As we conclude our jaunt of enhancing our practical gospel awareness, shocks of a deeper truth jolt us out of being a mere audience—we’re now participators, naming Christ and making Him known in the fabric of our culture.
What a classic, right? Our hearts are gripped by the hope that true love can break the spell and completely transform us. That curses don’t last forever. That, as Tim Keller says, “There must be a love that can break death … Spells will be broken in your life, and through you, spells will be broken in others.” When the love of God descends upon us, dead and beastly though we may be, everything in and around us comes alive. Darkness is banished, replaced by light and beauty and welcome. And despite the confusion of the onlookers present, no one can escape being touched by our transformation.
Okay, yeah, sorry about the finger. But I loved the picture this provides of our hearts. Christians suffer from gospel amnesia; it’s just part of the fall. Like Lucy, we tend to forget the basics, even on a daily basis (at least), so we need a network of support to remind us of what’s true with compassion, patience, and intentionality. Without her video, Lucy would lack any kind of coping mechanism necessary to deal with her condition and would suffer severely. Likewise, when we try to navigate life apart from bringing our hearts back to the basics every morning (who we are in Christ, what has already been accomplished for us, and the character and promises of the God we’re leaning on), we’ll freak out and cause damage. Gentle understanding is crucial as we walk ourselves and one another through our forgetfulness.
Poor Bilbo. Once Gandalf’s mark was on the door, no amount of grumbling could prevent the adventure which would ultimately define him. And so it is with us. Once God has marked us for His mission, we’re in for a total overthrow of our comfort, boundaries, and controlled routines. When dealing with a wizard, it’s best to entertain the situations and individuals sent to us for our own good. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “I think that many of us, when Christ has enabled us to overcome one or two sins that were an obvious nuisance, are inclined to feel … that we are now good enough. He has done all we wanted Him to do, and we should be obliged if He would now leave us alone.” But the love of God is far too determined for such nonsense. He delights in unsettling our self-sufficient rhythms and throwing life without Him into chaos as a mercy with twinkly eyes. He can’t leave us unbothered in the Shire when a rescue party is needed.
Which of these clips most speaks to you? What is God inviting you to do/be/believe?