In one of C.S. Lewis’ classic Narnia Tales, the fate of the kingdom of Narnia rests on the tiny shoulders of an English school girl named Jill. The wicked queen of the underworld has captured Prince Rillian, the rightful heir to the throne, and put him under the spell of her deadly green powder. This wicked queen not only possesses an arsenal of magic spells, but she lives underground in complete darkness inside a castle guarded by giants. This English school girl faces a mission impossible. But Aslan the Lion has a plan! He leads Jill to the top of a mountain, stands her next to a cliff, – and blows on her. And such is the power of the Lion’s breath that Jill is lifted up off the ground and propelled through the air. Finally, she touches down in Narnia. And by the end of her magic ride not only has Jill ridden on the breath of the lion, she’s got lion’s breath in her lungs. And when you’ve got lion’s breath inside you nothing on earth can stop you. Jill destroys the witch, rescues the Prince, and they all live happily ever after.
This is more than a cute fairy tale! This is C.S. Lewis’ allegory for the real life event from John 20 (which I will be preaching on this Sunday), when it says that Jesus breathed on the disciples. And Jesus was sending his disciples out to perform a feat every bit as daunting as a 10 year old little girl conquering Narnia. Simply by telling a little story, -- these disciples were to conquer the world! They were to make disciples of all nations, including those whose languages they had never heard and could not speak. Eleven people, – the number you may see when you glance down your pew this Sunday, – were to dismantle the greatest civilization the world had ever known. How did they do that? Was is by deftly positioning their “brand” on various social media outlets? Or, was it by marketing their pastor (I wish)? Or, could it have been by having acres of convenient parking? No, all this they did and more, by the breath of the Lion.
This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, as the Holy Spirit came in wind and fire, and to rest upon the people. Friends, you’ve got lion’s breath in your lungs, and when you’ve got lion’s breath inside you, — nothing on earth can stop you. And nothing, will stop the Church of Jesus Christ! And so, go out on the breath of the Lion.
Quote of the Week
“When you strip it of everything else, Pentecost stands for power and life. That’s what came into the church when the Holy Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost.” David Wilkerson
David Ray Wilkerson was an American Christian evangelist, best known for his book The Cross and the Switchblade. He was the founder of the addiction recovery program Teen Challenge, and founding pastor of the non-denominational Times Square Church in New York City.