In C.S. Lewis’ novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, four children arrive in an unexpected land by unexpected means. A common looking wardrobe becomes the doorway to Narnia, a magical and hurting land of “always winter and never Christmas.” And yet in this strange place they realize they were summoned here and hear whispers that Aslan, the saviour figure, is “on the move.”
One of the definitions of the Latin word for Advent (Adventus) is “Arrival”. As individuals and families, we know the experience of arriving in a strange land: job loss, geographical move, family breakup. During this Advent season, our church is on the cusp of a transition that may feel like arriving in a strange land. Yet as we arrive in unexpected and even undesired locations, we can listen for the saving one who is “on the move” and already “arriving” here. We too have a summons in this new place, if we will watch, wait, hear and respond.
During Advent this year we will pause, not only with four children in Narnia, but with four Biblical characters-Abraham, Moses, David and Mary. They all found themselves in a strange land and responded to God with acts of faith, hope, peace and joy. In our sermons and worship liturgy we will learn from them and watch together with them for our saviour who has arrived, is arriving and will someday arrive in the fullness of God’s kingdom.