Summary: An examination of some of the prophecies related to the birth of Christ and how C. S. Lewis included them symbolically in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
TITLE: Narnia: Finding Hope in Christmas
I don’t know about you, but somehow Christmas never lives up to my expectations. Perhaps I’ve seen “Miracle on 34th Street” too many times, or heard the song “Holly, Jolly Christmas” once too often. It’s not that I don’t believe in miracles or the wonder of Christmas. It’s just that I look at my own Christmas experiences and find that they are all together different from the fantasy that has been painted since I was a child.
The reality of Christmas in my lifetime has included Christmas trees with sparkling lights and packages wrapped in bright paper, but it has also included sad and difficult times. I remember many Christmases when Jessica was little that she was so sick that we couldn’t attend programs, and the highlight of the season was wrapping her in warm blankets and taking her on a drive to see Christmas lights. I remember the year that Linda’s mother suddenly died just a few days before Christmas. We didn’t get a chance to do most of our shopping until Christmas Eve. The bright spot was that most of the family was together for the funeral and stayed on until Christmas to be with her Dad. We got several of the gifts months later when Dad found where her mom had hid them.
And of course, we can’t forget the Christmas Eve 13 years ago when Janelle was born. Linda missed all of the activities that year. We had dinner at the hospital, and spent Christmas night worrying about a jaundiced little baby that wouldn’t eat. Somehow, the hope of Christmas carried us through that and every Christmas.
Today I want to look at the idea of finding hope. I’d love to have an interactive lesson on hope, where we could use a large white board or “power-point” projection system and discuss the topic.
• How do you define hope?
• How is hope demonstrated?
• What brings you hope?
According to 1 Corinthians 13, hope, along with faith and love, are key elements of Christian character. My desktop dictionary defines hope as a confident desire that something will be fulfilled.
Is there more to hope than a confidence that something will happen? And what does all of this have to do with Narnia and the Christmas story? Christ is the object of our hope. It is because of Christmas that we have hope. Yet, The Chronicles of Narnia were written to help us realize that through Christ we will always have hope.
Today I want to look briefly at prophecy and hope. When applied to the Christmas story they are like siblings, sharing the same event from different angles.
Have ever in your lifetime made a mistake? . . . I know that’s a dumb question. We all have, but God hasn’t. God has never made a mistake. Unlike our lives, God never does anything by accident.
This is what Galatians 4:4-5 says. God had a plan. It was not an accident. He fulfilled his plan. “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” Have you ever thought about that phrase, “when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman”? God’s timing was and is perfect.
God’s plan began in the beginning as he prepared prophecy. Jesus came into the world “when the time was right.” The Roman roads provided great travel for the gospel message. The Greek language provided a common link in terms of communication. The world was watching for him. The Jews were waiting for the Messiah. The wise men knew to follow the star because of prophecy. The scribes in the palace of Herod knew where to send them to look because of the prophecy. In all, there were over 600 prophecies fulfilled in the life of Jesus. It was all planned before by a higher power, God almighty.
All the prophecy concerning Jesus begins with finding hope in the Christmas story.
I. Finding hope in the Christmas story
The core of the Christmas story is grounded in prophecy. It is not a series of random events that happened 2000 years ago.
C. S. Lewis tied in the prophesies of Jesus into the story of Narnia and made them an integral part of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The children found their way into the wardrobe not by seeking it, but because it was arranged by “fate” or a higher power. In escaping from the housekeeper, they go into Narnia because they have a purpose there. The four thrones at Cair Paravel were set in prophecy long before the Pevensie children were born. The White Witch knew of the “sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve” and feared them because she knew that a power greater than her had called them for the purpose of destroying her.