Advent in Narnia: Reflections For The Season by Heidi Haverkamp
Published By Westminster John Knox Press September 14, 2015
Genres: Religion and Spirituality, Christian
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
“Walking into Advent can be like walking through the wardrobe.”
With its enchanting themes of snow and cold, light and darkness, meals and gifts, temptation and sin, forgiveness and hope–and even an appearance by Father Christmas–C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe fits naturally into the Advent season. As the reader seeks a storied king and anticipates the glorious coming of Christmas, these twenty-eight devotions alternate between Scripture and passages from the novel to prompt meditation on Advent themes. Each devotion also includes questions for reflection. The book also provides several resources for churches, including four sessions for small group discussion and ideas for creating a “Narnia Night” for families. Readers will ultimately come to know God better while journeying through Narnia
Heidi Haverkamp’s look at the season of Advent through the eyes of the Narnia series brings a fresh and fun element to the traditional Christian celebration of Christmas.
How happy I was to see this book available on NetGalley! Having seen it in bookstores and online I was curious about how one would bring the two worlds together. Granted, the Narnia series was written by C.S. Lewis to share the Gospel with children in a fun way, but I wondered what correlations there would be with the season of Advent. Ms. Haverkamp made these correlations in a unique and delightful way that had me rethinking and truly pondering the meanings and implications that are part of the foundations of our Christian faith. I had not done an Advent study in several years and was thrilled to have found another that was based on a favorite book series. Having read all the books numerous times throughout my life and having seen the fairly good movies released as well, the memories of the stories came back quickly to me as I read the daily lessons and questions. Ms. Haverkamp told the story of Advent and its many lessons in conjunction with the characters and their reactions to the land of Narnia and their experiences there. I really enjoyed how she showed the innocence and pure trust of Lucy to be the same as what we need for our faith in Jesus Christ. Lucy was confident in her faith of what she had seen and although somewhat upset with Edmund she refused to give in and say it was just pretend. As is the point of Narnia, Ms. Haverkamp emphasized that faith comes when we believe that Aslan (Jesus) is coming and will bring and end to Winter (Sin). I found myself remembering again my dislike and then pity for Edmund that he was so determined to go his own way and found himself in a trouble that he could not get out of alone. How like Edmund we are when we decide we know better than God about how life works and what we need to do. And how like Aslan He was and is to show us mercy and grace enough to guide us, however painfully, to the right path again. As an adult I also identify with Peter and Susan who are “older” but not sure if they are ready to let go of the childhood beliefs yet. We all must remember that Jesus said to come to him we must be like a child (Matt. 18:3), just as Lucy came to Aslan as a child. And it is her faith and trust in Aslan that will lead all her older siblings to have faith enough to follow Aslan into battle against the White Witch. How delightful it was to read and remember the story each day and to savor that close relationship with Jesus that we sometimes let fall to the side. To read the “Christmas” story in a different light was refreshing to me and I truly felt I had been able to experience it in a new way. I believe this study would be good for a family as well as individuals who wish for a new look at our traditional faith narrative. I will certainly recommend this to others, with or without children, who are looking for a good study of Advent.
I received this E-book free of charge from Westminster John Knox Press via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.