Friday, January 29, 2021by Reverend Dan on January 29, 2021
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
I love the theological writings of C.S. Lewis. (Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain, A Grief Observed, Miracles, The Weight of Glory, and many others.) The thing is, not many folks beyond seminary students know about these writings. Most everyone else knows him as the British author of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” and “The Screwtape Letters”.
I did a little research into Lewis, because even knowing him as a prolific writer and educator, I realized I knew little else about the man. And in the process, I found out that if knowing him from “The Chronicles of Narnia” is all you know about Lewis, then you don’t know “Jack”. (Jack was the name he went by to all his friends.)
Lewis was on the cover of time magazine three years before the first stories about Aslan were published. The reason was his growing popularity because of the book “The Screwtape Letters” in which two demons correspond.
Lewis married the same woman twice. The first time he married Joy Gresham was in April of 1956 in a civil ceremony as a friendly gesture to keep her from being deported back to America. Less than a year later, in March 1957, he married her in the hospital as she battled cancer. And why? Because he wanted everyone to know of the deep love he had come to feel for her and very few knew of the original marriage ceremony. If you have seen the movie Shadowlands, you already know this part of his story.
Lewis volunteered for the army in 1917 and fought in the first World War. He was wounded in 1918 at the Battle of Arras in France. He never spoke of this service, and that is why so little is known about it.
Lewis’ first love was poetry, but three failed publications early in his life pointed him in another direction. He also wrote books under two pseudonyms. Clive Hamilton was the name he used for failed books of poetry, and A Grief Observed (about his wife’s death) was originally written under the name of N.W. Clerk.
Before he taught English at Oxford, he taught another subject he also had a degree in – Philosophy – at Trinity College. And he was never a professor at Oxford. Rather, he was a “don” which is an instructor there. A professor is the head of a department. He didn’t become a professor until he taught at Cambridge (a position which J.R.R. Tolkien, author of “The Hobbit” helped him secure. In return, Lewis helped Tolkien get his next book, “The Lord of the Rings” published.)
Lewis gave the world many memorable insights (including a nightly radio broadcast to Londoners during the Blitz by the Luftwaffe – German Air Force – during 1941 and 1942.)
What is most amazing about his life, however, is what God worked through him. For many years Lewis was an avowed atheist and one of the great debaters for that view. When he accepted Christ, he became one of the great advocates and apologists in history. His ability to dispel the view from the other side (for he had once espoused them himself) made him a great ambassador for Christ.
We need to remember that it is not where we start in life, but where the journey takes us. Walk in the way of God, and no matter how old you get, know that God has created us to do good works in Jesus’ name.
Father God. Just as You have created us, now use us in Jesus’ name, AMEN