Summary: The winter controlling Narnia is a picture of the curse that controls our world.
A Lake Pointe Christmas in Narnia, Sermon #1
“WINTER, BUT NEVER CHRISTMAS: the Curse that Afflicts this Earth”
Pastor Dean Johnson, Lake Pointe Bible Church, 11-27-05
INTRODUCTION: NARNIA IN THE NEWS
The fictitious land of Narnia is very much in the news these days. Disney has spent one hundred million dollars filming and publicizing the movie based on C.S. Lewis’ book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. They believe that Narnia will be their highest grossing movie ever. Higher than Shrek! Narnia is very much a Christmas story.
OUR SERMON SERIES
So for the Christmas season here at Lake Pointe Bible Church, I would like us to take a trip to “A Lake Pointe Christmas in Narnia.” Let me show you where we’re going.
1. Nov. 27, WINTER, BUT NEVER CHRISTMAS: The Curse that Afflicts this Earth.
2. Dec. 4, THE BEAUTIFUL, HATEFUL WITCH: The Enemy Whose Only Goal is to Oppose God.
3. Dec. 11, THE LAMP THAT ALWAYS SHINES: Christ the Light, and Us as Lights.
4. Dec. 18, THE POWER TO REVERSE THE CURSE: Deity, a mediator, a sacrifice.
5. Dec. 24, THE FAITH REQUIRED TO ENTER THE WARDROBE: Courage, choice, and trust.
Let’s get started with today’s topic.
THE NARNIA STORY
During the bombing of London during World War II, four children are sent to the countryside to live with their uncle. One afternoon the children--Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy--are playing hide and seek in the house, when the youngest, Lucy, finds an old English wardrobe that is a secret passageway into the world of Narnia.
In Narnia Lucy meets a fawn named Mr. Tumnus. While Lucy and Mr. Tumnus are huddled in his cave, the fawn explains that the reason it’s so cold and dreary is because of the White Witch.
“The White Witch? Who is she?” asks Lucy.
“Why, it is she that has got all Narnia under her thumb. It’s she that makes it always winter. Always winter and never Christmas; think of that!”
EMPHASIS ON HARSHNESS
The emphasis here is not really about Christmas, it’s about the fact that it is always winter. From the moment you step into Narnia you recognize that something is terribly wrong. This is not a lovely winter scene like we might see in a Thomas Kincaid painting. No, this winter is bitter and desolate, with a painful, stinging wind.
The author, C.S. Lewis, was writing an analogy. He was saying “This is our world--it is not the way it is supposed to be.”
Why is there so much hate and distrust between people at your work or school or family?
Why do mothers miscarry, and why are babies born with deformities?
Why is there so much violence committed by people against other people?
Why is sex so perverted rather than being enjoyed as the gift it is for a married man and woman?
Why do we struggle so with anger and temper and pride?
Why is there cancer? I believe that cancer is the most visible, palpable physical example of the curse that afflicts this world in which we live.
I must pause here to mention our sister Carolyn Bartlett. (I think it is better for us to talk about this than not to, since it consumes many of our thoughts.) Through no action or choice of her own, Carolyn has cholangio-carcnoma. She is one day younger than I am. And unless God steps in and performs a miracle, we are going to lose Carolyn within the next few weeks. Carolyn’s cancer is a physical reminder to us that it is winter here, that there is a curse on this place, that this world is not as it was created to be. We will all die, but some will die young, and we will not be able to discern a logic to it or a rationale for it. If someone asks you why a person has cancer, or why a person dies, you tell them “Because the world is not as God created it to be.”
Sometimes we forget this, because there is still much beauty and goodness here. But just when we get comfortable in the remaining beauty something happens that reminds us of the curse, the wrongness of things:
--You have an angry confrontation with another person.
--the news reports an unbelievably monstrous crime.
--you attend a funeral. In fact, whenever I attend a funeral and I look at the person’s body lying there lifeless I want to cuss and say “This world is not as it is supposed to be!”
The Bible tells us as much. Genesis begins with a story that basically says “God created the world, and it was wonderful! And he created people, and walked with them in this beautiful world he’d made. But then man acted against God’s will, and their fellowship was broken, and the upheaval poisoned not only people but the entire world.”