Monday, December 2, 2013

Beginning Advent with C.S. Lewis

Thanks to the internet geeks (and I use that term with admiration) at, I am able to receive a daily reading from the writings of C.S. Lewis right onto my iPhone via email. It makes for a fantastic start to the morning along with the new Pray Now app from Concordia Publishing House which has daily readings from the Scriptures as well as other notable church writers (FYI it's the e-pub version of Treasury of Daily Prayer).

Earlier in the month of November, I also received a copy of A World Waits: Daily Reflections in Advent from the works of C.S. Lewis published by Creative Communications for the Parish.

At any rate, the real point of posting all of that was to get to this point. There are some superbly chosen readings in both places. For instance, yesterday as Advent began, the two following readings came across my desk and email inbox. The readings below are from Miracles and The Last Battle, both of which have a great deal to say to us as this Advent season begins. For Advent is a season of endings and beginnings. It is a season of "back to the future". Kind of like driving; we keep close watch of the road that goes ever on before us, but we dare not lose sight of what lies in our rear view mirrors. In Advent we look forward to Christ's return by looking backwards to Christ's incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection.

There are many resources out there for your reading during this Advent season, but as you read the Scripture readings and sing the sublime hymns of Advent I suggest beginning the Advent season with Lewis. Here's what I mean...

The central miracle of Christianity is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this. Just as every natural event is the manifestation at a particular place and moment of Nature's total character, so every particular Christian miracle manifests at a particular place and moment the character and significance of the Incarnation.

In the Christian story god descends to reascend. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down from humanity; down further still, if the embryologists are right, to recapitulate in the womb ancient and pre-human phases of life; down to the very roots and seabed of the Nature He has created. But he goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world with Him. One has the picture of a  strong man stooping lower and lower to get himself underneath some great complicated burden. He must stoop in order to lift, he must almost disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders. (Miracles, C.S. Lewis, p. 173, 179)

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Aslan turned to them and said: “You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be.” Lucy said, “We’re so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often.”
“No fear of that,” said Aslan. “Have you not guessed?” Their hearts leaped, and a wild hope rose within them. “There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are—as you used to call it in the Shadowlands— dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before. (The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis, p. 210-211).


  1. As always Lewis is brilliant. And that quote from The Last Battle never fails to move me.

    I've been reading the selections from The Business of Heaven but I do have a copy of the devotion from Creative Communications. Will have to glance through it too.

  2. I've enjoyed the one from Creative Communications a good deal. I wondered yesterday, after a brief conversation with one of my parishioners, if I should try and develop a booklet of Advent readings solely from the Chronicles of Narnia. that may be a project I'll tackle for next year.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

    Blessed Advent.