Summary: There is a childlike longing within us that points to the fact we were made for another world, a better one. God’s.
Intro: (show trailer or...) During WWII, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are sent from London to the country home of Professor Digory Kirk for safety. The children find life in the house extremely boring until Lucy discovers a wardrobe that leads to a magical world called Narnia, a world where animals can talk. The land belongs to the great Emperor and his son, a powerful yet benevolent Lion named Aslan, who has not been seen for many long years. The other children don’t believe her at first, but soon all of them go through the wardrobe and discover that all is not well in Narnia. The land is being kept in perpetual winter by the evil White Witch, Jadis, who turns anyone who doesn’t obey her into stone. For 100 years it has been always winter, but never Christmas. But word is that Aslan is on the move! And an ancient prophecy says that when the 4 thrones at Cair Paravel are filled by the Daughters of Eve and the sons of Adam, the cold of evil will be broken.
Such is the story of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, (LWW), by C.S. Lewis. It opens as a major motion picture this December. It’s a fantasy, a fairy tale, a myth -so to speak. There’s one difference: this story is about the True Story.
Let me explain...
1. My longings mean I was meant for something more.
A. Everyone has deep, inner longings.
You might sit by the phone, or next to a lonely window wishing deeply for a boyfriend.
Some folks, long to grow up and start out.
Others long for something different.
Well, Fairy tales, fantasies -are all about human longing. We thirst for fantasy lands: places where mystery, adventure, romance, and dangerous quests are the order of the day. Even while yawning in class or surfing the Net, we hunger for other worlds. We long to go beyond the streets we know, beyond our familiar woods and fields, and into the land of tales; be it Middle-earth, Narnia, Summerland, or a galaxy far far away.
Sometimes we long so much that we actually feel sick inside. Most of us, if we’re honest, sense with unease that this world is not all there is. At times we get inner hints and glimpses of something beyond what the eye can see.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV).
cf. Amy Grant’s song: Grown Up Christmas List:
Our own Christmas tales are also a sign of our longings:
Colored lights dispel the dark and make our neighborhoods a fairytale land for a few weeks.
We long for a world where people love each other, and give to one another happily.
We hope for a time when family gathers and enjoys each other’s presence, where music plays that reminds us of special times long long ago.
B. Good news is: The world we yearn for, filled with the goodness and holiness we don’t fully see here, is real.
What we all really long for is life with God, our maker, the one who loves us most. In the Spirit of Christmas, we are all secretly longing for the Spirit of Christ.
Augustine (or Pascal) said in every man is a god-shaped vacuum. We are restless until we rest in him.
Tolkien argued that all fairy tales echo the gospel of JC in some way because the gospel is the True Story, it’s the real fairy tale that crashed into the time line of history.
In LOTR what we really want deep down is the assurance that there is a realm someplace where evil has been conquered once and for all.
Lewis wrote, “The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact.”
The kingdom we all long for, beyond the world we know, is real after all. Check our text...
v13 what people of faith down through human history saw was that this is not all there is. They lived by faith that there was something more.
They traveled to unknown places, they left palaces (26) , were thrown into furnaces (34), fed to animals, stoned (37) -willingly endured because they had thier eyes set on a “fantasy world” -the bible calls it the Kingdom of God.
Look at verse 16: Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:16, NIV).
C. If you read LWW or see the film, I predict you will be moved. Perhaps by...
the mystery of another land found through the back of a wardrobe.