“They say Aslan is on the move”
“They say Aslan is on the move- perhaps has already landed.”
And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it has some enormous meaning- either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.” (C.S. Lewis)
There are many reports from around the country of an increased appetite for spiritual things, people are turning to prayer, tuning in to online services, the sale of Bibles is up.
In the UK, searches including the word “prayer” at their highest level since Google’s records began in 2004, and have risen by 61 per cent since February. Searches including the word “God” have also shot up 34 per cent in the same time frame and are now at their second-highest level since 2004.
LifeWay has said its sales had increased 62 per cent compared with the same time last year and the British online Christian bookstore Eden said it sold 55 per cent more printed Bibles in April than expected.
Revd Nicky Gumbel, whose church (Holy Trinity Brompton) created Alpha, told the New Statesman: “I’ve never known a time in my life when people are more open to [God’s word] than they are now.”
Now some caution is perhaps wise; not all those who view an online service stay. Some stay no more than a few seconds – they can be included in the count of those who attended the service, but I don’t suppose they get counted as people who have left a church! But nevertheless there does seem to be an opportunity. This week, Peter Nodding asked if with the slight lifting of lockdown, was now the time to deliver the Hope Newspapers in his neighbourhood? I have another 200 waiting to be delivered – I think the time is right.
What else should we be doing?
It is important that we don’t just rush into following our own “best idea”; we need to listen to God, to pray, to follow him, to get in his slipstream, ride the wave of his Spirit.
And what should we be doing as we think about the lockdown ending?
I think Aslan may be on the move. Are we prepared for him; are we ready?