We are using some themes from C.S. Lewis's The Last Battle as part of our Holy Week devotions--mostly about God and truth, how you know what the truth is, and how you know what God is. Tonight we followed a "script" I wrote ahead of time, with readings from The Last Battle, Carolyn Nystrom's book Who Is God?, and Scriptures. I've left our names out of this version.
Scriptures are from the English Standard Version, and most of them were suggested in Who is God?
"And then," said the King, "the Horse said it was by Aslan's orders. The Rat said the same. They all say Aslan is here. How if it were true?"
"But, Sire, how could Aslan be commanding such dreadful things?"
"He is not a tame lion," said Tirian. "How should we know what he would do?....Would it not be better to be dead than to have this horrible fear that Aslan has come and is not like the Aslan we have believed in and longed for?"
The Last Battle, pages 27-29
Hymn: When I Survey, verses 1 & 2
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
"How do you know what God is like? How do you know that what Jesus said about God is true? How do you know that what anybody says about God is true?"
"Who is God?"
Read Who Is God?, pages 2-5 (Excerpt: "But how can I know God? I have never seen Him or touched Him, and I never heard Him speak. God is so wise and wonderful that we cannot know everything about Him....He chose certain people to write a book about Him.")
What does Paul say? Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33-36)
Read Who Is God?, pages 6-9 (Excerpt: "What does God look like? The Bible says that no one has seen God because He is a spirit....But Jesus is God, and He prayed to His Father to give the Holy Spirit.")
What does John say? And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever…But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14: 16, 26)
Read Who Is God?, pages 10, 11 (Excerpt: "I will live for a while, then I will die. Everyone does. Does God? No. God is the only person who never began and never will end.")
What does Malachi say? For I the Lord do not change.... (Malachi 3:6)
Read Who Is God?, pages 26, 27 (Excerpt: "I know lots of nice people. But none of them is good all the time. Even my best friend lied....Is God like that? No, God is good all the way through.")
What do the Psalms say? For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:5)
Read Who Is God, pages 28-30 (Excerpt: "When I think of all these truths about God, I can almost feel my head stretching. But the Bible says something else about God. It says God loves His people. He calls them 'friends.'")
Read The Last Battle, pages 36-37
Up till now the King and Jewel had said nothing....[but now] he could bear it no longer.
"Ape," he cried with a great voice, "you lie damnably. You lie like a Calormene. You lie like an ape...." But before he could say another word two Calormenes struck him in the mouth with all their force....the Ape squealed in rage and terror.
"Take him away. Take him away. Take him where he cannot hear us, nor we hear him. There tie him to a tree. I will--I mean, Aslan will--do justice on him later."
John 11:47-48, 53
47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, "What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.".... 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.
Hymn—When I Survey (remaining verses)
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.