Summary: This is an Advent Sermon on Narnia for the 1st week of Advent.
Into the Wardrobe Luke 2:25-32
The feeling that most characterizes American life is boredom.
Regaining our lost sense of wonder.
1. The first requirement is to: Stop. Look. Listen.
Stop. In our hurry we miss the wonder God has for us.
Look. Those who can truly see can enjoy the wonder all around.
Listen. God is speaking and those who are listening can hear Him.
2. The Place of Exploration is Inside and Out
The world around us is filled with the wonder of God.
The world inside is infinitely larger than the world outside.
3. The Way in is through the Door
The meeting of our hunger and God’s provision is found in Christ.
This is why God sent Jesus, and why our life is found in Him.
Before scripture reading…
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? This is the story of four schoolchildren who find themselves at a large manor house because of the war. Their parents sent them to the country because the city was being bombed, and while they were there they found a portal to another world. The door is a beautiful wardrobe made of wood that came from a tree grown from a seed; brought from that world through magic years before. I want to invite you into the Wardrobe into another world. Jack Lewis wrote this book because he wanted to introduce children and adults to truths that are here, but missed. Sometimes it is not until we enter another world that we see our own for the first time. Lewis wrote a letter to a fifth grade class in Maryland, and he revealed the seed from which all the meanings in the books come: Let us suppose that there was a land like Narnia and that the Son of God, as He became a Man in our world, became a Lion there, and then imagine what would happen…
25Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."
It was a rather strange scene at the Louvre, France’s most famous art museum. Here displayed in exhibit after exhibit are the treasurers of Western Civilization. The works of Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Gauguin and
Michelangelo. The Mona Lisa and … recently one visitor walked the galleries and was struck
by a group of blind students being led by their teacher. Blind students in an art gallery
cannot help but draw one’s curiosity. How could they take in what was around
them? What value could all of the glorious art have to them? But the
instructor became their eyes, going to great lengths to describe
each painting. Then he led them to a room where the
stature of an ancient Greek Olympic athlete
stood on a pedestal.
The teacher took each student’s hand, one by one, and guided it so that the student could feel the muscle
bound figure and the “perfect physique” of this specimen. The young boys were awe-stricken just
to touch the powerful body, contoured down to the veins in stone. Here was another world
they were being invited to explore and it was right here in their own. It is at Christmas
that I come to feel like the schoolboys learning that more each day about another world that has always been in their midst, but they simply have
been unable to see it. Our advent study this years will be taken
this year from the birth accounts from Jesus’ life with
the help of another story, the Lion, the Witch,
and the Wardrobe by Jack Lewis.
Why? With the hopes of being led on a visit to the gallery of wonders by one who can see just a little bit
better than we can. Both stories, the one true, and the other made up, start in the same place. The world of
the ordinary. Here there are no surprises. There is never more than meets the eye, and there is
nothing that can end happily ever after because there really seems to be no story line
at all. Every day seems, well, they seem very much like the day before. This is