Sunday, June 12, 2011

ALL JOY...EMPHASIZES OUR PILGRIM STATUS

All joy...emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings.


Here, C.S. Lewis is emphasizing that for the Christian, true joy or peace or fulfillment will never be had here on earth.  Perhaps a better way of saying that is that while we may have true joy or peace, we will never have complete joy or peace.  Even at our best moments, this sod is only a "foretaste of heaven divine."  Even the best relationships are only a shadow of the Trinity and what our relationship will be with Christ.  Even a moment of pure joy here on earth, like the birth of a child, is tempered by pain or grief.

It is comforting when we are struggling that this is not our final destination.  When we are shedding tears, we look forward to when we will shed no tears.  When we are sick we look forward to being in a place where there is no disease.  When we are oppressed, we look forward to when we will be completely vindicated.

Yes, as C.S. Lewis points out here, it is also when we are experiencing positive emotions that, for the Christian, a longing is awoken.  I remember clearly when my first child was born.  The miracle of birth amazing.  I remember very clearly thinking, "this child is only ten seconds old, but my heart is bursting with love for him, so much so that I would gladly give my life for him."  My next thought was, "Wow!  If I love him so much, how much more does God love me?".

Yes, Christian, you are not yet home.  On one hand, that is comforting because of all the hatred, disease, and pain we see in this world. On the other hand, awakens a yearning in us for heaven where we can look forward to pure love, joy, and peace.

Paul recognized this in his letter to the Philippians,
"But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary...." Philippians 1:23-24.

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