Summary: First of series centered on The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
A Narnian Christmas
Narnia: Always Winter But Never Christmas
This week a major motion picture is being released in the United States and around the world. It is the first in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series of films, entitled The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. The film is sure to be a hit – at least the Disney studios think so – they have put up $100,000,000 for the making and marketing of the movie, which is based on a children’s book written in the 1950’s by CS Lewis. Lewis was a great Christian and served as one of the great defenders of the faith in the 20th Century.
As a young man, Jack, as he liked to be called, and his brother Warnie, often spent summers at the home of their grandfather, who had an estate in the country. Jack and Warnie, on rainy days, would spend time exploring the old house. One of their favorite hideouts was an old wardrobe, where the two boys would hide, and Jack would tell his brother wild stories he had made up.
During World War II, it was quite common for young children to be sent away from London to relatives living in the country to escape the bombing of the Nazis. Lewis was known to have taken in some of those fleeing the chaos of the city. The Chronicles of Narnia center on four children – Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy – who are sent to their uncle’s home for just such a reason. While exploring the huge home on the first day there, the children stumble upon a wonderful wardrobe – a freestanding closet full of fur coats. Lucy, the youngest, loves the feel of fur on her skin, so when the other children leave to explore the next room of the house, Lucy enters the wardrobe and relishes the feel of the fur against her face – but the wardrobe keeps going – deeper and deeper, until she finds herself emerging from a wood, with snow on the ground, and a light post in the distance.
The wardrobe becomes our pathway to the wonderful land of Narnia. Lucy is introduced first to a faun, who invites her to his home for tea. The faun, Mr. Tumnus, tells Lucy all about the land of Narnia – where at one time there were great and glorious days of summer – with “rivers of wine,” dancing, joy and music. Those days are long gone, however, because the evil reign of the White Witch. She claims to be the queen of Narnia, but Tumnus makes it clear that she is not the rightful ruler of the land. She has placed Narnia under a curse and as a result Narnia has become a place where it’s “always winter, but never Christmas.”
That’s a dreadful thought isn’t it? For those of us in Wisconsin, winters are long and cold – but the joy and warmth of Christmas makes it a very special time of year. Try to imagine, if you can, a world without Christmas. No Christmas trees, gifts, or visits to grandma’s house. No carols, shopping or gathering with friends. No Grinch, Rudolph or Charlie Brown specials on the television. None of those great holiday movies…
One of the movies that I love to watch at this time of year is a wonderful film from 50 years ago. In 1946, It’s A Wonderful Life hit the theaters. It’s the story of George Bailey, who gets so down on himself that he decides the world would have been better off if he’d never been born – and he sets out to commit suicide. But God sends an angel named Clarence to show George just how the world would have been affected if he had never been born. It shows that every life is important, and that we all impact others in ways we never imagined
But more to the point of our talk today – if we lived in world that was always winter, but never Christmas – there’d be no Christ! What if Jesus had never been born? What if He had never lived, taught, died and risen from the dead? What would the world be like?
It might interest you to know that I’m not the first person to ponder this question. There was a pastor about 2000 years ago who also thought about the state of the world without Christ, and he left some clues as to what he thought it would be like – His name was Paul, and his thoughts on the subject are considered to be inspired by God Himself – so let’s look at his writings instead of my thoughts on the subject!
In Ephesians 2:12, Paul describes a world without Christ. He says, “[Remember] that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”