Jesus is described as the Lion of Judah. He appears in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia as the lion Aslan. Something about this image resonates with us. It’s an image of a God that is big, powerful and in command.
But, in the words of Shane Hipps, we have to be careful because a “lion does not make a good house cat.” A lion can’t be domesticated. A lion in a cage is somehow diminished irreparably. A lion needs wide open spaces. Churches, though, often try hard to cage their Lion.
Why do churches try to put this Lion in a cage?
Sometimes we do it because we’re afraid that something will hurt The Lion. I think The Lion can protect itself. This Lion doesn’t need us to defend it.
Sometimes we do it because we try to control The Lion. But a caged lion can cause a lot of damage.
Sometimes we do it because we are afraid of The Lion. We believe we need to be protected from The Lion. Even though we are in awe of The Lion; the very thing that brings on awe also makes us fear The Lion.
C.S. Lewis had one of the characters in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe say this when asked if that Lion (Aslan) was safe. “Of course he’s not safe.”
I wonder what our life in community (read: Church) would be like if we uncaged The Lion?