Summary: An introduction and first sermon in a three part Advent Series developed loosly from The Chronicles of Narnia. Additional Sermons: Turkish Delight, Trickes of the Evil One and Miracle at the Stone Table.
Narnia: Introduction & Explanation
It may seem a little strange that we are building our Advent series around a “fairy tale” as C.S. Lewis called his novel, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Let me set your mind at ease, we’re going to do what Lewis himself hinted at concerning all of the Chronicles of Narnia: enjoy the truths in the stories and learn from the truths behind the stories.
When C.S. Lewis wrote The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in 1950 his intent was not to write a Christian story, but to simply write a good story. However, there is no better story that the true story of God loving this broken world and fixing it.
Ultimately, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is about righting what has been wronged through the only means possible – a term we call redemption, paying the price to buy back what has been taken away. So The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, along with the other six books in the Chronicles of Narnia series are about redemption – righting wrong and coming into relationship with the creator. If that sounds Biblically familiar it was meant to be.
Lewis’ desire was to portray good as good and what happens when bad is allowed to rule. The story is not a parallel or allegory to the Bible, but it is filled with Biblical truth, some of which we will discover together over the coming weeks.
We will use the journey of discovery the Pevensie children experience as a springboard to some important Christmas truths. So, let’s get started at discover together: Opening the Door To Your Spiritual Journey: Your Own Wardrobe experience.
Narnia Sermon One: Opening the Door To Your Spiritual Journey: Your Own Wardrobe Experience
Though none of us have seen the movie yet, the pivotal scene near the beginning of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe features my favorite of the characters, Lucy Pevensie. Maybe you’ve seen the trailer...
Lucy walks into the room and stands before the cloth covered object. A decision is made and she pulls back the cover revealing a wardrobe. Slowly she opens the door...
“To her surprise it opened quite easily, and two moth-balls dropped out. Looking into the inside, she saw several coats hanging up – mostly fur coats. There was nothing Lucy liked so much as the smell and feel of fur. She immediately stepped into the wardrobe, and got in among the coats...she took a step further in-then two or three steps-always expecting to feel woodwork against the tips of her fingers. But she could not feel it...And then she saw that there was a light ahead of her...” [from, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, chapter one)
The story begins with one little girl stepping into a wardrobe and beginning a journey that lasts a lifetime in another world. Soon others follow, but it seems that even though they are mostly together, each is on a journey of their own. Well look at the other two main characters, the White Witch and the Lion, but for this morning I want to make a simple statement and then show you from the Christmas story that it’s truth.
The statement: If you’re going to begin the journey you have to open the door.
In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis wrote of a closet (wardrobe). We learn later that the wardrobe was made from the wood of an apple tree grown from a magic apple brought back from Narnia years before. The point being that there was something very special about that particular wardrobe and that specific door. But more importantly there was something that made her open that door and step inside. There was something that kept her moving toward the back of the wardrobe and eventually into Narnia.
Once in Narnia, once she saw the light of the lamp post, something kept her moving. Later when her brothers and sisters joined her something kept them moving as well. The call of Mr. Beaver in chapter seven summarized their journey: “Further in, come further in.” Mr. Beaver called.
In many ways the first Christmas story chronicles a similar journey. The world on the other side of Christmas was a cold, dark place.
As Mr Tumnus described Narnia in the second chapter of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, it’s “Always winter and never Christmas, think of that!”
“Never quite Christmas” That’s a good description of what it was like before Christ’s Advent. Always winter, always spiritually dark. Never quite Christmas – at least not yet.
The inhabitants of Israel lived in spiritual darkness: speaking of Jesus, the Apostle John wrote: “The light shines through the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:4) It was a dark world that the Messiah was born into.