When winter meets its death - in Narnia
Norwich pastor Dominic De Souza reflects of the true meaning of Christmas in the context of CS Lewis’s much-loved Chronicles of Narnia.
When we first encounter the magical land of Narnia, it is in the grip of the evil White Witch. She opposes the lion Aslan and all that is good, and has cast a spell on Narnia so that it is always winter but never Christmas.
For me, winters can be long and cold but at least the anticipation of the joy and warmth of Christmas makes it easier to endure. But imagine a land where there is no Christmas! Narnia was that land - a world that was in slavery to the curse of the White Witch, a world that was not as it should be and a world that was awaiting restoration.
Of course, as the plot in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe unfolds, we discover that only Aslan, the true king of Narnia, can defeat the White Witch and break the spell:
Wrong will be right, when Aslan 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.
And thankfully the old prophecy does come true: Aslan takes his role as rightful king and Christmas finally comes to Narnia.
For Christians such as C.S. Lewis, the fictional story of Narnia mirrors the actual story of our world. Though God created our world good, the Bible explains the consequences of our wrong choices: the world – and indeed we human beings – are not as we should be.
With Aslan representing Jesus Christ and the White Witch being a picture of Satan, we are prisoners of sin who need to be rescued from the curse.
And this really is the true message of Christmas, for just as Aslan broke the curse of the White Witch, so Jesus came as a human child the very first Christmas to free us from slavery and the grip of Satan. This is why the Bible calls Jesus the Saviour.
Sometimes we can feel as if we are stuck in a perpetual winter with no Christmas – our lives become cold, dark, gloomy and depressing. We feel as if there is no hope, that there is no way out, that nothing will ever change.
But the great news is that Christmas did come and God’s light and warmth broke into our dark coldness. What is broken can therefore be fixed. There is hope for the hopeless. In Jesus Christ the winter of our lives meets its death. And for those who accept Him, the long, dark spell of winter is not only broken but the newness of spring arrives in all its beauty.
Christmas has come! Don’t allow yourself to go through another winter without experiencing the true meaning of Christmas!
Dominic de Souza is pastor of tlc Elim Pentecostal Church in Norwich. Dominic also serves on the Advisory Council for the Cinnamon Network and as Parliamentary Representative for Elim, as well as being a member of the Elim Metropolitan regional team.
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