I was explaining to Mark Jnr recently that ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ are a collection of seven books that were written by C.S. Lewis during the middle of the 20th century. They are fantasy books about children who travel from our world into an imaginary world called Narnia, and yet the books also contain many parallels to the Bible and to Christianity. This is because C.S. Lewis was himself a Christian, and throughout the books he shares and explores various aspects of his Christian faith. Most of the novel is set in Narnia, a land of talking animals and mythical creatures that is ruled by the evil White Witch – where it is always winter, but never Christmas. Can you imagine what it would be like if it were always winter, never Christmas?

In the land of Narnia it is “always winter” but at least when it gets cold round here, it’s a sign that Christmas is coming. And for many people, Christmas is that bright spot in the middle of winter that somehow makes it all worth it. But what if there were no Christmas? What if the Christmas season never came? Think about it – no holiday decorations, no family gatherings, no Christmas carols or concerts, no Christmas trees, no Christmas presents, no Christmas vacation Christmas specials, no Jimmy Stewart and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It would be all winter, all the time, but never any Christmas. It is a terrible thought! And yet that is exactly the situation C.S. Lewis presents us with in the first book of the Narnia Chronicles, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” When we first encounter the land of Narnia, it is under the terrible curse of the White Witch.

We soon learn that the White Witch is an evil creature of great power who opposes Aslan and all that is good. And so, Narnia is a world that is in slavery and bondage to the White Witch. It is a world that is under a curse and waits for that curse to be lifted. It is a world that is not as it should be and awaits restoration. It is a world very much like ours. (As I write this we are still under the curse of Brexit, of deal or no deal wondering if we will ever be ‘liberated’ not from Europe but from the toxicity and misery and division it has caused.) Our world is also under the curse of sin, and the whole creation waits for that curse to be lifted. The White Witch of Narnia represents evil, Satan the Devil who keeps us under the curse, prisoners of sin, sickness and death.

The ‘Good News’ is that Jesus, just like Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia, is on the move, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:1-2) “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

That wonderful child was born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. As the angels proclaimed to the shepherds that first Christmas night: “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” “the people walking in darkness there saw a great light.” The long curse of darkness was over because Jesus Christ had come as the light of the world at Christmas, to destroy the works of Evil/Satan and set us free. In “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” Aslan also comes into the world of Narnia at Christmas in order to break the curse of the White Witch. When Aslan comes in sight, Christmas comes to Narnia at last. The long, dark spell of winter is broken, and the newness of spring arrives in all its beauty. With the coming of Jesus at Christmas, the curse on our world has also been broken, and God offers newness of life for all who believe.

“You see”, I said to Mark Jnr “the story of ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’ is so powerful because in reality it is our story. It is the story of Jesus Christ who came at Christmas to offer us new life and hope, new purpose and direction. It can be our story, too, if we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.”

That is the good news of Christmas. Or, to paraphrase an old Narnian prophecy:

Wrong will be right, when Jesus comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, when he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.

Every blessing, Rev Edwards