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"Aslan is on the Move!"

May 14, 2014

C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a very popular children's fantasy book that was published in 1950 as one of seven novels in The Chronicles of Narnia.  It has since been made into a movie that many of you have had the opportunity to view at the theater.  Most of the novel is set in Narnia, a land of talking animals and mystical beings that the White Witch has ruled for over one-hundred years of deep winter.  In the story, four English children live in a big country house during their World War II evacuation from London.  The youngest, Lucy, visits Narnia three times through the wardrobe in the spare room; her three siblings, Peter, Susan, and Edmund, join her on the third visit.  In Narnia, the siblings seem to fulfill an old prophesy, so they are soon working to save their lives and deliver their country.  The Narnians ultimately rout the evil army and Aslan, the great lion, kills the Witch.   Many of you have enjoyed the story just as much as I have.

If you know anything about The Chronicle of Narnia, Aslan is a metaphor representing the person of Christ.  C.S. Lewis provided a beautiful literary picture of God's involvement in the world through His Son, Jesus Christ.  The main story is an allegory of Christ's crucifixion.  Aslan sacrifices himself for Edmund, a traitor who may deserve death, in the same way that Christ sacrificed himself for sinners.  Christ is even described as the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah" in Revelation 5:5.

At one particular point in the story, Narnia creatures, trapped in a world where it is always winter but never Christmas, begin to whisper to one another, "Aslan is on the move."  The true king of Narnia, who has been absent for many years, is "on the move again."

We know that "Aslan is on the move" in our day, in our world, and on the campuses of Christian colleges and universities.  I see it every time I visit an institution and interact with students, faculty, and staff.  He is on the move in the lives of students through outstanding teaching from faculty.  He is on the move in chapel services, when students, along with faculty and staff, gather to worship.  He is on the move when students participate in co-curricular activities.  He is on the move when students are involved in churches and community service opportunities.  He is on the move when students participate in mission-related ministries around the world.  He is on the move when older, working adults take classes in the evening and on weekends, and even through on-line courses.  The Lord is clearly on the move through Christ-centered higher education. 

Larry J. McKinney
Higher Education Consultant

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