He is on the move: Happy Christ-with-us

It used to be… Always Winter and Never Christmas…

Narnia window - best door shot
The snow scene that greets Lucy and the other children when they come through the wardrobe doors into Narnia is more than just a beautiful setting for a story…

In Narnia, under the reign of the self-appointed evil Queen Jardis – otherwise known as the White Witch – it is always winter but never Christmas.

Narnia really is in the bleak midwinter – her ground is literally hard as iron… no new life can grow. Creatures are turned to stone. And fear blankets the whole country.

Snow is beautiful, but endless winter spells death – and in this story it acts as a picture of evil’s dreadful, strangling grip; of a world under the wrong rule.

…But now: Spring is coming because Aslan is on the move!

Did you know that C.S. Lewis deliberately wrote The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as an allegory? In it Aslan represents Jesus… When he comes to Narnia – when he is “on the move” – everything starts to change. The ice starts to thaw and evil begins to lose its grip.

Life bursts forth – spring starts to blossom… everything begins to be restored. And we start to know the Witch is losing for sure, because Christmas comes…

Christmas – Christ with us: Jesus with us: God with us – or in Narnia… Aslan with us.

2,000 years ago, Jesus moving – God coming to be with us in our world (with all its wintery brokenness) was the start of a spring of restoration dawning… the start of the whole world’s story changing forever.

We all know more chapters follow this one – in Narnia and in our world – but Advent is all about celebrating the start of the thaw… and looking forward to the day when winter can never come again.

This Christmas…

…it would be possible to feel overwhelmed by just how much winter the headlines testify to being left around us.

But we must remember Isaiah’s words. There is only one government that will never stop increasing – only one power that will last. And that is Jesus’.

And he is on the move – he is always on the move. The evidence is always all around us if we look with faith-opened eyes and Spirit-softened hearts.

So, this Christmas, take time to remember just how much he is transforming.

In the last few weeks alone, Myanmar has seen an extraordinary breakthrough with a new government, the last Ebola patient was discharged in Guinea and extraordinary beauty has come from ashes in Paris.

Every time we used our daily prayer for COP21 during the International Climate Talks, we connected once again with the sense we had first had in the prayer time that inspired its creation – that these would be the talks to come of age. And we meant it every time we gave thanks for the bravery of this city in continuing to host the talks after all it had been through, and of the world leaders who overcame fear to come.

This 21st round of Climate Talks had more prayer surrounding it than any of the others. It was time. And on Saturday night, a breakthrough agreement was reached which not only went further in some areas than even the campaigning organisations had asked for, but which also built in the views of poorer countries like never before.

As many of our partner organisations have already said, the agreement is far from perfect – and it is a step rather than an arrival. But it is a triumph – in and of itself, and also because it is a victory for hope. It reminds us that transformation can come, and is coming, and really will come to every broken situation and seemingly impossible challenge – in his perfect timing.

Spring always wins – the increase of his government knows no end. So this Christmas, receive his very good comfort and joy, for he is on the move among us.

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