Summary: A Christmas Eve or Christmas Day sermon or homily using an extended illustration from "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" to show how many miss(ed) Christ’s first coming and how we need to be ready for his Second Coming in power.
Title: Merry Easter! (a Christmas eve or Christmas day homily)
While bagging groceries years ago in a supermarket during highschool I found it fun to mess with customers minds and say things like: “Have a Day! And hear them automatically respond: “You Too!”
It was especially fun around the holidays, when people were so harried and hurried, to see how a mangled holiday greeting could get a response. Occasionally we would get caught by some alert shopper or even the manager telling us to ‘knock it off’, when we pushed it too far like wishing a customer: “Happy Easter” at Christmas or “Merry Christmas” in the Spring. It did pass the time and it did show that we can miss the most important message of our lives when distracted by the busyness of life.
A long time ago, but still news to some today, there were a few shepherds who took time out from their duties to check out the announcement of a baby’s birth: Read Luke 2:1-20
The first few verses set for us not only the timing of this event historically, but the great contrast between those who ruled earthly kingdoms, but were unaware of the earthly birth of the ruler of the universe.
We hear about all kinds of invasions, from Afghanistan to South American coups, but we live our lives for the most part forgetting that our world was invaded by a stealth baby, travelling under the radar, easily missed by kings and politicians, seen only by the most humble and lowly.
There is an account in the book the Chronicles of Narnia that describes just such an invasion, one where the enemies of this great ruler were blinded to his true strength and missed his true mission and identity.
(Pull out the Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe and read the following selected portions from chapters 14 and 15, this can be shortened or lengthened as needed, but the point is to show how Aslan appears weak in his death, but revealed his true strength in his resurrection):
“He led them up the steep slope out of the river valley and then slightly to the right apparently by the very same route which they had used that afternoon in coming from the hill of the stone table.
On and on he lead them into dark shadows out into pale moonlight. Getting their feet wet with the heavy dew he looked somehow different from the Aslan they knew. His tail and his head hung low and he walked slowly as if he were very, very tired. Then when they were crossing a wide open place where there were no shadows for them to hide in he stopped and looked around. It was no good trying to run away so they came towards him. When they were closer he said,
“Oh children, children why are you following me?” “We couldn’t sleep,” said Lucy. And then felt sure that she say no more and that Aslan knew all they had been thinking.
“Please may we come with you wherever you’re going,” asked Susan. “Well-” said Alsan and seemed to be thinking. Then he said, “I should be glad of company to-night. Yes, you may come, if you will promise to stop when I tell you, and after that leave me to go alone.”
“Oh thank you, thank you” and “We will,” said the two girls.
Forward they went again and one of the girls walked on each side of the Lion. But how slowly he walked! And his great, royal head drooped so that his nose nearly touched the grass. Presently he stumbled and gave a low moan.
“Aslan! Dear Aslan! SaidLucy, “what is wrong? Can’t you tell us?
“Are you ill, dear Aslan?” asked Susan.
“No,” said Aslan. “I am sad and lonely. Lay your hands on my mane so I can feel you are there and let us walk like that.”
And so the girls did what they would never have dared to do without his permission, but hat they had longed to do ever since they first saw him- buried their cold hands in the beautiful sea of fir and stroked it and, in so doing, walked with him. And presently they saw that they were going with him up the slope of the hill on which the stone table stood. They went up at the side where the trees came furthest up, and when they got to the last tree (it was one that had some bushes about it) Alsan stopped and said,
“Oh children, children. Here you must stop. And whatever happens, do not let yourselves be seen. Fairwell.”
A great crowd of people where standing all around the stone table. And though the moon was shining many of them carried torches which burned with evil-looking red flames and black smoke. But such people! Ogres with monsterous teeth, and wolves, and bull-headed men; spirits of evil trees and poisonous plants; and other creatures who I won’t describe because if I did the grown-ups would probably not let your read this book- Cruels and Hags and Incubuses, and Wraiths, Horrors, Efreets, Sprites, Orknies, Wooses and Ettins. In fact here were all those who were on the witches side and whom the Wolf had summoned at her command. And right in the middle, standing by the table, was the Witch herself.