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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

Royalty in Christ

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In Los Angeles, during spring time, we have new growth in our vegetation, despite what some may think! Our new growth doesn’t come in the form of pollen like most parts of the United States, but it does come in a very noticeable, pervasive tree called the Jacaranda Tree. The Jacaranda Tree is native to Brazil and Central America and has beautiful trumpet like pedals that fall to the ground each day of the new spring. Many streets in LA look like the picture above.

The significance here is that those who believe in Christ as Lord are considered family members to a new, kingly kind of family. We don’t fully understand what it means to be sons and daughters of royalty apart from the movies we watch and the daydreams we entertain. Except for Great Britain, there aren’t too many true monarchies still in place. However, this is the reality for us who have chosen to accept the right of sonship or daughter-ship of a king – namely King Jesus.

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again;rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spiritthat we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:14-17

As we celebrate this Father’s Day coming up we can celebrate our earthly Father’s, if they have been good to us, and we can ultimately celebrate our heavenly Father who is complete good for us. And if we doubt our royalty in this new kingdom of another world, we can remind ourselves, as I have done recently, that we are royalty by enjoying the purple Jacaranda Tree pedals that cover our sidewalks in Los Angeles and make for a different kind of “red carpet” experience. Purple, throughout history, is the color for royalty, worn to distinguish those who belong to the most powerful, resourceful family. In Christ, we enjoy being a part of this sort of family.

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In a few days the new movie Voyage of the Dawn Treader will be arriving to theatres. I, personally, plan to see it. I also just finished the book. It is the movie based on CS Lewis’s book. It’s the story of Edmund and Lucy, the main characters, and their self-absorbed cousin Eustace. Eustace gets caught up in the adventure as the children are sucked into the world of Narnia through a picture of a ship in Lucy’s bedroom.

Now Eustace was a selfish little boy. On one of the adventures of Prince Caspian, Lucy, and Edmund the ship known as the Dawn Treader hit a huge rainstorm that sent them ashore on a deserted, mountainous island. On that island, while they decided what to do to explore it without getting ambushed, Eustace decides he will runaway and nap while the others work all day and find food and shelter. Eustace finds himself in a dragon’s cave with a dragon’s treasure. He decides to take some of it for himself and slips on a beautiful diamond-studded bracelet all the way up to his elbow because it didn’t quite fit him properly. And then he fell into a deep sleep for a long time. When he awoke he thought he was being attacked by one of the angry dragon’s only to realize that he himself had become a dragon, presumably as a result of stealing the treasure. His arm hurt tremendously as the bracelet, which fits well on a boy squeezed him tightly as a dragon. Now he was lonely, disturbed, and afraid. What would he do?

One night when Eustace was very afraid and sad at the thought of his new dragon state he was met by a lion and here’s how the story went from CS Lewis’s own words:

“Well, anyway, I looked up and saw the very last thing I expected: a huge lion coming slowly toward me. And one queer thing was that there was no moon last night, but there was moonlight where the lion was. So it came nearer and nearer. I was terribly afraid of it. You may think that, being a dragon, I could have knocked any lion out easily enough. But it wasn’t that kind of fear. I wasn’t afraid of it eating me, I was just afraid of it – if you can understand. Well, it came close up to me and looked straight into my eyes. And I shut my eyes tight. But that wasn’t any good because it told me to follow it.”

“You mean it spoke?” [Said Edmond]

“I don’t know. Now that you mention it, I don’t think it did. But it told me all the same. And I knew I’d have to do what it told me, so I got up and followed it. And it led me a long way into the mountains. And there was always this moonlight over and round the lion wherever we went. So at last we came to the top of this mountain there was a garden – trees and fruit and everything. In the middle of it there was a well.

“…The water was as clear as anything and I thought if I could get in there and bathe it would ease the pain in my leg. But the lion told me to undress first. Mind you, I don’t know if he said the words out loud or not.

“…So I started scratching myself and my scales began coming off all over the place. And then I scratched a little deeper and, instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin started peeling off beautifully, like it does after an illness, or as if I was a banana. In a minute or two I just stepped out of it. I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty. It was a most lovely feeling. So I started to go down into the well to bathe.

“But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that they were all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as they had been before.”

Eustace scratched off his dragon skin a second and third time with no change.

“Then the lion said – but I don’t know if it spoke – ‘You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat on my back to let him do it.

“The first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt.”

Then the lion proceeded to cut away the old, knobby skin and threw it to the side. Eustace’s bare skin, the skin of a boy now, stung desperately. Before he could move, the lion tossed him in the well for a bath.

(The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: 113-117).

This story is so real for us today. The more we live without taking a deeper look at what’s going underneath the surface, the more we become scaly and knobby on the outside. We become skilled at building up defenses to keep our true selves from seeing the light of day. The central question is “What is going on beneath the surface of your life?” In other words, “How self-aware are you?”

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