If you are tracking with DevoLink on a regular basis then you will enjoy this week as we look at different themes in the Scriptures and from CS Lewis.
Lewis was a pre-movie culture thinker in the 40’s & 50’s. His thoughts are sometimes difficult but most often deep and worthy of reflection. Being saved later in life and being a Lit Prof at Oxford gives him a perspective that we might find refreshing.
Have you read his series The Chronicles of Narnia? Though his Chronicles series is being made into movies now (they are good), Lewis resisted it. He believed that Aslan, the lion which represents Christ, might scare children if put into pictures. He reasoned that in written form the Lion could only be as scary as the imagination level of the hearer. In picture form, the child would be confronted with images too scary for their level of imagination. Think through that! Imagine the sensual and horror images we have put into our minds from movies. Many things that are now pictures in our heads are way beyond places our imaginations would have taken us. We certainly need to be mindful of what we look at and what we allow our kids to watch.
Since we are on the idea of imagination let’s stay there. Are you ready? We'll start with an easy quote today! I say that for your encouragement.
“Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already. That is why children’s games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown-ups – playing soldiers, playing shop. But all the time, they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits so that the pretence of being grown-up helps them to grow up in earnest.”
CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
Read: Romans 5:1-11
1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
There are a 3 things in this passage that some Christians have a hard time imagining.
1. That suffering can have a good outcome (v.3-4)
2. That God loves us with a crazy love (v.5-8)
3. That God will not turn us away when we die (v.9-10).
We grown ups can learn a lot from children’s games regarding these things. Sometimes we can let our fear and feelings get in the way of God’s Word. Is it so bad to imagine that when we suffer that God is at work even if we can’t see Him? Is it so bad to imagine that we are loved by God simply because He said so and proved it on the cross? Is it so bad to imagine a beautiful reception from God when we die? No, I believe we have a lot to learn from Lewis and children in this regard.
Please take a second and reread the first line of the Lewis quote.
Can you identify with one of these 3 challenges in Romans 5? Do you know you are held by the Father in suffering? Do you know you are loved deeply? Do you know that God is ready to celebrate you when you come home?
Pick one of these 3 areas. Close your eyes and imagine! Create pictures. For example, someone created the poem "Footprints" to help them picture what God was doing when they were suffering. That author's imagination has helped Christians for 73 years and counting. Go ahead, pretend to be less of a grown-up and more of a kid. Allow yourself the freedom to dream. Create pictures. Imagine!
You might also want to listen to, "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me in the Worship Center below.
Take time to thank God for His awesome work, love and home!