from The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis
Posts Tagged ‘C.S. Lewis’
Posted in C.S. Lewis, Dale Tedder, Discipleship, Reading, Southside UMC, Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation, tagged Book Club, C.S. Lewis, Dale Tedder, Directed Study, Discipleship, Reading, Southside United Methodist Church on November 13, 2012 | 5 Comments »
Join me in 2013 for a year’s journey of drawing closer to God, as well as learning more about our Christian faith, through the life and writings of C.S. Lewis, one of the most popular and influential Christian thinkers of the 20th century.
My goals for this focus are, first of all, to help acquaint you with the person and works of and about C.S. Lewis. Secondly, I pray that your view of God and the Christian life will grow richer and larger and livelier. Thirdly, my deepest hope is that you will take what you learn and put it into practice as well as share it with others.
There are two ways to spend this year with C.S. Lewis.
- You can think of this as, “Pastor Dale’s Book Club,” and simply read each month’s assigned book on your own. This will be an independent study of sorts. No checking-in required. Think of the assigned booklist as a helpful suggestion to aid your reading of C.S. Lewis.
2. You can think of this as a low-key directed study. By that I mean, if you so desire, you are more than welcome to set up times to meet with me to discuss each month’s book, what you’ve learned, questions you may have, etc. The last thing I want to do is add stress to your life, therefore, you are free to meet with me every other week, every other month, or not at all (or any other schedule that you can think of). The choice (and schedule) is up to you!
We begin our literary journey on January 1, 2013. You can check out the reading list below to see what interests you. Read a few of them… or read them all. Whatever you decide to do, I know you’ll be blessed by reading the books of and about this great man. More importantly, you’ll be even more blessed as you grow closer to the God of this great man.
Grace and Truth,
- January – The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis by Alan Jacobs (Biography)
- February – Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis
- March – A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
- March – Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
- April – The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
- May – The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
- June – Seeking the Secret Place: The Spiritual Formation of C.S. Lewis by Lyle Dorsett
- July – Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer by C.S. Lewis
- August – The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
- September – Between Heaven & Hell: A Dialogue Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C.S. Lewis & Aldous Huxley by Peter Kreeft
- October – Not A Tame Lion by Bruce L. Edwards
- November – The Soul of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by Gene Veith
- December – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The books can be purchased online at Christianbook.com or Amazon.
Locally, I’m certain that Barnes and Noble or Lifeway Christian Store can order the books for you if they do not have them in stock.
[God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Great saints of God have beautifully, if feebly, attempted to capture the height and depth and weight of such a majestic verse as this. In his Confessions, Augustine wrote, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” Pascal’s oft-quoted words that people have a God-shaped vacuum in their hearts that only God can fill strike a similar note.
We do have a longing in our heart for eternity – or better – the God of eternity. Perhaps C.S. Lewis, in The Weight of Glory, best expressed this great desire of our hearts. He wrote:
In speaking of this desire for our own far-off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness… I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each of one of you – the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence… We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name.
…The books or music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things – the beauty, the memory of our own past – are good images of what we really desire, but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing in itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
Eternity has been placed in our hearts by the King of eternity. Our longing is a homesickness of sorts. For though this is our Father’s world and was created good, it is now fallen. And when touched by the Holy Spirit we can no longer be content with the things of this world alone… things that are temporal and destined to fade away.
Perhaps some do not experience such a longing for their true homeland because their hearts and minds are not yet set on things above where Christ our King is seated. Perhaps the ravages of sin have so inflicted their hearts and minds that a shadow has veiled their sight. We can only pray that the same sovereign Spirit who touched us and re-created us will do the same for others.
In the end, there is no end, for we were created for eternity. We are pilgrims and aliens in a foreign land who long for the City of God, not built with human hands, but eternal in the heavens.
May the longing of our hearts for things unseen serve as our true north, that we might one day return Home.
Grace and Truth,
From all my lame defeats and oh! much more
From all the victories that I seemed to score;
From cleverness shot forth on Thy behalf
At which, while angels weep, the audience laugh;
From all my proofs of Thy divinity,
Thou, who wouldst give no sign, deliver me.
Thoughts are but coins. Let me not trust, instead
Of Thee, their thin-worn image of Thy head.
From all my thoughts, even from my thoughts of Thee,
O thou fair Silence, fall, and set me free.
Lord of the narrow gate and the needle’s eye,
Take from me all my trumpery lest I die.