St. Cuthbert’s Church Brunswick

Parish of Christ the King

Diocese of Newcastle

19 February 2016

From the Vicarage.

Unless you are someone who takes the Daily Express as your Daily Paper, Spring will soon be here, (Daily Express readers can expect Gale Force Winds, Hurricanes, Tornadoes and Blizzards that will last well into the Summer). You can tell when spring is getting nearer though it will be warmer, and even now we are getting inundated with summer ads. Have you noticed all the ads on the radio, television screen, on magazine covers, on our Paracetamols (Tablets) Strawberries (iphones) telling us that we need to transform ourselves? Especially prevalent among celebrities is both the desire and the pressure to look good. Fad diets, popping weight loss pills, getting Botox in their lips and forehead, breast implants, and the list goes on. Examples of the ideal body that many seem to tout these days. We must transform ourselves to fit in, be accepted, get those jobs and promotions, get the woman or man of our dreams.

But is it the ideal we are to hope for? Is it realistic? Is it possible? In the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, Book 3 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Edmund and Lucy’s difficult and precocious cousin, Eustace, becomes besotted with a great find of dragon’s gold.  Now, the myth is that if you try to steal gold guarded by a dragon in his own lair, you, too, will become a dragon by the deep magic placed upon it. So, when Eustace, gives in to the temptation to help himself to the gold he, himself, becomes a dragon and cannot free himself from the curse.


Letter from the Vicarage February/March 2015

He tries to rip and tear at his own dragon skin because this is not how he wants to be or look. But alas he cannot undo the magic. He is a dragon. He cannot change himself back to the way he should be, what he was created to be, with the skin of a human. He doesn’t like himself this way. He is saddened by this event. And he tries to cope. There is only one in all of Narnia who can transform him. The Christ figure is Aslan, the Lion. Aslan and only Aslan can set him free and transform Eustace, into the person he was and is created to be.

We may well be able to transform our outward appearance, but that doesn’t transformed us on the inside or make feel clean free and valued. Only God can do that. Many People like Eustace, are caught in a trap, they can not free themselves no matter how hard they try, life seems hopeless but it doesn’t have to be like that. I am who I am today because 34 years ago I discovered that I didn’t have to be a victim of my abusive childhood, on the 27th of July 1981 at 10.00pm, I asked Jesus Christ into my heart and life and for the first time I felt valued freed and loved. The Bible says ‘ if anyone is in Christ he is a new Creation the old has gone the new has come’ We can come to God confident that he will never turn anyone away, on the contrary ‘ to all them that receive him by Faith He gave the right to be called Children of God, Children born not of the flesh but born of the Spirit ‘ I pray that this Easter you might know the transforming power of God’s love in your own hearts and lives. Amen.

Rev Mark.