Summary: Using Narnia and those involved in the birth narratives calls the hearers to idenitfy how they respond to Jesus.
Where It’s Winter But Never Christmas:
Do You Hear What I Hear
Advent Series 2005
Matthew 1:18-21 (NLT)
Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  Joseph, her fiancé, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly.
 As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit.  And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
Luke 2:21 (NLT)
Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.
Today we continue our journey toward Christmas - a journey that the church calls the season of Advent. A time of waiting and preparing. Waiting for God’s promised messiah and preparing our hearts for his arrival. This year we are using the first book in CS Lewis’ classic children’s story The Chronicles of Narnia. As I mentioned last week when Lewis first introduced the world to Narnia in 1950 it was a land of perpetual winter. It had been under the control of an evil witch, Jadis, for 100 years. The sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy enter this land through a Wardrobe. You will remember that Lucy first found her way into Narnia. So when they all end up in Narnia Lucy takes them to the house of her friend Mr. Tumnus. When they arrive they discover the door broken down and the contents destroyed. They also discover a paper that stated that Mr. Tumnus had been charged with treason for consorting with humans.
Lucy is crushed for she know it is all her fault. The children don’t know what to do. Suddenly they see that an animal is motioning to them, it is a beaver. Let’s listen in on their conversation.
(Play the section from chapter 7 in Focus on the Family Radio Theater’s production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe beginning where Mr. Beaver asks if they are the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve and play until the narrator finished describing their response Mr. Beavers mention of the name of Aslan.)
1. The Children’s response to the name of Aslan
- Each child responded differently
A. Edmund - “a sensation of mysterious horror”
Edmund had a reason to feel this way.
Eating the White Witch’s food
B. Peter - “suddenly brave and adventurous”
C. Susan - “as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her”
D. Lucy - “got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of holidays or the beginning of summer”
2. The response to Jesus at His Birth
A. Mary & Joseph - Humble Obedience
Luke 1:30-31 (NLT) "Don’t be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to bless you!  You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus.
Luke 1:38 (NLT) Mary responded, "I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true." And then the angel left.
Matthew 1:24-25 (NLT) When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded. He brought Mary home to be his wife,  but she remained a virgin until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.
B. The Shepherds - They told Everyone
Luke 2:15-18 (NLT) When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
 They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.  Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.  All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished,
C. The Magi - They Worshiped Him
Matthew 2:9-11 (NLT) Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!  They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.