At the end of November Major Susan and I spent a relaxing week’s holiday at Westgate on Sea. Mind you the whole week was not relaxing - we spent at least two days Christmas shopping. We must have visited nearly every shop in the Westgate area that sold toys, books, DVDs and CDs. What surprised me was that almost all of them had on display items that related to the new children’s film, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe’.

I should not have been surprised really, because these days the merchandising, which accompanies many films, often generates more money than the film itself. Star Wars toys for example have been around for over 25 years and it is anticipated that the Narnia video game will be the top Christmas game. The general release date of 8th December has been carefully calculated to ensure maximum film ticket and merchandising sales. Whatever the motives of the leisure industry, I am thrilled that this film is being released during the Christmas Season because it has an underlying Easter theme. John Hiscock, writing in the Daily telegraph says ‘The religious references are there - Aslan is a Christ-like figure who offers himself as a sacrifice to save a young human sinner’.

Releasing the film in December is a reminder that Christmas and Easter are vital to our faith. The one without the other is incomplete. It is not enough that God sent His Son into our world to share fully in our human experience. We need to know that when it really got tough God allowed His Son to die to save us.

Jesus, who lived above the sky,
Came down to be a man, and die;
And in the Bible we may see
How very good he used to be.

And so he died! And this is why
He came to be a man, and die;
The Bible says he came from Heaven
That we might have our sins forgiven
Ann Gilbert
Major David