Advent in Narnia: Becoming Like Children

Monday, December 7th, 2020

Fountain County, Indiana USA

Dear friends—

Welcome to my blog space and it is my hope you experience Advent with a renewed sense of wonder this year. It has been a difficult 2020. And although this is a season of hope and happiness it is also a season of struggle for many. The greatest gift of Advent and Christmas is the free gift of salvation, made possible through the birth of Jesus. The second greatest gift is the gift of your time, talents and the generosity of your heart. Today we are reading about “becoming like children.” Have you ever watched the pure joy and excitement of a child at Christmas? It is beautiful. The innocence and gratefulness is so beautiful, you wish you could bottle it up! Jesus is talking with his disciples in Matthew 18:2-3, he is teaching them the necessity of humility, and that to be childlike was to learn from Him, to listen for instructions. *A great reference is the Matthew Henry Commentary:

This talking of childlike makes me thing of Lucy in our readings of, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” the brave innocence of Lucy going into the wooded forest of Narnia and talking with the faun, Mr. Tumnus. Then the stark contrast of Susan and Peter’s disbelief of the wardrobe. What are you doing for yourself during this season of Advent to be more childlike?

Definition of Childlike:

• marked by innocence, trust, and ingenuousness.

• delight.

• resembling, suggesting, or appropriate to a child

• Are there things about Advent that gives you a sense of childlike feelings or emotions?

—I have loved Christmas most of my life. I love: tree decorating; shopping for the perfect gifts; wrapping presents; giving presents; seeing the beautiful lights; exchanging good tidings with friends and strangers; sharing meals with friends and family; watching the enchantment in the faces of children as they see Santa; the toy aisle in every store; holiday foods and drinks, to mention a few!

—I also look forward to singing Christmas songs, especially the ones at church describing Jesus and His birth, they transport me to my youth, an opportunity for me to revisit those precious memories of special individuals who helped shape my faith from a very young age.

There are many ways to experience the childlike emotions of Christmas, the writer of the book “Advent in Narnia” suggested the following:

• Create a “Jesse Tree,”

—I had no idea what it was and if you already know, that’s awesome. Basically, it’s a bare branch hung with symbols of stories from the Old Testament, creating a family “tree” for Mary, Joseph, and the Christ Child — a Christmas prequel. The name comes from Isaiah 11:1, “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” With doing a Jesse Tree each day of Advent read a passage from the Old Testament and hang a tiny/small ornament representing it, something like a globe for creation; a whale for Jonah; or a boat for Noah.

Examples of Jesse Tree: Google

• Collect ornaments.

—A very special friend gave me an ornament last year, it is beautiful! I left it out all year along with my manager scene, a visual for every day of the love Jesus has for me and you!

• Create traditions with friends or family or both

—Well this year has made it difficult to be together but new traditions can be created. Old ones can be slightly adjusted but most importantly is to remember the reason for the season and to simply live one another.

• Be a secret Santa to someone.

—Secret Santa can be done through the mail, send a card or note to someone, who knows you might just make their day.

Questions for Reflection:

• What do you think Jesus means by “becoming like children?

—Be trusting, open and honest.

• What childish activities do you enjoy at Advent season? If you don’t have any, do any of the suggestions listed above interest you?

—I am interested in doing the “Jesse Tree.”

• C.S.Lewis also write this, “Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary. He told us to be not only ‘as harmless as doves’, but also ‘as wise as serpents’. He wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim.” What are some ways to balance a “child’s heart” and a “grown up’s head? *

—Be kind, treat others as you want to be treated, share, be fair.

Do you think Lewis succeeds in balancing the two in the book, “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe?” Why or why not?

—Short answer, YES…I love the writings of C.S.Lewis and the imagery that spins in my imagination!