Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Paths of Glory (1957)

     As someone studying film in college right now, one of the things I’ve thought might be a good idea to do is to figure out directing styles. Each film director has his (or her) own style of shooting a film, directing actors, or even writing in addition to everything else. And there are two filmmakers whose work I feel that I can immediately recognize just by watching a minute or two of one of their films: John Ford and Stanley Kubrick. I’ve talked about Ford on “Reel Christianity” before, but not Kubrick. Stanley Kubrick, who started out as a photographer for LOOK Magazine and eventually became a groundbreaking filmmaker, gave his films a particular look to them. The unique way that his movies are shot and edited, it’s hard to explain, but even if you watch only a few of his movies, you might be able to recognize it. And that’s me saying that, me who has only seen three Kubrick-directed movies: “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Dr. Strangelove”, and today’s film, “Paths of Glory”.

     “Paths of Glory” takes place in 1916 during World War One, where Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) is in charge of an army of French soldiers fighting against the Germans in the trenches. One of his superiors, General George Broulard (Adolphe Menjou) has just assigned his men on a suicide mission, and one of Broulard’s subordinates, General Mireau (George Macready), who will be promoted if the mission is a success, tries to convince Dax to carry it out. Dax, of course, is very hesitant. But things start going wrong early on when Lieutenant Roget (Wayne Morris), on a scouting mission, sends one of his men ahead of him. Drunk, Roget suddenly gets scared and throws a grenade, killing the scout.

     Later, when the suicide mission is to be carried out, many of the soldiers refuse to leave the trenches, while those who do are killed. Mireau then commands for the French to fire on those in the trenches to make them leave, but the artillery commander refuses to do so unless orders are confirmed. They aren’t, and the mission is a failure. So Mireau tries to court-martial one hundred of the soldiers. Dax convinces him eventually to select one man from each of the three companies. The men are: Corporal Paris (Ralph Meeker), who Roget picked to keep him from telling about the scouting mission; Private Ferol (Timothy Carey), called by his commanding officer a “social undesirable”; and Private Arnaud (Joe Turkel), who was picked at random despite having been cited for bravery in the past.

     And as the court-martial proceeds, “Paths of Glory” turns from a war film into an antiwar, courtroom drama sort of film. Dax, who thinks the entire situation is ridiculous, defends the three men, and he makes it plain to the court that to convict and sentence the men would be a crime. But does that stop them? Nope, and pretty soon, the three men are sentenced to die by firing squad. While in jail, they are visited by a Catholic priest who hears their confession and tells them, “Death comes to us all.” But Arnaud won’t hear it.

ARNAUD: That’s really deep, “death comes to us all”. That really is deep. Say, Ferol, what’s the matter? Afraid your luck isn’t going to hold up? Well, look! (He holds up a container of alcohol.) This is my religion!

PRIEST: I understand your anguish, my son. But you must not let it harden your heart.

     And as the priest and Colonel Paris try to convince him to confess, Arnaud starts shouting and eventually gets into a fight. He hurts his head in the process, going unconscious, and during the firing squad, he has to be woken up so that he can be put up straight on the mat he lays on before he and the two others are shot. And that’s exactly what happens: the three men, despite the absurdity of the trial, are shot and killed for cowardice.

     And the film ends on a pretty dark tone. Dax refuses a promotion to Mireau’s position, now that Mireau is going to be investigated on for commanding open fire on his own men. Roget is never brought to justice, even after apologizing to Paris before he is shot. And in the final scene, the French soldiers are all together in a cafĂ© listening to a young German woman singing a sad song, and the men start humming, singing, and even weeping as she does so before they have to go back to the battle. And most of the audience probably leaves “Paths of Glory” leaving a little hopeless, not just about war, but maybe even about people in general.

     I guess the main point I feel led to make about “Paths of Glory” is the idea of fairness. It wasn’t fair that those French soldiers should have gone on a suicide mission just so one general could get a promotion. It wasn’t fair that Lt. Roget should have sent out a scout to protect his own life. It wasn’t fair that soldiers should have been court-martialed for not going on that suicide mission. It wasn’t fair that those three soldiers (especially Arnaud, in my opinion) should have been picked out of their companies to be court-martialed instead of anyone else. It wasn’t fair that even though the trial was absurd, those soldiers should die anyway. And it certainly wasn’t fair that after all that, all those other soldiers should go back to fight in the war.

     Maybe that’s what “Paths of Glory” is trying to say: war is not fair. This incident especially, which was actually based on a true story that happened in World War One, doesn’t seem fair at all. And thinking about some of the great antiwar films ever made—like “All Quiet on the Western Front”, “Apocalypse Now”, “Platoon”, or “Letters From Iwo Jima”—that seems to be a recurring theme, the idea that men shouldn’t have to go and sacrifice their own lives for the lives of other sinful people. Some may believe even that God is not fair, and I feel this is evidenced when Arnaud disowns the priest and his religion.

     And as controversial as it may sound, I agree: God is not fair. I believe that if He was fair, I would not be alive, because I deserve to die for all the sins I’ve committed in my almost twenty years. But why am I still here? Because God is a generous God—He would do anything to save His children from eternal damnation. One parable in the Bible that Jesus tells demonstrates not only how we as Christians should be humble, but also how generous God is. In Matthew 20, Jesus tells about the landowner who went out seeking for servants to work his land. Some he found early in the day, some later—but he paid them all the same wages, no matter how long they worked. And many of us would probably agree with the servants who worked longer that day that this was not at all fair.

     But what does the landowner say? “‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’” (20:13-15) And the same idea applies to my Christian faith. Who am I to say I should get more of a reward in Heaven someday than another man, just because I may have followed Christ longer? First of all, we would both be on the same level, considering that we are both sinners. And second of all, why can’t God give however He wants? He may not be fair, but He is generous to those He loves.

     My prayer for you is that you would realize God’s generous heart for you, that even though life may not seem fair, He still has incredible power to save you and bless you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The New World (2005)

     I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do Terrence Malick movies justice on this blog. Last summer, around the time “The Tree of Life” was released, I started getting interested in Malick’s style of filmmaking, which incorporates spiritual and even Christian ideas into these impressionistic, subtle, and often confusing movies. On this site, I’ve already talked about “The Tree of Life” (which I still regard as the best movie of 2011) and “The Thin Red Line”, both films for which Malick was nominated for Academy Awards. But both of those articles I wrote were after watching the movies only once. And so there’s a lot of material that I did not even think about when writing about them on “Reel Christianity” that I realize I could have (or should have) included in my blog after watching the movies again.

     Nevertheless, today I’m writing about Malick’s 2005 epic “The New World”, after watching the film only once. I feel that if I watched the movie at least once more, I could make this blog a lot more profound, but let’s face it: I’m getting close to finals week in school. I don’t have time. But I will say, after watching “The New World” once, I was still able to find material from it that I can share with you today.

     “The New World” takes place in 1607 and centers around the love story of John Smith and Pocahontas. So it’s like that Disney movie, except “The New World” replaces that movie’s songs and cartoonish animals with classical music and deep, spiritual monologues that only Terrence Malick can master. Now, I haven’t seen “Pocahontas” in many, many years, so my memories on it didn’t have a huge effect while watching “The New World”. But I assume that for the most part, the plots are a little similar. John Smith (played in this movie by Colin Farrell) arrives with other Englishmen exploring land on the Jamestown Expedition, led by Captain Christopher Newport (Christopher Plummer). Smith is at first in chains when arriving to the land because he had earlier made mutinous remarks, but the Captain pardons him and tells him to keep his mouth shut basically.

     So Smith goes exploring through the forests of this land looking to trade with the Native Americans there, he is captured and brought before their chief. Smith is almost executed when someone comes and spares his life. That someone is a young Native-American woman; she’s not named at first, but if you read the back of the DVD cover like I did, you’ll know that this woman is Pocahontas (Q’orianka Kilcher). And Smith is kept there alive, but as a prisoner among the tribe. But he is about to go on a journey that none of his fellow Englishmen would understand.

      As Smith stays among the tribe, he—you guessed it—starts falling in love with Pocahontas, who also starts having that same kind of feeling towards him. And this is where I want to mention what I took away from this film spiritually. There are a lot of monologues in this film where John Smith and Pocahontas question God—though He is never named, maybe for a reason—and who exactly He is. (For the record, Terrence Malick has directed five films in the last thirty-eight years. I’ve seen the most recent three, and they all have these kinds of monologues.) But what was fascinating to me when hearing them is hearing that whoever God is, they believe that He is the love that Pocahontas and Smith share for one another. One of the most powerful examples of this is a monologue we hear from Pocahontas, referring to an unnamed God as “Mother”, as in “Mother Earth”:

POCAHONTAS: Mother. Where do you live? In the sky? The clouds? The sea? Show me your face. Give me a sign. … A god, he [Smith] seems to me. What else is life but being near you? Do they suspect? Oh, to be given to you, you to me. I will be faithful to you, true. Two no more: one. One. I am… I am.

     These last couple lines reminded me immediately of Genesis 2, the story of when Adam and Eve are first created. God creates Adam from the dust and then says, as recorded in verse 18, “‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” And out of Adam’s rib as he sleeps, God creates the woman Eve. And as recorded in verses 23 and 24, “The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman”, for she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

     I am well aware that a lot of people are still debating about what defines marriage, but in the middle of it all, I still, in my simple faith, want to point to Genesis 2 as the intended relationship of marriage. God created woman to be man’s companion, his “helper”, and the two of them were to unite and become one flesh. And that love, the love that God intends for his children, is the love that Pocahontas and John Smith are beginning to feel for each other.

     However, over time, the relationship starts to get complicated. Smith is released, and when he goes back to his fellow Englishmen, he is pushed into taking control of what is now an impoverished expedition, with men starving and cold and even killing each other in turmoil. Eventually, Pocahontas and some others come with supplies to help them, and when the tribal chief realizes that the English do not intend to leave, he orders an attack on them. Pocahontas is eventually captured and used as leverage, but because Smith opposes that plan, he is removed from his position in charge of the expedition. He soon goes back to lead another expedition, promoted by Captain Newport, through the East Indies, feeling remorse over leaving Pocahontas for his career.

     Soon, with Smith gone, Pocahontas is told that Smith has died. But as she mourns for him, she meets another settler: John Rolfe (Christian Bale), who she eventually falls in love with, marries, and has a child with in Jamestown. Through Rolfe, Pocahontas (or, as she is renamed, Rebecca) starts feeling how Smith did upon arriving to the New World: overwhelmed, and in love. And speaking of which, Smith isn’t actually dead—the two of them eventually find each other and talk together, realizing that what they had together was not meant to last, and Pocahontas accepts Rolfe as her true love.

     And that raises the question: if Smith and Pocahontas shared this love together that only God could have provided for them, why didn’t it last? Perhaps it was because Smith made the choice to leave his love in order to leave another expedition—he was putting his love aside to, possibly, serve himself. And that is something that God does not intend to happen between a husband and wife. In Ephesians 5, the Apostle Paul writes to husbands and wives to submit to one another and love each other as Jesus loves the church:

     “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. …Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (5:22, 25, 33) True love, according to Paul, is submissive and sacrificial. And this is the love that Jesus showed when He died for on the cross—he sacrificed his own sinless life for our sinful lives. And this sacrifice needs to be present in a true relationship between a man and a woman, a husband and a wife.

     At the end of “The New World”, Pocahontas becomes very ill and dies. But we still hear one last narration from her at the end: “Mother, now I know where you live.” Who knows if Pocahontas was really worshipping the one true God, but personally as a Christian, I know that by loving God and loving others, I will be able to see God one day. My prayer for you is that today and this week, you would make your relationships with others sacrificial—and if there is a significant relationship in your life, that you would love that person with the love that Christ has for His church, giving yourself up for that person (and God) everyday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sergeant York (1941)

     Last month while I was on spring break, I had the opportunity to watch a few movies for the first time. Most of them were recent, but a couple of them were older movies that I enjoyed very much. One of them was “Sergeant York”, a World War One biopic from 1941 starring Gary Cooper, which is the earliest Hollywood film I’ve ever heard of that had explicit Christian themes (excluding a lot of silent Biblical epic films). Co-written by screenwriters Howard Koch (“Casablanca”) and John Huston (“The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”) and directed by Howard Hawks (“Rio Bravo”) is one of the many “Christian films” made by non-Christian filmmakers, but the themes still ring true.

     Cooper plays the title character, Alvin C. York, who starts out the film as a rebellious young man living in a small town in Tennessee, where Daniel Boone is said to have killed a bear and where a small Christian church has to compete for visitors with those in the neighborhood going hunting. One of those men is York, who gets into bar fights and comes home late for supper. (And if you’ve seen Gary Cooper in any other movies, it might take you a while to adjust to his good-guy persona playing a rebel at first in this movie.) As York continues to skip church, the local pastor, Rosier Pile (Walter Brennan), tries to convince him to give his life to Jesus, but York keeps putting religion off.

     But one day, in order to win the heart of the lovely Gracie Williams (Joan Leslie), he starts working extra hard in different jobs around the town to raise money for a piece of land he’s looking to buy. And he needs to buy it before another man does, so he works long days for several months while his mother prays for him. And one day, York signs up for a turkey shoot in the town. And you guessed it: shoot a turkey from far away, and you win money. And York, who happens to be a very good shot, wins by a hair. And he is about to go buy the piece of land with his reward when he runs into the landowner: the property has already been sold to someone else.

     York is furious after he’s put all that work into buying land that he can’t have. And that night, he goes with a gun to seek revenge on the new landowners. But that night, it starts raining—and soon, it gets worse. And all of a sudden, lightning strikes York and knocks him off his horse. But they are both fine. And York realizes that maybe Pastor Pile was right—God probably isn’t something that he should just shrug off. And that night, at a revival service at the church, York approaches the altar and accepts Jesus.

     So York starts to make some life changes. He asks forgiveness for his anger toward the landowners and even offers to work the land for them. He starts reading the Bible more and more, going off by himself to study it outdoors. And he and Gracie start to come to the place where they feel they want to get married. But one day, someone brings a newspaper into the local general store and shares the news: war has been declared against Germany, and men are beginning to be drafted. York, now believing that he shouldn’t go to war because the Bible says that killing is wrong, applies as a conscientious objector, but he is still drafted into the service. And soon, he leaves for boot camp, hoping to return home soon.

     At boot camp, York proves again to be a very good shoot and overall a good soldier. But one day, the camp commander, Major Buxton (Stanley Ridges) calls York into his office to promote him to the rank of corporal. But York tells him that he can’t do it, and he tells him about his religious beliefs and how the Bible says that killing is wrong. But Buxton starts challenging York, respecting those religious beliefs:

BUXTON: You’re a religious man, York. You want to worship God in your own way. You’re a farmer. …You want to plow your fields as you see fit and raise your family according to your own likes. And that’s your heritage, and mine, and every American’s. But the cost of that heritage is high. Sometimes it takes all we have to preserve it: even our lives. How are you going to answer that, York?

     And he lets York go on furlough to think about making a decision. And on a hilltop back home, York sits and reads the Bible, trying to hear an answer from God. And eventually, in a scene that parallels one in “3 Godfathers”, a semi-religious movie to be released years later, wind blows the Bible open to a story in the Gospels, where Jesus tells the Pharisees: “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Moved by this, York goes back to the Army to stay in the war.

     Today, I want to take time to focus on these verses. This verse can be found in Matthew 22:21, Mark 12:17, and Luke 20:25. The Pharisees, trying to catch Jesus in his words, ask him whether or not it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus tells them: look on your coins. Whose inscription is there? They answer that it is Caesar’s, and Jesus tells them: “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Basically, he is telling them that as long as they are in a position to serve, they should serve, both their earthly rulers and their Heavenly Father.

     My interpretation of this verse in this situation is this: York is conflicted about whom to obey: should he serve God or serve his country? To him, there doesn’t seem to be any way to do both. But he reads this verse, and he is reminded of the place he has been put in, and no matter whose authority he is under, he should be an example of Christ by serving both God and his country. And later, when he leads an attack on the Germans, he does end up killing some enemy soldiers who are using machine guns, but he later says: “I figured them guns was killin' hundreds, maybe thousands, and there weren't nothin' anybody could do, but to stop them guns. And that's what I done.”

     I bet that all of us have been in those kinds of situations, haven’t we? We’ve been caught in the middle of serving the needs of someone and serving God. But I think that if we strive to serve God in how we serve others, that’s truly being the example that Jesus wants us to be. And my prayer for you this week is that when you find yourself in a position to serve, you would be willing to do it to serve the Lord as well as the people around you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)

     As Easter approaches, I was thinking about a movie I could share with you that relates to the season, and I wasn’t really sure. Last year I talked about “The Passion of the Christ”, thinking that was so obvious to share at Easter, but now, I couldn’t really think of anything. And then I thought: oh, yeah! Narnia! I think for some reason I was going to wait until Christmas to talk about this movie (it has Santa Claus in it, after all), but sure, this might even be considered an Easter movie too. So today, here’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.

     Now, let’s get one thing straight: to me, this movie is just okay. I don’t absolutely love it solely because it’s another one of those “Christian movies from Hollywood”. I don’t love it at all, to be honest. This movie is far from perfect. The book—or books, for that matter, are much better. And I’ll be even more brutally honest: “Prince Caspian”, the movie sequel, is one of my least favorite movies—mostly because it uses too many one-liners and replaces a lot of the book’s spiritual content with boring action scenes. I only saw it once, in the theater in 2008, and I left the theater extremely disappointed. I’ve tried watching it again before, and I can’t, because the one-liners are so unbearable. (So when “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” was released in 2010, I was pleasantly surprised—even though that movie’s just okay too.) So yeah, I won’t rave about these movies. But I’m still glad they were made, even if all they did was expose secular audiences to Christian books.

     Okay, I’m sorry, this is not a movie review blog. I better get to the messages. The movie starts with an air raid in England during World War Two, after which four children are sent away to safety. The children are the Pevensie children: innocent Lucy (Georgie Hensley), bitter Edmund (Skandar Keynes), witty Susan (Anna Popplewell), and maturing Peter (William Moseley). They are sent to the home of Professor Kirke (Jim Broadbent) until the war is over, and as they play hide-and-seek in the house one rainy day, Lucy comes across an old, mysterious wardrobe. She opens the door and goes inside, but she can’t seem to stop walking. The wardrobe seems to just go on and on… until Lucy finds herself in front of a lamppost in the middle of a snowy forest. (Don’t you hate that?)

     And soon, she comes across a faun-like creature that talks to her and even invites her to his house. (Hate when that happens too.) This is Mr. Tumnus (James McAvoy), who introduces Lucy to this land called Narnia. And after he invites Lucy for tea and eventually lulls her to sleep with some music he plays, she wakes up suddenly to find him crying in regret. It turns out that Tumnus was trying to kidnap Lucy and bring her to the White Witch, who assigned him to bring her any humans in Narnia. But realizing his wrongdoing, Tumnus helps Lucy escape out of Narnia, and Lucy comes out of the wardrobe to find that as she has been in Narnia, not a minute has passed in England. She tries to show her siblings the wardrobe and Narnia inside, but none of them can see it and so they don’t know whether or not to believe her.

     But at the advice of Professor Kirke, they come under the impression that Lucy, if she is not mad and not lying, must be telling the truth. (The screenwriters probably didn’t realize this, but this idea from the original novel also comes from another C.S. Lewis book, “Mere Christianity”, which I encourage you to take a look at sometime.) And later, Edmund realizes that making fun of Lucy may not have been a good idea—he eventually finds himself walking through the wardrobe into Narnia too. But he doesn’t find Mr. Tumnus—he finds the White Witch (Tilda Swinton), who bribes him with some gross—I mean, delicious Turkish Delight candy to bring his siblings to see her. But once Edmund eventually finds Lucy, they go back to the house together, and Edmund pretends that nothing happens, making Lucy even more upset.

     Okay, I’ll say this: the character of Lucy in the original book was a very powerful character for me as a kid, and it still is. Lucy is the prime example of one who has seen God at work but who no one believes. And yet, she still knows what she saw. This faith of a child is the kind of faith I need to be living out everyday. As Jesus says in Luke 18, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And one day, the four children find themselves together hiding in the wardrobe, and they all suddenly step into Narnia, very sorry for not believing Lucy. (Except for Edmund. He’s still a jerk. But don’t worry; it gets better.)

     Soon, however, they find that Mr. Tumnus has been taken away, because through Edmund, the White Witch found that he had let Lucy escape. And the four eventually find two beavers (voiced by Ray Winstone and Dawn French) that feed them dinner and encourage them by saying: “Aslan is on the move.” Aslan is a lion and the real king of Narnia (the “lion king”, if you will) who has been gone for a very long time, but now he has returned to fulfill a prophecy to restore Narnia and rid it of the White Witch. But soon, Edmund escapes to the White Witch to tell her that his siblings are in Narnia, and as she sends out her wolf spies to find them, she puts him in a cellar with Mr. Tumnus. Meanwhile, the other Pevensie children and the Beavers escape and are led out by a plot device—I mean, a fox (voiced by Rupert Everett) to shelter.

     And starting here, things start getting good in Narnia. The eternally snowy ground starts melting away as the days get warmer. The children and the Beavers are visited one day by Santa—excuse me, Father Christmas, who gives them weapons to use in battle. (Gee, when you say that out loud, Santa starts to sound like a pretty dark guy.) And the children eventually find a camp where Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) is about to meet with the White Witch to determine if Edmund should live or be turned to stone, as the White Witch has done with many other victims—including Mr. Tumnus. But as she and Aslan meet in secret, Aslan eventually gets her to give Edmund up by promising her something. Lucy doesn’t know what that promise is, but she is concerned.

     And one night, Lucy and Susan go walk with Aslan in the forest as he is distraught about something. And he goes to a Stone Table where the Witch and her henchmen are waiting for him. After a drawn-out, dark ceremony of shaving him and tying him up, the Witch kills Aslan and declares war on Narnia. As they leave, Lucy and Susan go to Aslan’s body, weeping over it, unsure of why Aslan had to die. And they are there until the next morning, keeping watch over his body, as rats eventually come and bite off the ropes on his muzzle and paws.

     But as Lucy and Susan turn to go, they hear a crack behind them. The Stone Table has been cracked in two somehow, and Aslan is not there. And as the sun rises behind him, Aslan walks up from behind the Stone Table, alive again. The girls ask him how this could be, and Aslan responds:

ASLAN: If the Witch knew the true meaning of sacrifice, she might have interpreted the deep magic differently: that when a willing victim who has committed no treachery, is killed in a traitor's stead, the stone table will crack, and even death itself would turn backwards.

     That’s Hollywood code wording for what I think is best described in Romans 5:7-10: “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

     That is the reason Jesus died on the cross for us: we needed to be justified from sin, and we couldn’t do it ourselves. So we needed someone who wasn’t guilty to take the punishment for us, and the only One capable of doing that was Jesus. And for a Hollywood movie, I feel that this film handles that message really well. My only hope is that people who watch this movie will continue to be pointed to the spiritual truth that it was written to portray.

     So long story short, Aslan restores those turned to stone by the White Witch; Peter and Edmund lead Narnians into battle; Aslan arrives and kills the White Witch; Lucy cures Edmund and others of wounds with her new medicine from Santa; the four children are named kings and queens of Narnia; and they reign as kings and queens for many years, until one day, they come across a lamppost that leads them to an entrance—an entrance that brings them back to WWII England in Professor Kirke’s house.

     My prayer for you this Easter week is that you will remember what Christ did for you on the cross, and that once you experience His love, you will be able to take it with you wherever you go so that others may be able to experience that love through you.