The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

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Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Aslan's on the move ... and so is God.

I have always had a fondness for books. Perhaps it’s because I moved around quite a bit as a youngster and finding the local library gave me a sense of stability.

I always knew where to find books.

In elementary school, there were books such as "Henry and the Homework Machine"; as a teen, they ran the gamut from Colin Smith’s "Carlos: Portrait of a Terrorist," to Robin Moore novels. In college, I read the usual mandated literature, but also explored the writings of Ken Kesey, Hunter Thompson, Tom Wolfe, Jack Kerouac and Hermann Hesse.

Then, a friend of mine introduced me to J.R.R. Tolkien’s "The Hobbit," and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. I later discovered Tolkien was a contemporary of C.S. Lewis.

While I perused Lewis’ "Mere Christianity" and "The Screwtape Letters," I had never read any of the books from his "Chronicles of Narnia" series. As an adult, I always considered them kid’s stuff.

That was until this past summer, when my 23-year-old son David got excited about the release of the upcoming movie, "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe."

David read the series as a youngster and while we were on vacation began consuming them again. So, I decided to read them, too. Now, I’m also excited about the upcoming movie.

In "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe," we are taken to the land of Narnia. It is a strange land where you find animals who talk, trees that walk, giants, dwarves, fauns and a witch -- not just any witch, mind you, but the White Witch.

Like any despot, the White Witch set herself up as queen of the land, and she was a cruel, ruthless, tyrannical queen. Because the White Witch was cold of heart, it was always winter in Narnia.
And there was never Christmas.

If the White Witch is the pretender to the throne, who is the rightful ruler of Narnia? His name is Aslan -- a beautiful, kingly lion.

Narnians know that Aslan can overthrow the White Witch, but the problem is this: Aslan rules somewhat in absentia, in that he’s nowhere to be seen. Still, Narnians live in the hope and expectation that he will return to establish warmth, peace and harmony to their land.

Four human children -- sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, as they are called -- enter Narnia through a magical wardrobe. Once they are deep within the wardrobe, the children find themselves on an adventure in a frozen land.

At one point, they join the company of Mr. Beaver, who tells them:
"They say Aslan is on the move -- perhaps has already landed."

It is Mr. Beaver who gives them the words of prophecy:
"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,

"At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,

"When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death

"And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again."

For Aslan can defeat the evil queen, and thaw the frozen land of Narnia.

To be sure, when Aslan is on the move, the frozen land of Narnia begins to thaw.

Throughout the Christian year, we live in the knowledge that "Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again."

During the season of Advent, we live specifically in expectation of the time when Christ will come again and peace will reign, thawing the frozen hearts of this world.

Because that’s what happens when God is on the move.

How do we know? Because of the story of God and his people, found in Scripture.

There, we learned it is what happened when God was on the move at the dawn of creation, when "the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering (was moving) over the waters.

"And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light."

And God was on the move in the city of Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost.

The disciples were gathered in the Upper Room, when, "Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

"They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."

We also discover that God was on the move on the Damascus Road, when Saul was struck blind, only to later receive new eyes, a new name as Paul, and a new mission.

God was on the move when Peter was in prison, and an angel of the Lord appeared, leading him to freedom; as was also done later with Paul and Silas.

And God was also on the move in the heart of a jailer, who asked them, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

That’s what happens when God is on the move:

  • Darkness becomes light;
  • things without form become new creations;
  • cold hearts become warm;
  • and new lives emerge from old.

In this season of Advent, know that despite wars and rumors of wars, God is on the move.

Make no mistake: He still moves in the hearts of men and women today.

Be careful: He may even move in yours during this Christmas season.

Grace and peace ...