Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas: Always Scrooge and Never Kirstie?

I love our church. I love the opportunity to be with God's people who are our family, and when we gather (and when we're scattered) to find ways to serve one another in drawing near to Christ. It was my privilege to serve our church by preaching.
My text was Genesis 3:15 asking What's Christmas About? You can listen here:  
Download mp3 - "Always Scrooge and Never Kirstie" (30mins) (low quality recording taken on my phone on the lectern behind me - hopefuly the church website will have a better version soon)

I attempted to dig into some of the common views of Christmas, where there is much to affirm and console, and also to explore how those resonate and point towards the hope of The Promised Son.
  • Beginning with Scrooge's misery - which is both justified and overly morbid, we see there really is war and evil in the world, and yet we long for hope of victory - why is that?
  • Considering the festivities offered by a Kirstie's Handmade Christmas we saw that it's good to have a holiday, but you need 'salvation' to celebrate truly... which is what's wrong in Narnia where it is Always Winter and Never Christmas, until finally it is 'Winter Passed and Guilt Forgiven' (as Lewis' poem summarises)... you need something to happen to make that possible.
  • And we considered the nitpicking leery vision of Santa, everything that the Triune God isn't... and so that leads us to look for the Christ... one who can overcome evil and give us cause to celebrate - truly, without it depending on whether we've been naughty or nice.
We need the promised son who will both suffer with and for us, and win for us and come to us. When God shows up he's not aloof and clean and making 3pm speeches... he's naked and weak and vulnerable and in the line of fire. He suffers with us, and for us. God is a victim. And God wins - slays the giant, puts a tentpeg through the head of the enemy, takes the sting out of death. He wins and begins a whole new human race who aren't condemned to the curse of Scrooge, Kirstie or Santa but live in his blessing with his Holy Spirit.

Christmas invites you to ask is the baby whose birth we're remembering the long promised Christ? Is this Jesus that Christ?
Download mp3 - "Always Scrooge and Never Kirstie" (30mins) 

I preached without notes but I had this outline in my back pocket in case I bottled it. Many thanks to Glen Scrivener who helped my thinking a lot as I prepared. And huge thanks to my pastor for his detailed encouragement this afternoon.
More on the imagination of Lewis in Michael Ward's Planet Narnia


  1. love love love it.
    god rest ye merry bishes
    let nothing you dismay

  2. Great angle on the season Dave - very fresh. May well use elements this Sunday. But terrible recording, were you preaching in a bucket?

  3. Yeah, its the recording from my phone on the lectern a couple of metres behind me in a large room.. and I've improved it from the raw recording!!

    The church website should have a better version eventually but its a bit behind at the moment.