by Sara Breetzke, TCA Head of School
This week at Trinity Classical Academy, grammar school students will finish listening to C.S. Lewis’ The Horse and his Boy. The protagonist in this story is Shasta, an orphan brought up by the poor fisherman Arsheesh. Seeking refuge from his cruel guardian, Shasta takes his first opportunity to run away on a talking horse, traveling across the desert to the happy lands of Archenland and Narnia.
On his journey, Shasta is joined by the Princess Aravis. As they travel together, Shasta feels sharply the effects of his impoverished childhood. He can tell he is not as worldly or mannered as his traveling partner, and he withdraws from her in embarrassment.
What a surprise, then, when at the end of the story King Lune of Archenland claims Shasta as his long lost son, Prince Cor! Shasta hasn’t changed outwardly at all, and yet in that moment he becomes a new person with a new identity: he is royalty.
It is fitting that TCA students hear the redemptive end of this story as they finish memorizing Galatians 4:1-7, verses that remind Christians of our true identity as sons and daughters of the King of Kings. We are in the same narrative as Shasta, moving from enslavement to sonship as God moves toward us. I hope that in years to come TCA students will claim this narrative of redemption in their own lives in three ways.
First, I pray they will know their true identity. Shasta was a slave to Arsheesh, but when his true father saw him, he gave Shasta a new name and a new identity. Shasta - or Cor, I should say - didn’t feel very royal at first. In fact, he looks rather ridiculous in his prince’s clothing. Regardless, though, Cor’s identity is objective and secure: he is royalty. And so are TCA students. As they join God’s family, they are given an objectively new identity as kings, queens, and priests in God’s kingdom - even on days when they don’t yet feel that transformation is real.
Second, I pray they will know the joy of their Father. King Lune is delighted to reclaim his son into his family. Although Shasta arrives in Archenland exhausted and bedraggled, the King claims him without reservation. So does our Heavenly Father rejoice in the hearts of students at TCA as they turn to him, crying, “Abba, Father” I hope that these words from Galatians will be written on their hearts and come to life in their own lives, just as they did in Shasta’s life after he met his true father.
Finally, I pray that TCA students will accept the higher calling that comes with being heirs to the King. After Shasta is recognized as Prince Cor, he takes the place of his younger twin brother as heir. Cor is embarrassed, thinking he’s stolen the title, but his twin is delighted. Now he can do as he pleases while Cor does the hard work of preparing to rule. And so it is with the students and families of TCA. We work with diligence in our studies and pursue excellence in our behavior because we are representatives of God’s Kingdom on earth; and we are seeking to bring glimpses of that kingdom to bear now until we are rulers with Christ forever.
Reading The Horse and His Boy is a reminder that at TCA we are doing more than preparing students for college. We are preparing our students to live lives of honor, virtue, and diligence that point to and honor King Jesus. We are preparing them to receive a new identity as heirs and to honor their Father as they live out their sonship before him.