by Cathee Poulsen

It means that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.
―Aslan describing the Deeper Magic (Chapter 15).[src]
I suppose many evangelicals have great difficulty with the words “magic,” “incantation,” or “witch.” And rightly so, considering passages like Deuteronomy 18:11 where God’s laws to Moses forbids such things. But when C.S. Lewis, highly respected theologian, uses the terms in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he’s using the words, not literally, but to represent truths best explained through story or fable or fairy tale. 
Frederick Blechner explains it this way:
“It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name….That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still.” 
After all, didn’t Jesus say “Once upon a time there was a son who asked for his inheritance early”? Or “Once upon a time there was a farmer who went out to plant some seed…” Jesus understood the deep connection we have with stories and so He never taught except to use this form of story telling.
If Christmas isn’t the quintessential time of magic, mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight, I don’t know what is. We’re all tuned in to something beyond what we see in the natural, that other world that we encounter from time to time in a thin place. Sometimes we attribute it to the carols that play everywhere, from Chick-fil-A to Macy’s. “People are in a more benevolent mood this time of year,” we say. 
But maybe there’s something else going on.
He Came to Us
This is one of the wonders of Christmas. Advent – “the arrival of a notable person.”  Was there anyone more notable that God? Himself breaking into our world, promising good news and peace? 
He came then so why wouldn’t we anticipate that He desires to come now? Why wouldn’t we be looking for Him now?
  • In the grocery store as well as the choral performance
  • At the doctor’s office as we wait to hear the report on our test
  • During the quiet moments we pour ourselves a cup of tea and admire the Christmas tree

Position Yourself to Hear

This month of December is a “time between times” when the old is passing and the new approaching. It’s meant to be a deeply spiritual time and if we turn our ears towards His voice, He will show us new things about Christ’s coming to us and tell us specific things to prepare us for the new year.

How do we position ourselves to maximize this time?

  1. Make it your aim to really simplify the way you celebrate Christmas this year. Here’s a great article with lots of suggestions to help you: The Helpful Guide to a Simpler Christmas.
  2. Set aside some time to learn about the meaning of the Advent Tradition.
  3. Buy a new journal and write a “Foreword” to 2017 in the opening pages. Reflect on 2016, it’s lessons, mistakes, achievements, joys, and then write about your anticipation for the new year.
  4. Buy an Advent Wreath and each Sunday evening light another candle and – with your family, spouse or friends – pray for the coming year and listen for what God may want to say to all of you.
  5. Reach out to someone who may be alone this year and include them in your celebrations.
  6. Write a special card to an old friend you’ve drifted away from over the last few years. Reconnect. Let them know you miss them.
  7. Carve out a time of solitude where you can ponder the “deeper magic” of a God who would become a man and break the curse so death could start working backwards.

If we, the self-proclaimed followers of the Prince of Peace, cannot manage to declaw the stress and anxiety of this busy season, and exemplify that “all is calm, all is bright,” what possible hope do we have of being a true influence for Christ at Christmas?



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