Sermons

Summary: A look at the lion from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe- Aslan is his name. A brief overview of the story and the significant lessons we can learn. Aslan’s death is a picture of Ultimate love- a substitutionary sacrifice for one who is undeserving; g

Narnia Christmas Series

“Encounter the Power”

Oakbrook Church 12/18/05

Intro.- “What’s up with the lion?” (slide) On posters and TV advertisement everywhere, billboard on Schuering Rd, the 8’ oil painting; what’s up with the lion?

Here we are in the middle of December 2005, when people are afraid to say "Merry Christmas" because it isn’t politically correct, Hollywood has given people a chance to show in cold hard cash, what they are hungry for. This past weekend, Americans paid over 67 million dollars to see the well worn and loved tale of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It’s debut this weekend was the second-highest December opening ever! It trails only The return of the King- the final film in Peter Jackson’s three part adaptation of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

But, “What’s up with the lion?” The lion’s name is Aslan. He is the talking lion from TLTWTW. He is the true King of Narnia.

(Snapshot of the story via slides- wardrobe, children, Narnia map, “always winter...”, witch, temptation & betrayal, Aslan on the move)

The lion-

The inhabitants of Narnia have long ago lost the memory of warmth and sunshine, they can’t recall joyous or happy times- but they hold out hope. They look forward to the day when Narnia will be delivered from the curse of the White Witch; when the rightful ruler of Narnia returns, does battle with the witch and brings life and freedom to their land. The rightful ruler of Narnia is Aslan (slide) just the sound of His name fills the air with excitement, even after 100 yrs. of winter and waiting.

But rumor has it that Aslan is on the move (slide) and when He returns things start to change, with His mere presence snow starts to melt and spring begins to set in. The mention of His name causes joy to well up in the hearts of many and invokes fear in the hearts of those loyal to the queen/witch.

In Aslan we have a portrait of a God who is both awe-ful and good- full of awe and good, inspiring both wholesome fear and wholehearted love.

Of Aslan it is said-

(slide) “Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight. At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more. When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death. And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”

C.S. Lewis

When the children are in Narnia, they meet Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, who describe the mighty lion to them.

"Is he a man?" asked Lucy.

"Aslan a man!" said Mr Beaver sternly. Certainly not. I tell you he is King of the wood and the son of the great emperor-beyond-the-sea. Don’t you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great lion."

"ooh!" said Susan, "I’d thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

"That you will, dearie, and no mistake" said Mrs. Beaver; "if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly."

"Then he isn’t safe?" said Lucy.

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?

(slide) Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you The Lord of the whole wood."

At the end of the story, Mr. Beaver emphasizes this in a slightly different way, claiming that Aslan is not “a tame lion”.

A Narnian lesson- (slide) People want a tame God, a safe God. But Lewis portrays Aslan as neither tame nor safe. We want a nice, safe, kind God who accepts us where we are, makes no demands on our life, and though He wishes we would do better, He simply sighs, smiles and kindly forgives us. Aslan isn’t like that, and neither is the One True Living God.

He loves us, He forgives us, and He calls us to follow Him. In that He’s not safe. He calls us to move out of our comfort zone; He’s not a God to make us comfortable, He’s concerned about our character not our comfort. He’s not safe b/c He makes demands on our life, if we claim Him as our God He makes claims upon our life. Luke 9:23-24 (slide) “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

The betrayal- (slide)

In TLTWTW one of the children, Edmund, is deceived and tempted by the evil witch. He succumbs to the temptation of personal glory and falls prey to the White Witch, betraying his family and the other Narnians. Edmund is tempted with the delicious taste of Turkish delight... and the offer to be King of Narnia, with his siblings as his subjects; if he would simply deliver his siblings into the hands of the wicked White Witch, Jadis.

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