Summary: This sermon was written for the first Sunday of Advent, and focuses around the first encounter of Lucy in the land of Narnia.
Through the Wardrobe into Winter
I would like for everyone to place there imagination hats on with me this morning as we journey into an enchanted land known as Narnia. We need to recapture a sense of wonder and each of us needs to find our inner child. I need everyone to close their eyes as we begin on this amazing adventure.
You are a child or at least you are a child at heart. We have all begun to play a game of Hide and Go seek, and we are playing inside because it is raining in sheets outside. You quickly enter into a room and at first glance it appears that the room is empty, but then you notice a rather unremarkable wardrobe sitting in the corner of the room. You quickly move over to the wardrobe and you pull the doors open. What you find inside is fur coats, and your first thought is that you can hide behind the furs.
You slip in among the furs, and you feel them brushing against your cheeks. As you push to the back of the wardrobe you notice there is a second row of furs, and then when you expect to reach the back of the wardrobe, you find that it keeps going. It is getting darker and darker the deeper that you move into the wardrobe. You hear something cracking under your feet, maybe it is mothballs, so you bend over to find out what it is, and you are amazed, the floor of the wardrobe is not a smooth wood, but what you find is something very powdery and cold—it is snow.
You immediately return to your feet, and find that you are no longer running into fur coats, but that you are brushing against trees. You are just about to turn around when you notice a light up in the distance. You are intrigued by what you have seen so far and you continue on the path. You are cold and your feet are a little bit wet, you wish you had put on one of the fur coats that you had just been brushing through. After about 10 minutes, you arrive at the light source—a lamp post in the middle of a snow covered forest. It cast its light around in a circle and dispels all the darkness that surrounds it. What a strange place for there to be a lamp post you think in your mind.
You are just traced the steps of Lucy, the first child to enter the land of Narnia.*
My hope and prayer for us over the next few weeks, is that we like so many readers over the last 55 years, will be able to find God in the pages of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, for the sole reason of experiencing him here in our lives. This morning I want us to pause and focus upon the first scene in the land of Narnia, that of winter and the lamp post.
This morning as we journey into the land of Narnia, we are also beginning the journey through the season known as Advent, a walk towards Christmas. With these two things in mind, I want us to look at a passage of scripture that is found in the book of Isaiah.
II. The Darkness of Winter
The world of Narnia was a world that was dominated by darkness and evil. The entire country was under the spell of the white witch, and her spell was quite simple—it would always be winter, but never Christmas. Now for us in West Texas we just don’t understand what that means. We hope so often that we would have just a little bit of winter. If we get one good snow we think that we have had a hard winter, but there are people around the world that long for winter to end. They long to see the sun, to experience spring, to feel refreshment, renewal, rebirth, new beginnings. And that was the desire of the creatures of Narnia.
Now the people of Judah that Isaiah was writing to also very much lived in a long winter. When he writes to the people they are walking in gloom, they are walking in darkness, they are a people that have seen the destruction of the Northern Kingdom, Israel, they have inept leadership and they see the looming destruction of their own kingdom. The desire of the heart of the people according to Isaiah is that a King in the mold of David, the shepherd King would arise to save them. These people were looking for hope, they were looking for a future, they were looking for a Messiah.
We may not understand winter like some people do, but there is not doubt that we can understand darkness. We live in a world that is many times characterized by darkness. This world is not held captive by the spell of a witch, but is held captive by our own sin. Sin entered the world, and it stopped all hopes of renewal and rebirth. That is the darkness of the world that we live inside.