Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: First in three sermons to coordinate with Narnia film and Christmas season- to embrace the life changing power of Jesus

What if there was no Christmas?

Luke 1.67-79

December 4, 2005

C.S. Lewis’ penetrable understanding of scripture serves to instruct us in a wonderful way this Christmas. One of the Christ-honoring highlights of the season this year will be the release of the film, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Through Lewis’ world of Narnia, I hope we can see afresh the world of scripture and the beauty of what God does through Jesus. I hope that this series will help make sure that our ears are open and our eyes are looking and our hearts are receptive to the One who is the meaning of every season, but especially this season, the season of Christmas.

Have you ever thought what the world be like without Christmas? Let’s start with your immediate little world.

Just think, the days would get darker and the cold would fly in and Thanksgiving would come and go and that would be the end of it- until spring.

No Christmas carols, no families coming together. No Christmas gifts, no holiday traditions, no Santa Claus, decorations, or Christmas trees. No time off in December, no school break, no holly berries or Christmas cards or Christmas plays. No Red Ryder BB guns or Bedford Falls- all would be Pottersville.

Have a little bit larger perspective. Christmas exists because of the birth of Christ. If there had never been Christ, what would our world be like? There would be no churches. Most of the charitable organizations that exist today: World Relief, World Vision, Samaritans Purse, the Salvation Army, Red Cross, AA- they wouldn’t exist. The majority of the world’s hospitals wouldn’t be built or staffed- neither St. Dominic’s nor Baptist Hospital would serve our community. Think about our ministry to the Quiche Indians, thousands of people would have died of disease and illness if Christ had never come.

Without the birth of Christ, every one of the first 123 American colleges and universities founded in this country wouldn’t be here- Harvard, Yale, Stanford, even many of the large state schools first came into existence because Christians founded them.

And what about our country? What about the moral fiber of law-abiding nations? Would any of it exist apart from the coming of Christ?

Let’s look deeper. Let’s look harder. Not at your world, but at your life, to the depths of your being. If Christ had never come, if Christmas never broke through winter, how would your life be different? Where would you be this morning? How would you deal with the guilt of your failures? Who would you cry to for help with the heart-breaks of your life? What would drive your waking and give aid for your sleeping? What would inspire you? What would fill your life if Christ had never come?

If Christ had never come, if Christmas never broke into winter, much of the good in this world would be missing. We couldn’t imagine what it would be like. It would be far darker than any of us could predict. We would be far darker than any of us has the humility to admit. Our lives would be caught up in the powers of dark forces we could not control. Perhaps we would still be writing songs of despair like Isaiah

So justice is far from us,

and righteousness does not reach us.

We look for light, but all is darkness;

for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.

Like the blind we grope along the wall,

feeling our way like men without eyes.

At midday we stumble as if it were twilight;

among the strong, we are like the dead.

We all growl like bears;

we moan mournfully like doves.

We look for justice, but find none;

for deliverance, but it is far away.

For our offenses are many in your sight,

and our sins testify against us.

Our offenses are ever with us,

and we acknowledge our iniquities:

rebellion and treachery against the LORD,

turning our backs on our God,

fomenting oppression and revolt,

uttering lies our hearts have conceived.

So justice is driven back,

and righteousness stands at a distance;

truth has stumbled in the streets,

honesty cannot enter.

Truth is nowhere to be found,

and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.

(Isaiah 59.9-15a)

Sounds pretty dismal. That’s the world we encounter in the book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe- where four children, through a magical wardrobe, enter a world where it is always winter but never Christmas. It is dead and frozen just like December in upstate NY, but Christmas never comes.

It is a world of fear, a world of hope too long postponed, a world of suspicion and insecurity, a world without joy. A world ruled by a selfish white witch whose will asserts itself wherever and whenever she wants. Her power is complete over this land, and for those who fear her they have no power within themselves, no means to be rid of this eternal winter. When the children enter Narnia and want to devise some stratagem against this evil, the little animals of Narnia truthfully reveal

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