the 12th Day of Lent

For Lent, I’m re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia in the following order:

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • Prince Caspian
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • The Silver Chair
  • The Horse and His Boy
  • The Magician’s Nephew
  • The Last Battle

I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this, you’ve read all of the Chronicles of Narnia. So if you want to avoid spoilers, stop reading now. Seriously. Major spoiler for book 7 ahead.

Still with me?

OK, so we all know that Susan doesn’t come back for The Last Battle. Growing up in the a Baptist church that taught you could lose your salvation (and then going to a non-denom that taught the same), I always wondered if I was like Susan. If I was enjoying the benefits of faith without actually having faith. I worried that because I was not able to follow the law perfectly that I would never earn the faith.

Thankfully in college, I studied reformed theology and learned to rest in the confidence that Christ Jesus has completed His work and will sustain those whom He will. He is the securer of faith, not me. Faith is free gift purchased at His great expense and given to me. His sacrifice atoned for my sins, and as a result I am not bound by the law but set free to follow it, imperfectly, in thanksgiving to the one who did keep it perfectly.

When I read the passage where the Pevensie children first hear the name of Aslan, I noticed their reactions:

“Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.” – Chapter 7. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Edmund, Peter and Lucy experience deep, internal reactions. But not Susan. Her reaction is superficial and fleeting. Indeed, the name of Aslan floats by her. I cannot but read this as a foreshadowing of her non-return in the Last Battle. A hint by the author that though Susan will enjoy all the advantages of Narnia, indeed she will rule over it with her siblings, she is not a Narnian. She will be appointed by Aslan as God appointed Saul, but she, also like Saul, will not be a partaker of the eternal kingdom.

Any thoughts?

4 thoughts on “the 12th Day of Lent

  1. I like this! Makes me want to read them again too! You will have to let me know what you think if the book you ordered. It looked interesting. Chronicles of Narnia are so full of….”stuff.” Got to love them and got to love Lewis….he is one of the most quotable guys I know!

  2. I had never thought of Susan’s reaction to Aslan like that, but on reflection, I agree with you. It is a very perceptive comment. (BTW I have been reading Narnia for over 45 years and I still enjoy rereading the books.)

  3. Susan has always reminded me of the passage that says:

    “Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth…”

    It makes me wonder, what happened to Susan’s heart to harden it like that? Why does she turn her heart away from Aslan/her relationship with Christ and the gift of Faith? What is she afraid of, or what does she think she’ll have to give up if she opens herself completely to Him?

    Then a gnarled craggy finger comes out of nowhere (horror movie style) and points itself at me and drones, “Aren’t you really asking these questions about yourself?”
    Which promptly makes me wonder, “What are the times that I harden my heart against the love our Savior offers? What do I think I’ll be expected to do/give up if I give in to a life of faith?”

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