Of Mice & Marshwiggles – Day 35 – Life after Life
Setting the Scene: In the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Susan and Lucy have been following Aslan as he travels alone to keep his agreement with the White Witch and so set Edmund free from the consequence of his treachery. Aslan is speaking…..
‘Oh, children, children, why are you following me?’
‘We couldn’t sleep,’ said Lucy – and then felt sure that she need say no more and that Aslan knew all they had been thinking.
‘Please, may we come with you – wherever you’re going?’ asked Susan.
‘Well -’ said Aslan, and seemed to be thinking. Then he said, ‘I should be glad of company tonight. Yes, you may come, if you will promise to stop when I tell you, and after that leave me to go on alone.’
‘Oh, thank you, thank you. And we will,’ said the two girls.
Forward they went again and one of the girls walked on each side of the Lion. But how slowly he walked! And his great, royal head drooped so that his nose nearly touched the grass. Presently he stumbled and gave a low moan.
‘Aslan! Dear Aslan!’ said Lucy, ‘what is wrong? Can’t you tell us?’
‘Are you ill, dear Aslan?’ asked Susan.
‘No,’ said Aslan. ‘I am sad and lonely. Lay your hands on my mane so that I can feel you are there and let us walk like that.’
And so the girls did what they would never have dared to do without his permission, but what they had longed to do ever since they first saw him buried their cold hands in the beautiful sea of fur and stroked it and, so doing, walked with him
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – Chapter 14 – The Triumph of the Witch (© C.S. Lewis)
It always amazes me that somehow, despite all my falterings and failings God not only invites me into his presence but also appreciates and perhaps enjoys my company. This is indeed ‘sweet fellowship divine’. Aslan, mirroring the actions of Jesus and his closest disciples in Gethsemane, gladly accepts the companionship of Lucy and Susan as he treads his lonely path towards the White Witch and the Altar that is the Stone Table.
This is our special privilege this week. We are invited into the very heart of the Passion and are allowed to tread alongside the One who Loves us Best as he journeys to the Cross upon which his great love will be demonstrated for all generations to see.
This week we are invited to do things we would not dare to do. God asks us to thrust our hands into his ‘beautiful sea of fur’ and somehow draw strength to endure our own despair through the depths of his distress.
This week, unlike any other week of the year, we are invited to touch the one who touches us so that he may know we are very close to him. What a royal task we are called to perform, bringing comfort and strength to God incarnate.
What fools we would be if we were not to use every spare minute, every opportunity for worship, every moment of solitude, in the days ahead so that we could be closer to him than we have ever been before?
In the early days of my journey with my beloved Lord I went with a group of students from my High School to see Godspell at Wyndham’s Theatre in London. This was in the days before David Essex was famous and Ruthie Henshaw was a judge on ‘Dancing on Ice’. One song from that show (you will find its words at the bottom of this reflection) have lived with me ever since. The plaintive words and music of ‘By Your Side’ always makes me breathe a ‘thank you’ for the privilege of being allowed to walk very close to him on the road to Calvary – walk with me this week.
Servant-Christ, we follow you into the garden,
to watch with you.
Help us to be ever vigilant
for signs of the dawning of you day;
to struggle unsparingly to understand,
and to be obedient to you perfect will
Adapted from ‘Worship in an Indian Context
in ‘The Book of a Thousand Prayers’ © Angela Ashwin – Compiler
Sometime this week listen to or watch a musical dram or film about the Passion.
If you do not have one to hand here are the lyrics to one of the songs from Godspell which speaks about today’s reading….
By My Side
Where are you going? Where are you going?
Can you take me with you?
For my hand is cold and needs warmth
Where are you going?
Far beyond where the horizon lies
Where the horizon lies
And the land sinks into mellow blueness
Oh please, take me with you
Let me skip the road with you
I can dare myself, I can dare myself
I’ll put a pebble in my shoe
And watch me walk
I can walk and walk!
I shall call the pebble Dare
We will talk, we will talk together, We will talk about walking
Dare shall be carried and when we both have had enough
I will take him from my shoe, singing:
‘Meet your new road!’
Then I’ll take your hand
Finally glad that you are here by my side
By my side, by my side, by my side
Then the man they called Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests, and said, ‘What will you give me to betray Him to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment, he began to look out for an opportunity To betray Him.
By my side, by my side, by my side, by my side.
For a deeper look at this song see…
© Andrew Dotchin 2018