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Summary: Father Christmas told Peter that these gifts are ’tools and not toys’. The Holy Spirit gives us the same instruction regarding his gifts.

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Chronicles of Narnia need to be thought of as a parable and, like any parable, it’s the principle characters that we need to give attention to.

The principle characters in the Chronicles of Narnia are:

• White witch – kept Narnia under a spell. Always winter but never Christmas. The wicked white witch symbolizes the devil

• Children: Peter; Edmund; Susan and Lucy. They represent both the disciples of Jesus and us) Edmund = prodigal son

• Aslan: Jesus

o At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. 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

o "Is-is he a man?" asked Lucy. "Aslan a man!" said Mr Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of 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? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.

But there is another character that I would like us to look at tonight:

On the sledge sat a person whom everyone knew the moment they set eyes on him. He was a huge man. in a bright red robe with a hood that had fur inside it and a great white beard, that fell like a foamy waterfall over his chest. Everyone knew him because, though you see people of his sort only in Narnia, you see pictures of them and hear them talked about even in our world - the world on this side of the wardrobe door. But when you really see them in Narnia it is rather different. Some of the pictures of Father Christmas in our world make him look only funny and jolly. But now that the children actually stood looking at him they didn’t find it quite like that. He was so big, and so glad, and so real, that they all became quite still. They felt very glad, but also solemn. "I’ve come at last," said he. "She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch’s magic is weakening." And Lucy felt running through her that deep shiver of gladness which you only get if you are being solemn and still … "And now," said Father Christmas, "for your presents. "Peter, Adam’s Son," said Father Christmas. "These are your presents, and they are tools not toys. The time to use them is perhaps near at hand. Bear them well." With these words he handed to Peter a shield and a sword. The shield was the colour of silver and across it there ramped a red lion, as bright as a ripe strawberry at the moment when you pick it. The hilt of the sword was of gold and it had a sheath and a sword belt and everything it needed, and it was just the right size and weight for Peter to use. Peter was silent and solemn as he received these gifts, for he felt they were a very serious kind of present. "Susan, Eve’s Daughter," said Father Christmas. "These are for you," and he handed her a bow and a quiver full of arrows and a little ivory horn. "You must use the bow only in great need," he said, "for I do not mean you to fight in the battle. It does not easily miss. And when you put this horn to your lips; and blow it, then, wherever you are, I think help of some kind will come to you." Last of all he said, "Lucy, Eve’s Daughter," and Lucy came forward. He gave her a little bottle of what looked like glass (but people said afterwards that it was made of diamond) and a small dagger. "In this bottle," he said, "there is cordial made of the juice of one of the fireflowers that grow in the mountains of the sun. If you or any of your friends is hurt, a few drops of this restore them. And the dagger is to defend yourse at great need. For you also are not to be in battle." "Why, sir?" said Lucy. "I think - I don’t know but I think I could be brave enough." "That is not the point," he said. "But battles are ugly when women fight. And now" - here he suddenly looked less grave - "here is something for the moment for you all!"


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