I read a book, recently, on J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, the Great War (World War I), and how it shaped both their faith in Christ and in their writing. This led me further to reexamine both the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings books as well as the Narnia Series. I'm always hesitant about finishing a series, especially knowing it is the last part of each one, and the Characters are going to go on, live (and die), outside of my purview. Yet the last book in the Narnia series, the Last Battle, always shakes me to my core. I don't want to finish it at all. It's sad, it's depressing, but it's also so beautiful that it cuts me to my heart, and has me weeping. It also strikes me that, some day, someone will have to live in the last days, the era in which our world will end. There will be a tough, and even hopeless battle, and yet, in the end, the Victory is the Lord's. As Jewel the Unicorn said: ""Nay, sister, all worlds draw to an end, except Aslan's own country." This is the reality many of us do not wish to face. We don't want our children or our grandchildren to see it, and so we see the signs, and do what we can to stave off the day that is coming. Yet, brothers and sisters, I believe that we should not be doing what we can to halt the day, we should always be preparing for it. Some day this world will end, and we shall be drawn in to the presence of God forever and ever. We must even say good bye in this day, parting from one another for a time as our earthly tents wear out. It is a time to grieve, but the place we are in is but a shadow of the reality we go to. This world is not our home. We're called to live in the peace of God's presence forever more. This is the home we search for, this should be the country we seek. It is, as Jewel the Unicorn says of Aslan's Country "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!" Some day we will be where we belong, forever and always. Let us, then, with willing hearts, search out the Master of that land beyond life's veil, seeking to be in His presence now, so we may dwell with Him face to face forever more. Revelation 21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel's measurement. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.