Her Magic is weakening
If you have read the Narnia books, you know about the witch, and the land where it’s always winter but never Christmas. If you haven’t read the book, stop reading this blog and go read the book instead, or watch the movie (I hope the movie’s good – but haven’t seen it – reviews welcome in the comments section).
This morning I was thinking about how perpetual winter would eventually snuff out all life, as I rode the ski lift here in Austria on the first day of holiday, my teaching responsibilities finished. It was a bitter cold morning this morning, with wind howling and kicking up snow so that there was scarcely any visibility at all. Ski for a morning? I love that kind of weather for a morning. But were the days to turn into months and years, all life would be sucked from us, even as we’d lose our source of water and food, and the earth itself would die.
Appropriate then, that I’d just been re-reading the Lion, Witch, Wardrobe book last night before going to bed, and was reminded that before the thaw, there is Father Christmas. As Lewis writes of the father, “Some of the pictures of Father Christmas in our world make him look only funny and jolly. But now that the children actually stood looking at him they didn’t find it quite like that. He was so big, and so glad, and real, that they all became quite still. The felt very glad, but also solemn.
Before Aslan breaks the curse fully, Father Christmas must come. Ah yes… there is, after all no resurrection without death. But there is, it is also true, no death without there first being birth. And so the gladness of the season is that He came – and lived among us – and now remains, forever, the giver of gifts, beginning with forgiveness and extending into the depth of our souls and outward into every structure and fiber of the universe.
The word for us, then in this season when the effects of winter are so visible – both literally and metaphorically, is that with the birth of Jesus, the “Witch’s magic is weakening…” What a good word. Everything – every death from AIDS and unclean water; every person weeping into the night; every person’s life that has withered from greed; all of it is because of the curse. And with the first breath of the baby Jesus, the greatest gift was offered, and the curse began to be broken. It remains still to broken fully – but ours is the privilege of bearing the glad news by our words and lives, and to share in the liberation that comes wherever God reigns.