Summary: Considering what it is like to live life as though it were always winter but never Christmas.
Children’s Message: Over the next 4 weeks, we’re going to be getting ready for Christmas by thinking about a story called, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” from the Chronicles of Narnia. Have any of you ever heard of that story before or heard about the movie that’s coming out soon? Let’s start today by reading some of the first part of the story. [from the Narnia “Movie Storybook” read pages 1-6, ending with, “We haven’t had Christmas for a hundred years.”] Can you imagine that?! Always winter but never Christmas! What would it be like to have it always be winter? [take responses – cold, depressing, some fun things like skiing, sledding, etc.] When it gets to be winter, what do you start looking forward to? What makes winter bearable? Christmas! But what would it be like if it was always winter but it was never Christmas? [take responses – bad, sad, etc.] What makes Christmas what it is? [not Santa, Jesus!] He’s what makes not only Christmas what it is, but He’s what brings joy to our lives every day! I’d like you to listen today as we think about things like winter and not having Christmas but especially how we need to watch for Jesus every day and know the wonderful difference He can make when He is in our lives. Pray.
How many of you have read or are familiar with C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, specifically “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”? C.S. Lewis is considered by many people to be one of the foremost Christian writers of our modern era, by some even as one of the greatest writers since St. Paul himself! When Lewis published this little volume in 1950 it was the first of what would become a seven volume series on this mythical world called Narnia. Lewis does an amazing job in these stories of making some wonderful connections to the Christian faith and to the power of Jesus. As I mentioned with the children, we’re going to use this delightful little story to open our eyes more and more to see the real Kingdom on the move in our lives today as we journey toward Christmas. Over the next four weeks, even for those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, you’ll be getting bits and pieces of it. If you’re interested in reading it for yourself, there are resources available to order today in the entryway – feel free to check those out. To give us a quick flavor of the story, I want to show the movie trailer, a 2 minute teaser. [show trailer from :08-2:21]
Wardrobes, open doors, new worlds, a witch, a lion, wars, mythical creatures of all sorts, an epic battle of good vs. evil. All of it sounds perhaps a bit ominous, mysterious, and definitely exciting! We heard from Jesus in the reading from Mark 13 (quickview)  today also sounded a bit ominous, mysterious, and even exciting as well. Just glance over those verses again and you see things like, “distress,” the sun being darkened, the moon going dark, stars falling from the sky, the heavenly bodies shaken, be on guard, be alert, keep watch because you don’t know when the owner of the house will come back (He’s talking about Himself returning at the end of time) and you don’t want him to find you sleeping, and it ends with, “Watch!”