Family & Friends,
This Sunday I have the privilege of introducing the Advent sermon with a wardrobe borrowed from Aslan’s How, our home. Here is a sneak preview:
Before your eyes is a wardrobe that has sat in my house for ten years. It is normally in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe room. It is here today for the same reason that I display it in my house. It is a powerful symbol from C.S. Lewis’s Narnia stories for children. For Lucy Pevensie who first goes through the wardrobe, it was the most ordinary of things. Americans don’t prefer wardrobes. We would name the book The Lion, the Witch and the Clothes Closet which has no enchantment to it.
Lucy enters the most ordinary of wardrobes to find it was extraordinary. It led into a snowy forest in the land of Narnia. Narnia is extraordinary. Talking trees, dryads, talking animals including Reepicheep who won’t stop talking and a magnificent lion named Aslan who is the King above all kings.
Aslan is the “lion of Judah” from Revelation 5. In this magical world spiritual truths and Christ Himself, the Lion, are tangible visible. Once the children meet Aslan, they seek His presence, His fellowship and His help. Lucy is the youngest and has the faith of a child. She seeks Him the most fervently and finds Him most often. As in our world the ordinary man of the incarnation is extraordinary. As in our world those who seek Him will find Him for He is “Emmanuel, God with us.”
In the book Prince Caspian, Lucy and the children are seeking Aslan and prince Caspian to help him in his fight against Miraz. Lucy sees Aslan first through the dark shadows and recognizes Him. The others won’t believe their little sister and don’t see Him. She informs them that she must follow him even if they don’t go with her. Later, her faith turns to sight as Aslan appears to her during the night. She is shocked at His size “Aslan”, she blurts out, “you are bigger.” He assures her that He is the same size as always. “Are you sure that you are not bigger? You look bigger to me.” Aslan understands. “Lucy, every year you grow in faith, I will look bigger.”
On Lucy’s last visit to Narnia she is informed that she will never return to Narnia. Her tears are not for Narnia, but because she will never meet Aslan again. But, Aslan assures her that she will find Him in her world if she seeks him. “Are you in our world too?” they ask. Aslan assures her “I am … in your world too, but there I have a different name. That is the very reason you have been brought to Narnia. So that by getting to know me here, you may know me better in your own world.”
Our world is not quite as ordinary as we think. It has been visited by God Himself, “Emmanuel.” He is here and He promises that every one like Lucy who seeks Him, will find. (4:15). Everyone who knocks, the door will be opened –[I will walk over and knock on the wardrobe. Open it, look and turn to say “Extraordinary”].