RSS

Category Archives: C. S. Lewis

Prayers That Matter Much

In Miracles, C. S. Lewis explains how our prayers make a difference–even when they don’t seem to:

When we are praying about the result, say, of a battle or a medical consultation the thought will often cross our minds that (if only we knew it) the event is already decided one way or the other.  I believe this to be no good reason for ceasing our prayers.  The event certainly has been decided–in a sense it was decided “before all worlds.”  But one of the things taken into account in deciding it, and therefore one of the things that really cause it to happen, may be this very prayer that we are now offering. (p. 291)

Pray MoreThere is no question whether an event has happened because of your prayer.  When the event you prayed for occurs your prayer has always contributed to it.  When the opposite event occurs your prayer has never been ignored; it has been considered and refused, for your ultimate good and the good of the whole universe. . . . But this is, and must remain, a matter of faith. (p. 294)

It is also a matter of will . . . but not yours:  “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” –1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Book Comments, C. S. Lewis, Prayer

 

Rejoicing in the Resurrection

In Miracles, C. S. Lewis explains how the resurrection of Christ ushered in a kind of “new creation” and changed everything:

The Resurrection was not regarded simply or chiefly as evidence for the immortality of the soul. . . . On such a view Christ would simply have done what all men do when they die:  the only novelty would have been that in His case we were allowed to see it happening.  But there is not in Scripture the faintest suggestion that the Resurrection was new evidence for something that had in fact been always happening.  The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe.  He is the “first fruits,” the “pioneer of life.”  He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man.  He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death.  Everything is different because He has done so.  This is the beginning of the New Creation:  a new chapter in cosmic history has opened. (pp. 236-37)

In a broad sense, this “new chapter” is the age in which we live.  And it is reason for rejoicing . . . the crescendo of this song of hope we sing.  I am tempted to say it’s the “light of a new dawn” and leave it at that, but Sinclair Ferguson offers the same sentiment without seeming nearly as trite.

For what took place in the Elder Brother [Jesus] will one day take place in the lives of all the children [of God].  Not only so, but already, through fellowship with him in our regeneration, through “new birth,” we experience the first rays of that glorious morning.  The light of the world to come has already crept over the horizon of our lives and is shining into the death-darkened days in which we live. (Children of the Living God, p. 19)

Rejoice!

“‘Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen.  Remember how he told you . . . that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.’  And they remembered his words.”—Luke 24:5-8

 

A Gallop with the King

In our efforts to live faithfully as disciples of Christ in the here and now, we often lose sight of the work in store for us when the King returns. In Miracles, C. S. Lewis gives us a glimpse of the resurrection life:

There is in our present pilgrim condition plenty of room . . . for abstinence and renunciation and mortifying our natural desires. But behind all asceticism the thought should be, “Who will trust us with the true wealth if we cannot be trusted even with the wealth that perishes?” Who will trust me with a spiritual body if I cannot control even an earthly body? These small and perishable bodies we now have were given to us as ponies are given to schoolboys. We must learn to manage: not that we may some day be free of horses altogether but that some day we may ride bare-back, confident and rejoicing, those greater mounts, those winged, shining and world-shaking horses which perhaps even now expect us with impatience, pawing and snorting in the King’s stables. Not that the gallop would be of any value unless it were a gallop with the King; but how else—since He has retained His own charger—should we accompany Him? (p. 266)

We do not use ourselves up for the sake of Christ, day in, day out, only to cross over into a state of dull relaxation. We should instead expect to be lifted up in a colorful, quickening breath to experience “true wealth”    . . . the exhilaration of newness . . . the comfort of vague familiarity . . . the joy of utter completeness.

This earthly life is not a race to the finish line so much as it is practice in preparation for eternity, when we will know rest to be sure . . . but not inactivity. Get ready for “a gallop with the King!”

 
 

A Miracle, “Small and Close”

Joy at ChristmasWith raw–almost breathtaking–imagery, C. S. Lewis reflects on the miracles of the Virgin Birth and the Incarnation. God is at work in every pregnancy. But months before that first Christmas, Nature’s God directly intervened in His Creation and began to make all things new. In Miracles, Lewis poignantly captures the logic and beauty of this dramatic, grace-filled Rescue.

“The human father is merely an instrument, a carrier, often an unwilling carrier, always simply the last in a long line of carriers–a line that stretches back far beyond his ancestors into pre-human and pre-organic deserts of time, back to the creation of matter itself. That line is in God’s hand. It is the instrument by which He normally creates a man. For He is the reality behind both Genius and Venus; no woman ever conceived a child, no mare a foal, without Him.

“But once, and for a special purpose, He dispensed with that long line which is His instrument: once His life-giving finger touched a woman without passing through the ages of interlocked events. Once the great glove of Nature was taken off His hand. His naked hand touched her.

“There was of course a unique reason for it. That time He was creating not simply a man but the Man who was to be Himself: was creating Man anew: was beginning, at this divine and human point, the New Creation of all things. The soiled and weary universe quivered at this direct injection of essential life–direct, uncontaminated, not drained through all the crowded history of Nature. . . . The miraculous conception is one more witness that here is Nature’s Lord. He is doing now, small and close, what He does in a different fashion for every woman who conceives.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 25, 2012 in Book Comments, C. S. Lewis, Incarnation