Saturday, April 07, 2007

Devotions for Saturday

Saturday Devotional Readings: In the Stable

Opening (from The Last Battle, adapted)
Tirian had thought—or he would have thought if he had time to think at all—that they were inside a little thatched stable, about twelve feet long and six feet wide. But they stood on grass, and the deep blue sky was overhead. But a terrible figure was coming towards them. It had a vulture’s head and four arms.
“Thou has called me into Narnia, Rishda Tarkaan. Here I am. What has thou to say?”
But the Tarkaan neither lifted his face from the ground nor said a word. He was shaking like a man with a bad hiccup.

Opening Hymn: Arise, My Soul, Arise

Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands,
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

He ever lives above, for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race,
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers; they strongly speak for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

A voice behind Tirian commands Tash to take the Tarkaan and return to his own place, and the two of them disappear. The voice turns out to be Peter, one of the High Kings of Narnia. Peter, Digory, Jill and all the rest from the earlier books (except Susan) are there, clean and wearing fresh clothes, and Jill introduces Tirian to everyone else. He is still having a hard time figuring out what is going on.

Tirian looked and saw the queerest and most ridiculous thing you can imagine. Only a few yards away, clear to be seen in the sunlight, there stood up a rough wooden door and, round it, the framework of the doorway: nothing else, no walls, no roof. He walked round to the other side of the door. But it looked just the same from the other side: he was still in the open air, on a summer morning. The door was simply standing up by itself as if it had grown there like a tree.
“It seems, then,” said Tirian,” that the stable seen from within and the stable seen from without are two different places.”

”Yes,” said the Lord Digory. “Its inside is bigger than its outside.”

“Yes,” said Queen Lucy. “In our world too, a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.”

Hymn: O Bless the Lord, O My Soul (from Psalm 103)

O bless the Lord, my soul!
Let all within me join,
And aid my tongue to bless His Name
Whose favors are divine.

‘Tis He forgives thy sins,
‘Tis He relieves thy pain,
‘Tis He that heals thy sicknesses
And makes thee young again.

He crowns thy life with love,
When ransomed from the grave;
He that redeemed my soul from hell
Hath sovereign power to save.

He fills the poor with good,
He gives the suff’rers rest;
The Lord hath judgments for the proud,
And justice for th’oppressed.

His wondrous works and ways
He made by Moses known
But sent the world His truth and grace
By His belovèd Son.

“I hope Tash ate the Dwarfs too,” said Eustace. “Little swine.”
“No, he didn’t,” said Lucy. “They’re still here. I’ve tried to make friends with them, but it’s no use.”
“Friends with them!” cried Eustace. “If you knew how those Dwarfs have been behaving!”
“Oh stop it, Eustace,” said Lucy. “Do come and see them.”

The Dwarfs were sitting very close together in a little circle facing one another.
“Look out!” said one of them in a surly voice. “Mind where you’re going. Don’t walk into our faces!”
“All right!” said Eustace indignantly. “We’re not blind. We’ve got eyes in our head.”
“They must be darn good ones if you can see in here,” said the same Dwarf whose name was Diggle.
“In where?” asked Edmund.
“Why you bone-head, in here of course,” said Diggle. “In this pitch-black, smelly little hole of a stable.”

The Dwarfs believe they are still sitting in the dark. Even when Aslan appears and gives them food, they believe they are eating straw and scraps.

Aslan explains that he cannot help the Dwarfs if they will not let him help them, and that he has other work to do.

He then goes to the door between “the stable” and the Narnian world outside and roars, “It is TIME.”

Closing Hymn: Lord Jesus, Think On Me (verses 1, 3, 5)

Lord Jesus, think on me
And purge away my sin;
From earthborn passions set me free
And make me pure within.

Lord Jesus, think on me
Nor let me go astray;
Through darkness and perplexity
Point Thou the heavenly way.

Lord Jesus, think on me
That, when the flood is past,
I may th’eternal brightness see
And share Thy joy at last.

Pray together.

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