“It is winter in Narnia,” said Mr. Tumnus, “and has been for ever so long…. always winter, but never Christmas.”-The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The line from this book came to mind as I sat in the twinkling light of our Christmas tree one morning as I thought about the Christmas season in our small town.
Here, it seems it is always summer… but never Christmas. Thailand is a Buddhist nation so December 25th is just another day in the calendar. In our small town very few do much of anything to differentiate the day from another. People know there is a day called Christmas, but few know which day it is and few do much if anything to celebrate. Most of the year end festivities center around New Years, not Christmas. If gifts are given they are a New Year’s gift. No Christmas music plays in stores. Few if any places put up lights or stockings. And a Christmas tree? There are only about four or five that I have seen around our town of five thousand people.
I went shopping last week in the city… and was surprised to hear Christmas music playing and see a Christmas tree.
In a way it feels like Narnia… under a spell.
I had heard of such a thing when I was a young girl. I remember hearing that in some countries, like Thailand, there were no indigenous Christmas practices and even some places in the world where Christmas was not celebrated at all. At the time, I could hardly imagine it. A place without Christmas? How could it be? But here I am, all these years later, living in such a place.
Maybe it is just the pregnancy hormones (I am five months pregnant as I write this), but it brings tears to my eyes. Because, you see, a place without Christmas is a place without Christ. And that is the very reason for which we have come.
For unto us a Child is born,– Isaiah 9:6-7
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
It is because He has come that we have come to Thailand. A place where the good news of Jesus has been resistant to take hold. A place that has yet to see the true beginning of His government and peace. A place that yearns for Him to establish His kingdom with judgment and justice. A place that is still under a spell, to put it in the words of C.S. Lewis, of the White Witch.
“It is she that has got all Narnia under her thumb. It’s she that makes it always winter. Always winter and never Christmas; think of that!”-The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
But Aslan is on the move… and what is better, the Lion has already conquered. The enemy and his minions are defeated foes and despite their attempts to hold Him back, their power is weakening. Though I am not much of one for Father Christmas, I do love what he said to the children in Narnia:
“I’ve come at last,” said he. “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.”
-The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
This year, we have the joy of sharing the Father’s heart and helping bring Christmas to those who have never heard the true reason for the season. Next Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, we will be doing a Christmas outreach into four community schools, reaching a total of around 850 students with the message of the gospel through telling the Christmas story. This will be our first time doing this and we hope to build relationships with these schools to continue gospel ministry to the schools.
Please pray for all the workers and expenses because we will have costs for supplies. Every student will receive a small gift of a snack, pencil, eraser, and a Gospel book.
Pray also that the spell of the enemy would be broken in their life. Pray for the Lion to roar over them so that the winter in their hearts would meet its death.