Of Mice & Marshwiggles – Day 12 – Aslan
Setting the Scene: Though the adventure has been difficult for Digory and Polly and they are not sure of the way forward Digory makes a decision to speak to Aslan.
‘Look here,’ said Digory to Polly, ‘I’ve got to go after him – Aslan, I mean, the Lion. I must speak to him.’
‘Do you think we can?’ said Polly. ‘I wouldn’t dare.’
‘I’ve got to,’ said Digory. ‘It’s about Mother. If anyone could give me something that would do her good, it would be him.’
The Magician’s Nephew – Chapter 10 – The First Joke and Other Matters (© C.S. Lewis)
It was Dietrich Bonheoffer in his ‘Letter and Papers from Prison’ who brought to popular attention the phrase ‘God of the Gaps’. This was a quasi-scientific world view which allowed for a godless world in realms which could be explained by scientific observation and leant on God for ‘the gaps’ in human knowledge. Of course as human knowledge increased then consequently God would become smaller. It was against this belief which Bonheoffer protested instead requiring us to’ find God in what we know, not in what we don’t know’.
When we worship the God of the Gaps, instead of the God who created everything we will find our faith is circumscribed. When the ‘God of the Gaps’ rules our life we are self-reliant when we know what is going on but when the unexpected, unexplained and uncontrollable comes along we are left rootless and it is then that we drift into superstition, religiosity and, ultimately, a despondent life.
So it is good in today’s reading to see Digory, supported by Polly, run after this Aslan, this lion whom he does not yet know, but has already decided that he is the answer to all his problems. Digory does not believe in a ‘God of the Gaps’ but a God who is able to work in his life and that of his mother. His words remind me of the disciples after the feeding of the multitude when many people wanted to stop following Jesus ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’ (John 6.68)
Years ago I remember a Bible Study at the feet of Michael Green. It was not a complicated or academic session – a simple ‘word study’ on the word ‘able’. Michael entitled the session ‘Our God is Able’ and in it he took us on a trip through the Old and New Testaments looking at the nature of God. Try it for yourself, it is quite easy to do with a concordance – after all www.biblios.com only has 208 incidences of the phrase ‘God is able’! After going through that bible study it became joyfully obvious to me that God could never be a God of the Gaps but instead a God who is there for me in every and any circumstance.
Digory knew instinctively that Aslan, who moments ago was unknown to him, was able to help his mother. How much easier should it be for us, who have come to know and trust our Lord down the years? When will we learn to trust God for everything and learn deep in our hearts that, our God is able?
You are holy, Lord, the only God,
And your deeds are wonderful.
You are love, you are wisdom.
You are humility, you are endurance.
You are rest, you are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are all our riches, and you suffice for us.
You are beauty, you are gentleness.
You are our protector,
You are our guardian and defender.
You are courage,
You are our haven and hope.
You are our faith, our great consolation.
You are our eternal life, great and wonderful Lord,
God almighty, merciful Saviour.
Francis of Assisi
in ‘The Book of a Thousand Prayers’ © Angela Ashwin – Compiler
In your own situation;
What request have you thought was too big for God to answer?
What request have you thought was too small for God to care about?
Now ask God for both…..
© Andrew Dotchin 2018