The Tumnus Problem: A Free Movie Lesson on the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Have you ever felt the battle inside when you knew something was wrong but wanted to do it anyway?  Understanding that battle and what the Bible says about it is key to living a life of holiness and surrender. This week we will explore that very battle through the Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

INTRODUCTION

For the next few weeks, we will be watching the movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. C.S Lewis’s story is a tale full of metaphors that reflect our sinful failures and God’s efforts to save us from their consequences. This study will explore the ways in which the adventures of the four Pevensie children in Narnia illustrate humankind’s corruption and sinful behavior, the role of conscience, the power of trust, the value of forgiveness, and the way that Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection liberate us from death’s curse.

Today we will watch the first 26 minutes of the movie and then break into small groups for some discussion and activities. Each week we will watch the next part of the movie and discuss how this applies to our faith and our everyday lives. If you miss a week, do not worry. Each week we will start with a summary of what happened the previous week, so you will be able to keep up with the story.

WATCH THE MOVIE: Start at 0:00 and end at 26:30.

SMALL GROUPS

Divide into small groups by age. Make sure there is at least one adult for each small group. Groups should be between 4 and 8 people. Do not go larger than 8 if you can help it.

Opening Activity: Supplies: Chart paper or poster board and markers/pens
Draw four outlines: one for each of the Pevensie children. Draw a vertical line down the middle of each. Label one half “Strengths” and the other “Weaknesses.” Instruct your group to write or draw things on each cutout to represent that character’s strengths and weaknesses. (Peter, Edmund, Susan, Lucy)

When finished, talk about each character. Have students relay specific scenes or examples from the movie so far that illustrate the listed qualities.

DISCUSSION

  1. Which of the Pevensies would you most want to be friends with or have as siblings? Why?
  2. How do these listed strengths and weaknesses of the siblings affect the way they interact with each other? Which get along? Which don’t? And why?

Leader’s Note: Peter has a short temper and is easily provoked to anger at Edmund. But because he’s been charged with watching over his siblings, he reluctantly attempts to behave as an adult and a leader. This responsibility unnerves him, and he must learn to accept responsibility with courage, setting an example. Susan’s strength is her intellect, but the film suggests that she lets her intellect become an obstacle to action. She is so eager to think a situation through that she will not move forward when circumstances demand it. Edmund is arrogant, quick to anger, and self-absorbed. He has much to learn about cooperation, love, honesty, and humility. Lucy is full of child-like wonder. She is focused on the wide world around her that she is quick to forgive and show grace. She is also quick to have faith in things that seem impossible.

  1. Which Pevensie do you most act like in arguments? In what ways?
  2. Edmund is different than the other siblings in that he responds to everything with bitterness. Where do you think that bitterness comes from?

Leader’s Note: Edmund seems angry because of his father’s absence and bitter that he has so little control over his own circumstances. He is also very self-focused.

  1. Has there been a time you’ve acted like Edmund? What happened?

SCRIPTURES
Read Proverbs 20:3 and Hebrews 12:14–15.

  1. What is Scripture’s advice regarding our attitude toward others?
  2. Are you quick to quarrel or more of a peace maker?
  3. In what ways can make an effort to live in peace with others?

Is Peter ready for the responsibility that his mother gives him? How does he change? Can you point to a single event in your life and say “Yeah, I grew up a lot there”?

It seems strange that Mr. Tumnus would serve the White Witch while he knows that she keeps Narnia frozen in winter. Why do you think he helps her?

Read Romans 7:15–23.

What is the writer of these verses, Paul, wrestling with here? How is he comparable to Tumnus?

Leader’s Note: Paul writes about wrestling with sin in his own life. He says he serves the law of God with his mind but with his flesh he serves the law of sin. He says he is a slave to sin. He, like Tumnus, knows it is wrong—but he still does it. He can’t help it.

DISCUSSION

  1. Why do you think that when the children went back to check out Lucy’s story they could not get into Narnia?
  2. What questions do you have or other insights did you draw from the movie?

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