And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.
By Faith LaVoie, Communications Manager and Co-Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
This Advent, a scene from the very end of one of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia books, one I have not read in years, has been stuck in my head. In the series, a group of children are transported to the magical land of Narnia where they encounter the Christ-like Aslan, a great Lion who was there when Narnia was born and who died and rose again to save it. In the scene I’ve been remembering, Aslan tells two of the children that their time in Narnia has come to an end. They are heartbroken thinking they will never see the Lion again. Aslan says to them, “[In your world] I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were bought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
I’ve always read that line as Lewis speaking directly to his readers: Lewis introduced us to Aslan (Jesus), that by getting to know him in this tangible yet fantastical way, we might learn to know Christ better in our world. Seems kind of obvious, right? I couldn’t understand why I kept thinking about it. Then I read the poem from John 1, the Christmas Day Gospel.
I know that Jesus came to earth to show us God’s love and claim victory over sin and death. But now I wonder if there was another reason, too. We as humans struggle to understand inexplicable things like the Divine. God is bigger than our imaginations. The Holy Spirit is everywhere at once. Jesus is… human. Fully God, yes, but also fully man. He ate food. He could be hugged and touched. He had friends. He took naps. He wept. He mourned. At the same time as he was completely God, he was completely one of us. He lived among us, loved us, and showed us his glory in a way our minds could process.
We must learn to know God by all three of his names. Perhaps this was one of the reasons that the Son brought himself to us, that by knowing him here for a little, we may know him better in his forms beyond this world’s understanding.
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Faith has loved getting to know this beautiful parish over the past few months. When not at work (or helping with a parish fundraiser), she enjoys painting and watching old mysteries.