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Edmund, Simon, and Us

Do you ever feel you have sinned too horribly for God's grace to redeem you- much less to be useful in God's kingdom? You can never be out of God's hand. Here's why:

Edmund Pevensie-

In my Narnian dictionary (yes, I'm that much of a nerd) the biography for Edmund runs like this:

First a traitor and later King Edmund the Just in the Golden age of Narnia, who grows from the sensual, difficult, jealous nine- or ten-year-old in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to the handsome and brave twenty-four-year-old king of The Horse and His Boy and the helpful and playful nineteen-year-old youth who is ... in The Last Battle.

For those of you who do not know, Edmund betrayed both his family and the entire country of Narnia very shortly after he first arrived when he aligned himself with the White Witch. It was for him specifically, in fact, that Aslan had to die in order to defeat the Witch.

Shortly after Edmund is returned from imprisonment by the Witch we hear this:
There [the Pevensies] saw Aslan and Edmund walking together in the dewy grass, apart from the rest of the court. There is no need to tell you (and no one ever heard) what Aslan was saying, but it was a conversation which Edmund never forgot. As the others drew nearer Aslan turned to meet them, bringing Edmund with him.
"Here is your brother," he said, "and-- there is no need to talk to him about what is past."
Aslan has forgiven Edmund completely, portrayed his grace to him, and encourages his siblings to do the same.

After this horrendous event of betrayal, Lewis makes clear to note in every book that Edmund appears in thereafter how Aslan's grace inspired Edmund and allowed him to be merciful and an encouragement to others.

*** Side note. This is one of the things I appreciate how they changed in the movies. Though they didn't always include the original moment where Edmund brings up and makes use of what he learned through his betrayal and Aslan's grace and mercy, they always made a point of Edmund defeating the Witch and how the original change was complete, by Aslan's grace.***

When giving mercy to Rabadash in The Horse and His Boy:
"It is very true," said Edmund. "But even a traitor may mend. I have known one that did." And he looked very thoughtful.

In Prince Caspian:
"Well, there's just this," said Edmund, speaking quickly and turning a little red. "When we first discovered Narnia a year ago- or a thousand years ago, whichever it is- it was Lucy who discovered it first and none of us would believe her. I was the worst of the lot, I know. Yet she was right after all. Wouldn't it be fair to believe her this time?"

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Edmund's cousin Eustace is speaking):
"... I'd like to apologize. I'm afraid I've been pretty beastly."
"That's all right," said Edmund. "Between ourselves, you haven't been as bad as I was on my first trip to Narnia. You were only an ass, but I was a traitor."

While Edmund is very quiet in the last few chapters of The Last Battle, he is the one who describes be taken from our world to Aslan's that last time:
"It wasn't at all like that other time when we were pulled out of our own world by Magic. There was a frightful roar and something hit me with a bang, but it didn't hurt. And I felt not so much scared as -well, excited."
After this Edmund goes remarkably quiet, but I do not blame him for the wonder of what he was seeing and the marvel of Aslan's grace bringing him to these moments.

But this is all in a fictional story! you say. This is no proof that God treats us this graciously and uses us this way!
You would be correct if my only reference was a fictional children's story, but Lewis was tricky when he named Peter, Peter and Edmund, Edmund for Edmund shares much in common with Jesus' disciple Simon Peter.

Simon Peter-

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

Note that Peter's betrayal occurred just before Jesus' death, just as Edmund's occurred right before Aslan's- drawing the connection closer.

And as Jesus had said, Peter did betray him.

But then Peter went on. He repented of his sin, became a leader for the church, wrote letters of encouragement, faced flogging and derision for speaking Christ's name, preached sermons, and was eventually martyred for God's kingdom.

1 Peter 5:6-10 is a great example of how Peter uses his experiences to encourage and warn the disciples.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

So now you may have noticed how I've addressed the title. What about

We have all betrayed God. In a big way or a "small" one, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Yet- we are God's people, and more than that we are his servants charged to proclaim the Gospel and minister to the saints.
Let us do so.

“He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it to the end.” 

Picture credit:
Baillie Carrico of April Rains Fine Art
Passages referenced:
Companion to Narnia, Paul F. Ford. p.160
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis p.174 (of the complete edition published 2005)
The Horse and his Boy, C. S. Lewis p.305 (2005 ed.)
Prince Caspian, C. S. Lewis p.374 (2005 ed.)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C. S. Lewis. p.475 (2005 ed.)
The Last Battle, C. S. Lewis p.743 (2005 ed.)
Luke 22:31-34 (NIV)
1 Peter 5:6-10 (ESV)
Phillipians 1:6 (ESV)
Inspired by:
"Peter, prayer, and perseverance"-
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