Summary: Jesus came to bring hope to the hopeless. Therefore all people can find hope in him.
What do you want for Christmas? Get kids responses.
In “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, 4 children enter into the magical land of Narnia, through the back of a large wardrobe in a strange professor’s home. When they arrive it is winter. The children think it is great fun, until they learn that in Narnia it has been winter for 100 years. And with no Christmas! For Narnia has fallen under the magic of the evil witch Jadis, whose reign brings harsh winter conditions to the once beautiful land.
Early on in the story, the children meet Mr and Mrs Beaver and are having a meal with them, tucked away in the Beaver’s lodge, when they begin discussing this seemingly endless winter. In the midst of their discussion – Mr Beaver says the most preposterous thing. He says there is reason for hope – good reason! Why? Because Aslan is on the move. Up to this point the children don’t know who Aslan is or why he should be the source of such hope in the midst of despair – but they see that the very thought of Aslan at work again in Narnia brings hope to the Beavers and other creatures who have not pledged allegiance to the evil Witch.
Most of us here can understand the thought of a winter that never ends. At some point in our lives, things seem to crash around us, and we can lose the most precious possession in the world – hope. It often seems that God is distant from our world. Many things seem out of control. Bad things happen to good people. Evil seems to triumph. Perhaps life seems like a 100-year winter with no hope of Christmas ever coming, let alone springtime!
But let me tell you something. No matter who you are or what the circumstances of your life are - you have reason for hope. Good reason. Why? God is on the move.
That’s what we celebrate at Christmas.
As we heard just a few minutes ago in the reading from the Gospel fo Luke, 2000 years ago God broke through every barrier and sent Jesus, a frail little baby, to perform the important work of establishing His Kingdom once and for all in the lives of humankind.
But when he came, it was much like Aslan’s arrival in Narnia. It was nearly imperceptible to those living in Judea then. For instead of heralding his arrival with loud trumpets in the center of Jerusalem, the Messiah was born in the humblest of ways: to a young Jewish girl, in where the animals were kept, and he was laid in a feeding trough with simple cloths wrapped around him. The angels, when they were finally allowed the opportunity to show themselves to the world, heralded Jesus’ birth to a handful of shepherds! The coming of Jesus was hardly noticed, and that, though it seems crazy to us, is just how God planned it.
This was His plan, because he came for simple and ordinary people, not just for the great and might and powerful. He came into the world quietly, bringing with him that most precious of all commodities: hope.
Hundreds of years before Jesus appeared, the prophet Isaiah looked into the future and spoke about the hope he would bring into the world: