Saturday, December 8, 2012

Always Winter and Never Christmas?

Lately I’ve taken to watching the Chronicles of Narnia when I’m too tired to concentrate on homework. In today’s gray world, these stories are like a breath of fresh air to me. Re-watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), I was struck by how well the beginning fits to the season of Advent. For as long as the White Witch has ruled Narnia, the land has been plunged in perpetual winter. Always winter and never Christmas. It’s almost impossible for me to imagine winter without the warming glow of candles and Christmas tree lights, carols and cookies and cider.

When Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy arrive in Narnia, things begin to turn around. There is even a rumor that “Aslan is on the move”—Aslan, the real king of Narnia. The hope of the Narnians that the four siblings will defeat the witch, along with the news of Aslan’s coming, begins to break the spell of winter. Father Christmas even appears, a concrete sign that Narnia once more has hope. The snow begins to melt, and the ice in the river begins to break (a sign of coming change even in the Soviet silent films that I’ve been watching for class).

As overjoyed as the furry Narnian beavers are to finally witness the arrival of the kings and queens who will conquer the witch and restore peace to Narnia, how much more joyful should we be during Advent, as we await the coming of our King? What is the particular darkness threatening each of us, the ice inside, paralyzing us, waiting to be warmed and illuminated by the Light of the World? The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was (is!) coming into the world! (John 1:5,9)

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