saw this house in its former glory? 
     And how do you see it now? 
     Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes? 

     But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the Lord, 
     and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak, 
     And take courage, all you people of the land, 
     says the Lord, and work! 
     For I am with you, says the Lord of hosts. 
     This is the pact that I made with you 
     when you came out of Egypt, 
     And my spirit continues in your midst; 
     do not fear! 

     For thus says the Lord of hosts: 
     One moment yet, a little while, 
     and I will shake the heavens and the earth, 
     the sea and the dry land. 
     I will shake all the nations, 
     and the treasures of all the nations will come in. 
     And I will fill this house with glory, 
     says the Lord of hosts. 
     Mine is the silver and mine the gold, 
     says the Lord of hosts. 
     Greater will be the future glory of this house 
     than the former, says the Lord of hosts; 
     And in this place I will give peace, 
     says the Lord of hosts.

The temple built by Zerubbabel never compared with the magnificent temple of King Solomon, and he never saw this prophecy fulfilled in the glorious splendor of the Church, but he did the work that he was called to do, and the temple was re-built in spite of government interference and the fact that half the workers had to keep watch while the other half had to wear swords while they worked. The book of Ezra also tell us that, "Many of the priests, Levites, and heads of ancestral houses, who were old enough to have seen the former house, cried out in sorrow as they watched the foundation of the present house being laid. Many others, however, lifted up their voices in shouts of joy."

I guess we will do some of each, but in doing so, we would do well to remember King Tirian's advice to Jill, "If you must weep, sweetheart . . . Turn your face aside and see you wet not your bowstring."

AMDG

P. S. I guess if someone asked me what book I would recommend for everyone to read at present, The Last Battle would be it.



5 comments:

  1. From a different context, but perhaps applicable: Jesus did not conquer Rome. Jesus outlasted it.

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  2. "And the other sight, five leagues nearer than Cair Paravel, was Roonwit the Centaur lying dead with a Calormene arrow in his side. I was with him in his last hour and he gave me this message to your Majesty: to remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no one is too poor to buy."
    "So," said the King, after a long silence, "Narnia is no more."

    I could not believe what was happening when I read this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow that was quite a struggle. Grumpy

    ReplyDelete
  4. Posting, you mean? Thanks for the effort.

    AMDG

    ReplyDelete