Our family has recently been enjoying The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis on audiobook. In the first book Lewis wrote, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the land of Narnia is trapped under the curse of a forever winter. As Mr. Tumnus the fawn puts it, “It is winter in Narnia, and has been for ever so long…always winter, but never Christmas.” Until Aslan comes, that is. Aslan the Lion is the Christ figure in the book, and his coming is the undoing of the eternal winter. As the old Narnian prophecy foretells,
“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”
In many ways, this is a beautiful picture, albeit fantastic, of what it means to live in the hope of the fullness of Jesus’ Upside-Down Kingdom. We live in a broken, fallen, sorrowful, and cursed world. It’s “always winter, but never Christmas.” And yet, if the gospel is true—and it is!—then Christ will return in glory and the world will be made new. Spring will come. Life will flourish. The creation will be green and bright and warm and whole again. The Kingdom of Heaven will come in fullness one day. And even now it is breaking in. As they say in Narnia: “Aslan is on the move!”
In Jesus Christ, the great thaw has begun. Winter has met its death. We shall have spring again! And it’s even now “at hand” in the person of Jesus. To live in the Upside-Down Kingdom is to live in winter, knowing that spring is already on its way. The winter will not last forever. The great undoing has begun. And the world will never be the same. Jesus is on the move!
For we are loved, more than we know!