On Sunday my son and daughter-in-law came to visit. At the time, I was watching “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,” the Disney version of the C.S. Lewis Novel. This film is a great example of exactly what C.S. Lewis intended to do with the story–spread the gospel without you even knowing you were learning about it. It is about the return of the king, THE King. When Lucy first visits Narnia, she, trying to be optimistic, points out all the wonderful things about winter.
In Narnia, it is always winter and never Christmas. There are many parallels in our world, where you might say it’s always time to enjoy your wealth but never time to observe the reason the wealth was built. In many countries now, it’s become illegal to tell jokes. On campuses across the world, it is verboten to have fun and act like a child. In Narnia, children enter the world because of playtime, and Santa brings the tools they need to face the returning King and the coming spring–the renewal of life.
The story IS Christmas. It should be required viewing every year, with or without the explanations of who Aslan is, and why Santa can’t exist in a world without hope and childlike wonder. After all, it was Jesus who entreated us to be like children. Children are poor in their own physical resources, but rich in hope, faith and the willingness to learn.
Tomorrow I will introduce another film that is an underrated Christmas classic: Scrooge, the 1970 musical starring Albert Finney.