From the Publisher: To celebrate 2013, the e-book edition of A Year with C. S. Lewis is on sale for $3.99 today through January 22! CLICK HERE for more info. In conjunction with this special promotion, we’ll be featuring content from A Year with C. S. Lewis on this blog once a month. Please join us for what’s sure to be a year’s worth of thoughtful reflection and engaging discussion!
January’s selections begin with a question from Miracles: “Suppose we really found him?”
And the last selection of the month ends with Lewis’s honest reflection that we barter and bargain with God to only give him as much as we can afford, making extra sure we retain parts of ourselves for ourselves.
Suppose we really found him? At first reading, it seems like an obvious, almost ridiculous question. But Lewis points out the falsehood which so often takes us adrift. It’s a theme that he returns to throughout his works — if God is who he says he is then we either draw away from him in fear and rejection, or we embrace him in all his mystery and love. Further, the reading for the second day of the year asks, “Why are many people prepared in advance to maintain that, whatever else God may be, He is not the concrete, living, willing, and acting God of Christian theology?”
Perhaps we sometimes want a god who doesn’t pursue us or ask us to do anything? We might find comfort for a moment, but that kind of god has been tried and found wanting. That god is like the gods of old and the current gods of material wealth and security and power. Those gods might want a sacrifice but they never invite us into a love story.
During the middle of the month, there’s an excerpt from Mere Christianity. In it, Lewis asks, “And what did God do?” He answers the question in four parts. First, God gave us a conscience. Second, he gave us good dreams, as Lewis calls them, “those stories scattered through the heathen religions about a god who dies and comes to life again, and, by his death, has somehow given new life to men.” Third, God revealed himself to Israel, to give them a history and a hope. And lastly, the hope enters into our world in the God-man who is Jesus, true God from God, begotten not made, the myth rung true.
It’s the love story that gives us new life, real hope, and fulfilled relationship.
Readings from The Weight of Glory take up the last three days of the month. Lewis addresses how weak our nature so often becomes, and how little we really seek God. He recognizes the danger in this, saying, “I come into the presence of God with a great fear lest anything should happen to me within that presence which will prove too intolerably inconvenient when I have come out again to my ‘ordinary’ life.” We are guarded, and, “We are careful to pay no more than is necessary. And we hope — we very ardently hope — that after we have paid it there will still be enough left to live on.”
Let us remember Hebrews: “Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith…”
We’ll provide another set of insights next month. But, the readings don’t get any easier. They are, as you know, designed to guide us as readers into a deeper devotion to God, and, as we learn from Lewis, that is never an easy path to walk.