Church of England · Churches Together in Britain · Felixstowe · Lent · Narnia · Sermon

Mice & Marshwiggles – Day 8 – Call

Of Mice & Marshwiggles – Day 8 – Call

 

To Read:

Setting the Scene:   Jill and Eustace do not arrive in Narnia straight away; they begin their adventure in Aslan’s own country. Here Jill meets Aslan for the first time and has to make some decisions about her future.

‘Come here,’ said the Lion. And she had to. She was almost between its front paws now, looking straight into its face. But she couldn’t stand that for long; she dropped her eyes.

‘Human Child,’ said the Lion. ‘Where is the Boy?’

‘He fell over the cliff,’ said Jill, and added, ‘Sir.’ She didn’t know what else to call him, and it sounded cheek to call him nothing.

‘How did he come to do that, Human Child?’6185be34eae626277c5edc68ef280c76--wedding-illustration-narnia

‘He was trying to stop me from falling, Sir.’

‘Why were you so near the edge, Human Child?’

‘I was showing off, Sir.’

‘That is a very good answer, Human Child. Do so no more. And now’ (here for the first time the Lion’s face became a little less stern) ‘the boy is safe. I have blown him to Narnia. But your task will be the harder because of what you have done.’

‘Please, what task, Sir?’ said Jill.

‘The task for which I called you and him here out of your own world.’

This puzzled Jill very much. ‘It’s mistaking me for someone else,’ she thought. She didn’t dare to tell the Lion this, though she felt things would get into a dreadful muddle unless she did.  

‘Speak your thought, Human Child,’ said the Lion.  

‘I was wondering – I mean – could there be some mistake? Because nobody called me and Scrubb, you know. It was we who asked to come here. Scrubb said we were to call to – to Somebody – it was a name I wouldn’t know – and perhaps the Somebody would let us in. And we did, and then we found the door open.’  

‘You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,’ said the Lion.  

‘Then you are Somebody, Sir?’ said Jill.  

‘I am….  

The Silver Chair – Chapter 2 – Jill is Given a Task (© C.S. Lewis)

 

To Reflect:

A very dear friend has recently been accepted for ordination training. This brings him and those around him much joy but also not a little worry and concern. Though this has been a call he has been wrestling with for some time, on hearing the news this was the update he made to his Facebook status:

🙂 oh heck! The bishop has only gone and said ‘Yes’

Sometimes when we hear God’s call we wonder what on earth we have let ourselves in for. On other occasions, as for Jill Pole (my favourite amongst all the children to visit Narnia) there is just the wonderment which comes when I realise that the Lion might just be speaking to me.

‘I was wondering – I mean – could there be some mistake?

Because nobody called me…’

Sometimes we do not think we are anything special. When we hear God call we can be convinced that it is not us, but the person standing next to us God wants. Jill is certain that she is not the object of Aslan’s call nor the instrument through which Aslan will accomplish his purpose. Like Moses before the bush she is tempted to say ‘Here I am Lord, send Aaron!’

An all too familiar feeling this one; hearing the call of God and then wanting someone else to act upon it! It is so easy to convince ourselves that God has ‘made a mistake’. But God does not make mistakes. God calls each of us and our faith is proof of that call. Is it not the Holy Spirit in our hearts crying out ‘Abba, Father’ who draws us closer to God?

Later we will look at the task that comes with Jill’s call but what is central to her call, and to ours, is the realisation that God is ‘Somebody’.

Somebody whom we probably should call ‘sir’.

Somebody into whose face we might find it just a tad difficult (at least in the beginning) to look at directly.

Somebody before whom we should be honest and able to make a good answer.

Jill was wrong. It wasn’t a case of ‘nobody’ calling her – ‘Somebody’ did and he has a task for each of us to match the call. None of us reading these words is without a call from God; else why are we reading them?

‘You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,’   said the Lion.

We all, like Jill, are called to make the good confession

‘Then you are Somebody, Sir?’ said Jill.

‘I am….

and in listening to the call be prepared to lead a life that is focussed on the task for which God made us.

To Pray:

To be there before you, Lord, that’s all.
To shut the eyes of my body,
To shut the eyes of my soul,
And be still and silent,
To expose myself to you who are there, exposed to me.
To be there before you, the Eternal Presence.
I am willing to feel nothing, Lord,
To see nothing,
To hear nothing.
Empty of all ideas,
of all images.
In the darkness.
Here I am, simply,
To meet you without obstacles,
In the silence of faith,
Before you, Lord.

Michel Quoist

In ‘The Book of a Thousand Prayers’ © Angela Ashwin – Compiler

  

To Do:

Make a list of the names you might use for God – formal ones as well as familiar more personal ones – then ponder how big is this ‘Somebody’ who calls you.

If you have been able to answer a call from God – give thanks

If you have yet to say ‘yes’ to God’s call – ask for strength from the One who called you.

If you feel ‘frustrated’ in your call to service – pray for patience for yourself; that you might listen more closely. Pray also for others; that they might be wise in their discernment of your call.

© Andrew Dotchin 2018

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