University Blog

Shining Light

Posted by Rev. Ben Trammell on

Friends,

“It is winter in Narnia,” said Mr. Tumnus, “And it has been for ever so long…always winter and never Christmas.”

Lucy steps through the wardrobe in the CS Lewis’ classic novel and meets the faun, Mr. Tumnus, who tells her she is in the land of Narnia. Narnia is cloaked in snow and under the curse of the White Witch that makes it always winter and never Christmas. It would be tempting to surrender to the gloom of winter without end that is not interrupted by the rebellion of celebration. 

“I have come at last,” said he (Father Christmas). “She has kept me out for a long time, but I have got in at last. Aslan is on the move. The Witch’s magic is weakening.” Father Christmas returns to Narnia at last, bringing presents for the children and declaring that Aslan (the Christ character of the story) is on the move. The presents are tools, weapons and instruments of healing, for the children to use as they join the effort to fight against the Witch and her allies.

Here in South Texas the ground is unlikely to be buried in snow, but a blanket of despair that refuses to melt or a coating of sin that lies thick on hearts and homes is not very hard to imagine. With wrong, pain and off in our world, it is easy to believe the worst is winning.

Against these heralds of darkness that will not melt, we believe that Christmas is coming and God is on the move. The birth of Jesus means that the weight of despair, the wounds of our hearts, and the brokenness of this world are doomed. John’s gospel declares, “in him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

We have among us life and a light that darkness cannot defeat. The darkness in vain seeks to conquer and control, so like the children in Narnia we need the gifts of Christmas to join the rebellion against despair and agents of sin. This has been a tremendous year of leaning together against the threat of darkness in our lives and in our community. By God’s grace we have seen burdens eased, brokenness healed and blessings multiplied in worship, ministry and mission. God’s capacity to use University for his purposes were fueled by the robust generosity of this community, particularly in December of last year. Let’s do it again. As we give with courage and joy this December we connect with the power of God that thaws pain that coats hope and melts barriers that stifles faith.

This year’s designated Christmas offerings will be directed to our partnerships with neighboring schools. We are committed to making sure kids of our neighborhood have bodies full of food, minds well formed, and hearts overflowing with hope. We also seek to ensure that teachers and administrations feel supported and resourced. 

In Narnia, the White Witch races to stop the children from joining Aslan but the snow was melting and her sleigh runs aground. Running water can be heard, birds can be heard singing, growing green and blooming plants begin to appear in a world that only known winter. A dwarf in the Witch’s service declares, “This is no thaw…this is spring. What are we to do? Your winter has been destroyed, I tell you! This is Aslan’s doing”

Winter is defeated in Narnia and sin and death are defeated for us in Christ. I pray you and your family see and share the transformation of the season. 

Christ is on the move,
Pastor Ben

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