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37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through
him who loved us. 38 For I
am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the
present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height
nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from
the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Well…I may have other words to describe 2020, but today I will suggest
the word adventure. If you look up the definition of adventure, it means
“an unusual and exciting,
typically hazardous, experience or activity.” I may be inclined to take out the word exciting of
our 2020 experience, as if saying that is to assume a joyful type of
excitement. Not so much. My personal experience is that this year has been
hard. And it feels really clear that much of our worldly experiences have been both
unusual and hazardous. Like it our not, this has been a defining time in
history, for the whole world. Stories of 2020 will be written for years to
come. Epic might be another word for it.
That seems, in some ways, okay.
Uncomfortable, but okay. We were made for adventure. We often speak of the epic
story of God’s love found in the Bible is similar ways. It is this narrative
that draws us into our own existence, our purpose, and our redemption, because
of God’s existence, His purpose, and His redemption. Adventure cannot be
fabricated, though I think we can seek it out, and sometimes do.
During our COVID-19 shelter-in-place,
I began reading the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis with my six-year-old
son. He is beginning to embrace all types of adventure stories. Those that
include battles between good and evil. Superheroes, Star Wars, Ninjas…these are
the books and films he is asking to read and watch. He is, however, very
sensitive and emotional. I sometimes hesitate to share or show all of the details;
they might be startling for him to observe and comprehend. Fighting evil is
messy work. Sometimes it is downright terrifying. He often looks for
reassurance as we are about to witness a battle, and he asks “Mom, what’s going
to happen?” I remind him this simple truth: “Remember Buddy, good always wins.”
We’ve discussed that our assurance is found in Jesus Christ. He has defeated
death in the most epic of victories. And no matter what manifestation of evil
we see in our broken world, our literature, and our entertainment, good always
wins because that reality is firm and secure. It is not up for debate.
I came across this exchange in the
fourth of the Narnia books, Prince Caspian, when the Kings and Queens of
Old return to Narnia. To the Pevensie children, it had only been a year since
their previous reign in Narnia, to Narnia it had been perhaps a thousand years’
time. When originally created, the world of Narnia was a beautiful world with
talking animals and spirits, a diverse and interesting unity of different
persons and voices. These created beings were peaceful and purposeful. When
Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy are called back to Narnia to help right
generations of wrongful leadership, much has changed. Most of the animals had gone
from being talking tame animals to wild animals. After a scary encounter with
an attacking bear, the sisters began a dialogue that captivated me.
Lucy: “Such a horrible idea has
come into my head, Su.”
Susan: “What’s that?”
Lucy: “Wouldn’t it be dreadful if
some day in our own world, at home, men started going wild inside, like the
animals here, and still looked like men, so that you’d never know which was
Susan brushes off the idea as
impractical. But I had a bit of an uneasy feeling as a reader. Can you imagine?
Thankfully, men going “wild” with
animal-like impulses was not the ending of Prince Caspian. The animals and
spirits of Old Narnia experienced their rightful honor restored under rightful
Kingship. Oh, how I’m rooting for that bigger victory among us as well.
I am so thankful for the Holy
Spirit who is alive and active in the lives of those who follow King Jesus, so
that His redeeming work continues. The Spirit does not leave us as we are. Our
sin nature, though present, is captivated by Christ’s promises and power. I am
thankful that good always wins, and despite the many ways we witness
evil, men cannot all go back to being wild. In Christ…no way.
So, if I am to become wild, then
let me be wild with love.
Lord, we thank you that our
assurance is in Jesus, the victory of the cross, and Your kingdom come to Earth.
We are participating in Your redeeming work today, even still. In our
own Narnia. Lord, it is time to right wrongs done to people of color and
marginalized communities for generations. Please also lead us to unreservedly protect
the most vulnerable among the sick and suffering as COVID-19 continues. And challenge
us to even perhaps sacrifice of ourselves and our resources with joyful excitement, the way TRUE adventure calls us to. Amen.
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