Sunday, November 20, 2011

The lamp post in Narnia - What God uses for us

When the Pevensie children enter into Narnia from the wardrobe they encounter the lamp post. A piece of their world in the world of Narnia, out of place and out of context. What is this? What is Clive Staples Lewis hinting at?

If there is one thing I know about Lewis' analogical tale, everything has a meaning and often more than one. Aslan is Jesus, the stone table the Cross.... I could go on but that would be getting off the topic at hand, the lamp post. The origin of the lamp post comes from "The Magician's Nephew" (which being the second book makes it a prequel meaning George Lucas has been pipped at that) where the white Queen herself takes a broken lamp post with her to Narnia where amazingly it grows into a new one. By the time the Pevensie children arrive it has been there forever and quite normal for Narnian's to see. Normal but not in the same context as the Pevensie children or ourselves and this is the point I will endeavour to make. Why? Because there are people, places, times and maybe even objects and animals that God uses for his purpose. God brings the familiar of our world of our senses to explain a part of His. Now we could split hairs here about the duality of mortal and immortal divine and human sacred and profane, but I often wonder if that's not something that is as far separated as we think. And I believe that Lewis saw this to be true.

The lamp post sits in the wood in Narnia alight in the dark and the cold of the White Witches winter. A sentry to the divide between the worlds. Mr. Tumnus tells us this is boundary of Narnia the threshold. For Tumnus the lamp post is the end of Narnia for the Pevensies it is the beginning. This is the point where I tell you to think about the people and places God has used to invite us further into His world. Your memory should be able to tell you these things more than I can. What I am going to tell you is that God has done this since the beginning of creation. Creation was an invitation for humanity, Moses and the pillar of cloud and fire, the Prophets, Angels, Chariots of Fire and Jesus too.

Jesus is the lamp post familiar and out of context at the same time. Human with flesh and blood able to die and also divine and risen Lord of all. The archetype is one that God uses and continues to use, bringing people and places, organisations and even memories to use. So when you read this and remember these lamp posts, these things that are used by God familiar yet out of context to where you think it should lead. We should not glorify the lamp posts but God who put them there. Don't look for them because like the lamp post they will come when you least expect them, even in a wardrobe.

2 comments:

OI said...

I've never seen the Narnia movies, except for one, and the one I saw, they were looking at a picture on a wall, and then the water in the painting started to spill into their room.

Anyway, interesting comparison.

Thank You!

captain koma said...

You really should be reading C.S. Lewis - as much as you can. There is so much to gain from everything he wrote.