“Is – is he a man?” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Bests? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!’ said Susan, “I’d thought he was man. Is he – quite safe? I shall fell rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver. “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
– from C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch an the Wardrobe
Somewhere along the way church has become boring. I don’t mean (as many in our day seem to) that the church fails to entertain the masses. I think it has always failed to do that. I mean that many churches just don’t have much to offer – it’s uneventful, bland, another empty shell full of powerful memories but nothing more. People go to church because it’s what their supposed to do or they’re looking for their next emotional experience. Though they would never say so themselves they know that church is boring. It is either boring and has accepted the fact or boring and trying to entertain to cover the fact up.
I think that the at the root of the boring church is the doctrine of God himself – the boring church has a pretty good handle on God.
In far too many churches instead of encountering an all powerful electing God that invades our life here and now we are presented with a much safer God. In some homo-erotic loves songs to Jesus fill the air and and God is presented as a domesticated pet. In others lectures that quietly seek to define the undefinable have replaced the proclamation of the Word, making it all so reasonable and comfortable. So the church has becomes a safe and boring place to be.
But in the famous words of Mr. Beaver, “He isn’t safe!” And when an unsafe God gathers his children together to actually come at them in Word and Sacrament it ought to be anything but boring!