Summary: This sermon aims at seekers, using quotes from ’The Magicians Nephew’ and ’The Last Battle’. The world was created through Jesus and he has prepared a place in heaven for all believers! So, let’s become like little children!
[This sermon was preached in December 2005 at a Carol Service in partnership with ’Naomi House’, a local hospital providing respite care for terminally ill children and their families. Many people in the congregation are not / were not Christians and this message was especially aimed at them. Extensive quotes from the Narnia series are used.]
John 1:3, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
After CS Lewis had written ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ he wrote a book called ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ in order to explain the origins of Narnia. Chapter 9 is entitled ‘The founding of Narnia’; the hero Aslan the Lion has been singing, and now his song has just changed.
(Quoting directly from The Magician’s Nephew, Penguin Books Ltd.): ‘The Lion was pacing to and fro about that empty land and singing his new song. It was softer and more lilting than the song by which he had called up the stars and the sun; a gentle, rippling music; and as he walked and sang the valley grew green with grass. It spread out from the Lion like a pool. It ran up the sides of the little hills like a wave
…The light wind could now be heard ruffling the grass …The higher slopes grew dark with heather. Patches of rougher and more bristling green appeared in the valley …[Little spiky things] threw out dozens of arms and covered these arms with green and grew at the rate of about an inch every two seconds …There were dozens of …trees!
…When [the Lion] burst into a rapid series of lighter notes …primroses suddenly [appeared] in every direction …When you listened to his song you heard the things he was making up: when you looked round, you saw them
…Can you imagine a stretch of grassy land bubbling like water in a pot? For that is really the best description of what was happening. In all directions it was swelling into humps …and the humps moved and swelled until they burst …and from each hump there came out an animal.
…The dogs came out, barking the moment their heads were free …The stags were the [strangest] to watch, for of course the antlers came up a long time before the rest of them …The frogs, who all came up near the river, went straight into it with a plop-plop and a loud croaking. The panthers, leopards and things of that sort, sat down at once to wash the loose earth off their hind quarters and then stood up against the trees to sharpen their front claws. Showers of birds came out of the trees. Butterflies fluttered. Bees got to work on the flowers as if they hadn’t a second to lose.
…The Lion opened his mouth, but no sound came from it; he was breathing out, a long, warm breath.
…and [then] the deepest, wildest voice …was saying: “Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak.”
Where was Jesus before he was born in that stable?
Where was Jesus before he was in the Virgin Mary’s womb? In our Bible reading we heard this: “He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
That includes you, and that includes me. Through him all things were made, and when the time was just right, for us and for our salvation he came down from heaven. Jesus touched ‘untouchables’; he ate meals with ‘unpopular’ people; he pronounced forgiveness for sinners, and he encouraged adults to consider the faith of children. Jesus said (Matthew 18:3-5), “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like [a] child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child …in my name welcomes me.”
It’s a wonderful work that Naomi House do for children and for their families at such a distressing time, and we are delighted to be able to support the work which you do.
Of course you don’t need me to tell you that it’s nearly Christmas! I know that some of you are looking forward to it, but I know that others of you, for various reasons, are not, especially if you have lost a loved one recently; but I do want to say that however bleak or dark life might seem right now, or however dark life might be during 2006, Jesus really can bring light and hope and healing to you, to your family and to your situation. He really is ‘the light of the world’ (Jn 8:12).
It seems to me that most children have no problem at all believing that God took on human form and was born in a smelly cow shed in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. It seems to me that most children have no problem believing in the love and promises of Jesus.