One of my favorite passages from Prince Caspian, by C.S. Lewis. Aslan (if you don't know) is the Christ-figure in the story. I read this account on a blog today (used in another context altogether) and it struck me so powerfully in the context of having returned from the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly. Out of character (I usually over-explain analogies), I'll just let the story speak for itself.
“Look! Look! Look!” cried Lucy.
“Where? What?” everyone asked.
“The Lion,” said Lucy. “Aslan himself. Didn’t you see?” Her face had changed completely and her eyes shone.
“Do you really mean—?” began Peter.
“Where did you think you saw him?” asked Susan.
“Don’t talk like a grown-up,” said Lucy, stamping her foot. “I didn’t think I saw him. I saw him.”
“Where, Lu?” asked Peter.
“Right up there between those mountain ashes. No, this side of the gorge. And up, not down. Just the opposite of the way you want to go. And he wanted us to go where he was—up there.”
“How do you know that was what he wanted?” asked Edmund.
“He—I—I just know,” said Lucy, “by his face.”
Lucy woke out of the deepest sleep you can imagine, with the feeling that the voice she liked best in the world had been calling her name.
“Lucy,” he said, “we must not be here for long. You have work in hand, and much time has been lost today.”
“Yes, wasn’t it a shame?” said Lucy. “I saw you all right. They wouldn’t believe me. They’re all so—”
From somewhere deep inside Aslan’s body there came the faintest suggestion of a growl.
“I’m sorry,” said Lucy, who understood some of his moods. “I didn’t mean to start slanging the others. But it wasn’t my fault anyway, was it?”
The Lion looked straight into her eyes.
“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy. “You don’t mean it was? How could I—I couldn’t have left the others and come up to you alone, how could I? Don’t look at me like that … oh will, I suppose I could. Yes, and it wouldn’t have been alone I know, not if I was with you. But what would have been the good?”
Aslan said nothing.
“You mean,” said Lucy rather faintly, “that it would have turned out all right—somehow? But how? Please, Aslan! Am I not to know?”
“To know what would have happened, child?” said Aslan. “No. Nobody is ever told that.”
“Oh dear,” said Lucy.
“But anyone can find out what will happen.” said Aslan. “If you go back to the others now, and wake them up, and tell them you have seen me again; and that you must get up at once and follow me—what will happen? There is only one way of finding out.”
Hmm... just notice Aslan's invitation... can't be too coincidental that I've just started a series called "Follow Me" - looking at the invitations of Jesus. Wake up, church; wake up!