Summary: 3rd in 4 part series using "The Chronicles of Narnia" as a springboard to Biblical truths about Christmas.
“ASLAN’S ON THE MOVE...”
The Chronicles of Christmas - Week 3
INTRODUCTION TO THE SERMON: (After :32 video intro)
What would Christmas be like without Christ? Think about that for a second. If Jesus Christ had not been born, for most in America, would there even be a major holiday at the end of December? I believe, we would lose a number of things if there was no Christ in Christmas. Our giving spirit and our presents surround the tradition that wise men brought gifts to the Christ child in Matt. 2:11. We sing of carols, that almost everyone knows, which surrounds the tradition of the angels praising God in Lk 2:14. We certainly wouldn’t have nativity scenes, but we also wouldn’t have Christmas trees, candy canes or good old St. Nick either. Much of what we celebrate at this time of year surrounds and is inextricably tied to the birth of Christ. You see, the truth of the matter is that Christmas has always been about the birth of Christ, and even more to the point, it’s always been about the hope that Jesus provides.
As we continue in our series it’s interesting to me to learn that it was hope that C.S. Lewis experienced and used to begin his beloved story, “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.” You see, in Lewis’ real world of 1940’s England, the Nazi’s were bombing London, where Lewis lived. But hope was provided for the children when people outside of the city volunteered to take them into their homes. In fact, that’s how the movie starts.
Video clip: Bombing of London/ Kids to safety - from super trailer mpeg - 2:05
Hope... it’s defined as “the feeling that something desired is possible.” For those parents the desire for their children’s safety was made possible through giving families and they had hope. And in Lewis’ story he personified hope into much more than just escape from war. He made hope a character. Listen to what Mr. Beaver tells the children: “They say Aslan’s on the move - perhaps already landed. And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different... At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside... Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.” (LWW Pg. 141) In other words, hope sprang up in their hearts just at the name of Aslan.
Well, as we continue drawing Biblical truths from this story I want us to see the similarities between Aslan’s coming to Narnia & Jesus’ coming to earth. The common denominator is hope and that is what truly makes Christmas worth celebrating.
I. HOPE: It Started with Submission
Let’s begin by seeing that both Aslan’s and Jesus’ coming had a strange similarity. You would think that Aslan, the “King of the Beasts” and Jesus, the “King of Kings” would come with power and authority. They would squash evil like a bug, they would intimidate, dominate and over power. But that is not how Lewis portrays the lion, Alsan. In fact, in a number of incidents in the story Aslan isn’t fierce he’s docile, he not authoritative, he’s submissive.
For example, Aslan submitted to the Queen, the White Witch. She demands that the child Edmund be turned over to her because he is a traitor and the law set by the Emperor of the Sea, Aslan’s father, says that she should be able to kill Edmund. She says to Aslan, “You at least know the Magic that the Emperor put into Narnia at the very beginning. You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have the right to kill.”(LWW pg. 175) How dare she talk to the King of Beasts that way! Aslan had created Narnia. So, those around Alsan are ready to jump on her and you would think Aslan would just roar “No way!” And bite the witch’s head off. But instead he says, “‘Fall back, all of you,’ said Aslan, ‘and I will talk to the Witch alone.’”(LWW pg. 176) And Aslan submissively asks the Witch to walk and talk with him and even more surprising is after the talk Aslan says, “I have settled this matter. She has renounced her claim on your brother’s blood.” And he lets her go free!
Even with the traitor Edmund, Aslan submitted himself. Edmund’s treachery had almost cost his brother and sisters their lives. But instead of killing him or at least punishing Edmund we read: “When the other children woke up the next morning... the first thing they heard - from Mrs. Beaver - was their brother had been rescued and was at that moment with Aslan... they saw Aslan and Edmund walking together in the dewy grass, apart form the rest of the court... As they 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.’” (LWW pg.174) Huh? Why Aslan treated Edmund like a friend not a foe. He was gentle, even forgiving!