Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hello, Again

I was re-introduced to Jesus this holiday season. I’d like to say that it was at a reflective advent service, or in a deep conversation with Christy, but I met Him again in the movie theater. As we milled around the lobby, I kept seeing posters for movies I wanted to see. Little Fockers. True Grit. The Fighter. But the company I was with wanted to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader.


I know, C. S. Lewis is a master, but I’ve not been a huge fan of the Narnia films. But we bought tickets and I settled in to enjoy it as much as I could.

As the movie went along, I found myself pulled into the fairly sophisticated portrayal of sin and temptation, but it was in the closing moments that I was sucker-punched with the person of Jesus. As Aslan (the Christ-figure) and company stand on a shore, he bellows a great roar to push back the sea—a commanding roar that accurately portrayed power, authority, and intensity. I remember chills going down my spine in the theater as the real Jesus leapt into my mind. But the sucker punch came moments later when Lucy timidly but confidently approaches Aslan, reaches her small arms up and embraces as much as she can of Aslan’s mane, pressing herself into him. The screen cut to a close-up of the face of Aslan where CGI magically rendered an expression of absolute tenderness, warmth, care, and love.

Tears welled up in my eyes as at that moment, as for me, the person of Christ, not Aslan, was front and center in my mind. It was as if his image had been superimposed on the screen. I hadn’t personally been with that Jesus for a long time.

God’s character and personality is vast and diverse. I find that I get stuck in certain particular aspects of Him sometimes, zoning in on a few particular attributes to the exclusion of others. For me, the last few years have been tipping the scales on the end of His holiness, power, majesty, wrath, justice, and transcendence. Indeed, these are marvelous aspects of His character. It has been rich at times while through these attributes He has exposed my sin for what it is, become larger in my vision, and has become the majestic King that He ought. But when this scene of His tenderness found its way into the film, my heart became acutely aware that I had not felt personally loved and embraced by my Father for a long time. How my soul needed (and needs) it.

The subsequent weeks have been wonderfully real and intimate with my Father. I talk to Him again like a beloved child, still aware that He is majestic beyond comprehension, but I am reminded that, through Jesus, I have confident assurance that I can be with my Father with no fear. No trepidation. No condemnation. His embrace is real…almost tangible in this sweet time.

Siblings, I hope your Father is to you both majesty and intimacy personified. Embrace the whole of God, not just a part. Find your soul both overwhelmed by Him and warmed by Him.

“Make no mistake. Aslan is on the move.” – Mr. Beaver, The Chronicles of Narnia