Saturday, December 14, 2013

The baby who saves a bent world: Advent 3

C. S. Lewis, in his book, Out of the Silent Planet, the first in his science fiction trilogy, writes of a kidnapped Ransom who is forced to travel with two evil men to another planet. Unlike earth, which in the book is called Thulcandra, the other planet, Malacandra, is not fallen. The ruling Angel, Oyarsa, speaking of earth as a silent planet says to Ransom:
“Once we knew the Oyarsa of your world—he was brighter and greater than I—and then we did not call it Thulcandra. It is the longest of all stories and the bitterest. He became bitter. That was before any life came on your world . Those were the Bent Years of which we still speak in the heavens, when he was not yet bound to Thulcandra but free like us. It was in his mind to spoil other worlds besides his own. He smote your moon with his left hand and with his right he brought the cold death on my harandra before its time; if by my arm Maleldil [God]had not opened the handramits and let out the hot springs, my world would have been unpeopled. We did not leave him so at large for long. There was great war, and we drove him back out of the heavens and bound him in the air of his own world as Maleldil taught us. There doubtless he lies to this hour, and we know no more of that planet: it is silent. We think that Maleldil would not give it up utterly to the Bent One, and there are stories among us that He has taken strange counsel and dared terrible things, wrestling with the Bent One in Thulcandra. But of this we know less than you; it is a thing we desire to look into.”

This is C.S. Lewis' picture, using a fantasy story, of both the Incarnation and the total wrestling of Jesus Christ from the beginning of his taking on flesh and struggling against temptation, the flesh, the world and the Devil, until he reaches the cross and with his death and resurrection destroys the personal evil that bends the world away from the shape that God intended. And of course the Oyarsa could not tell the whole story, like the angels, according to Peter “it is a thing they desire to look into.”

As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things in which angels long to look.” (1 Peter 1:10-12)

Amazing that we are part of God's great mystery, a redeemed people, gathered around a small baby who grew, suffered, died and rose from the dead. A baby who is a returning King for whom we wait. The world is bent—but only for a little while.

Picture by Ron Andersen

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