Archive for December, 2010
Dec. 30, 2010
One of the characters I enjoy most from C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series is Reepicheep, the tiny mouse with an enormous heart.
He may be small in stature, but Reepicheep’s size is no indication of what lies beneath the surface. His valor and his skills as a swordsman were legendary in Narnia. Noble in heart and bold in spirit, Reepicheep had traversed far and wide, encountering many adventures and battles in his life. All along, he conducted himself with deep honor and dignity that earned him immense respect from his countrymen.
The driving force in Reepicheep’s life stemmed from a poem spoken to him by a Dryad when he was just a baby:
Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter East.
“I do not know what it means,” Reepicheep tells Edmund and Lucy in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. “But the spell of it has been on me all my life.”
That poetic prophecy was fulfilled at the end of the book, when Reepicheep and his comrades finally arrived at the end of the world, in Aslan’s country. Though everyone else was to return home, Reepicheep knew he had arrived at the destination for which he had been yearning. His friends bade him a tearful goodbye, knowing they wouldn’t see him again. And though Reepicheep tried to be sad for the sake of his friends, C.S. Lewis tells us he was quivering with excitement about the mysterious land that lay ahead of him.
For the last time, Reepicheep drew his sword – the sword that had been his constant companion – and tossed it aside. “I shall need it no more,” he said. And so he disappeared from sight, as a wave carried his tiny boat to his new home.
Over the last two years, you have taken your rightful place as a member of the Ellsworth household. You have brought great joy to me, to your mama, and to your brother and sister. You have made us smile and laugh, and we have taken much delight in watching you grow and learn. God has made you the youngest one in our family. And though you may not be the smallest one forever, that’s the role you have for now.
So my prayer for you, as you celebrate your second birthday, is that you would follow the example of Reepicheep – who, although small, was a giant in so many ways. As Reepicheep’s life was fueled by a pursuit of a poem, I pray that your life will be fueled by a pursuit of the living God. As the prophecy gave Reepicheep direction and meaning, I pray that you will find similar purpose in the prophecy of Isaiah: “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.”
I pray that God will implant in your heart a desire to seek after him all your days. I pray that you will attack life with courage and nobility – that you will fight valiantly for what’s right, defending the honor of your friends and family along the way. May your life be filled with adventures aplenty. And as you encounter challenges and difficulties, I pray that you will face them with a Reepicheepian boldness that flows from a strong faith in the Lord as your refuge and strength, a present help in trouble.
Then I pray and yearn for the day when your travails and battles in this life will end, and as you prepare to enter heaven’s gates, you can cast your sword aside, because you will need it no longer. How I long to be there waiting for you, to welcome a heroic warrior to his new home.
Happy birthday, my little Reepicheep. I love you with all that I am.
Union University President David S. Dockery has compiled a list of his top 25 books published in 2010, in no particular order:
BONHEOFFER: PASTOR, MARTYR, PROPHET, SPY, by Eric Metaxas. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: A MEMOIR OF MY EXTRAORDINARY, ORDINARY FAMILY, AND
ME, by Condoleezza Rice. New York: Delacorte Books, 2010.
FIRST FAMILY: ABIGAIL AND JOHN ADAMS, by Joseph J. Ellis. New York: Knopf, 2010.
RATIFICATION: THE PEOPLE DEBATE THE CONSTITUTION, 1787-1788, by
Pauline Maier. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010.
WASHINGTON: A LIFE, by Ron Chernow. New York: Penquin, 2010.
THE WISDOM OF WOODEN: MY CENTURY ON AND OFF THE COURT, by John Wooden
with Steve Jamison. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
THE ESSENTIAL EDWARDS COLLECTION, by Owen Strachan and Doug Sweeney.
Chicago: Moody, 2010.
GOD AS AUTHOR: A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO NARRATIVE, by Gene C. Fant, Jr. Nashville: B&H, 2010.
BIBLICAL THEOLOGY IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH: A GUIDE FOR MINISTRY, by
Michael Lawrence. Wheaton: Crossway, 2010.
BAPTISTS THROUGH THE CENTURIES: A HISTORY OF A GLOBAL PEOPLE, by David
Bebbington. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2010.
POLITICS FOR CHRISTIANS: FROM STATECRAFT TO SOULCRAFT, by Francis
Beckwith. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2010.
1 PETER: A HANDBOOK ON THE GREEK TEXT, by Mark Dubis. Waco: Baylor
University Press, 2010.
ONE NEW MAN: THE CROSS AND RACIAL RECONCILIATION IN PAUL’S THEOLOGY,
by Jarvis Williams. Nashville: B&H, 2010.
RECOVERING THE REAL LOST GOSPEL, by Darrell Bock. Nashville: B&H, 2010.
CHRIST AMONG THE DRAGONS: FINDING OUR WAY THROUGH CULTURAL CHALLENGES,
by James Emery White. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2010.
AGAINST ALL GODS: WHAT’S RIGHT AND WRONG ABOUT THE NEW ATHEISM, by
Philip E. Johnson and John Mark Reynolds. Downers Grove: InterVarsity,
ENCOUNTERING THEOLOGY OF MISSION, by Craig Ott, Stephen Strauss, and
Timothy Tenant. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010.
MAGNIFYING GOD IN CHRIST: A SUMMARY OF NEW TESTAMENT THEOLOGY, by Thomas R. Schreiner. Grand
Rapids: Baker, 2010.
DEFENDING CONSTANTINE: THE TWILIGHT OF AN EMPIRE AND THE DAWN OF
CHRISTENDOM, by Peter Leithart. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2010.
WHY BUSINESS MATTERS TO GOD, by Jeff Van Duzer. Downers Grove:
SHAPERS OF CHRISTIAN ORTHODOXY: ENGAGING WITH EARLY AND MEDIEVAL
THEOLOGIANS, edited by Bradley G. Green. Downers Grove: InterVarsity,
HISTORIES AND FALLACIES: PROBLEMS FACED IN THE WRITING OF HISTORY, by
Carl Trueman. Wheaton: Crossway, 2010.
REDEEMING ECONOMICS: REDISCOVERING THE MISSING ELEMENT, by John D.
Mueller. Wilmington, DE: ISI, 2010.
KEY EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF THE HISTORICAL JESUS, edited by Darrell Bock
and Robert Webb. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010.
FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE CHURCH: CASTING A VISION FOR THE ARTS, by W.
David O. Taylor. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010.
PSYCHOLOGY IN THE SPIRIT: CONTOURS OF A TRANSFORMATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY,
by John Coe and Todd Hall. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2010.