Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Weight of Glory

The Weight of Glory is a sermon of C.S. Lewis in which he talks about the glory we look forward to in Heaven. On quote I really liked on the first page was, “Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures…We are far too easily pleased.” We often search to fulfill our desires by earthly means, such as food or earthly relationships. These things cannot fulfill our desires because only in Christ can we be fully satisfied.

One thing that was brought up in group discussion was Lewis’ quote on page 4, “Thought I do not believe (I wish I did) that my desire for Paradise proves that I shall enjoy it, I think it a pretty good indication that such a thing exists and that some men will.” At first I thought that this meant the Lewis did not have assurance in his own salvation, but after discussing it, we came to the realization that it meant that desires of heaven will not bring it. The wicked may desire or believe that they are going to heaven, but really they do not have salvation unless the Holy Spirit works in their hearts to turn them unto Christ. I heard of a survey in which 85 percent of people believe that they are going to Heaven. This certainly does not mean that they are all going to Heaven.

Lewis discusses the idea of glory in the sense of appreciation by God. I have never thought of glory in this way. At the end of time God will delight in His people and say to each of them, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” There will be no room for vanity when God praises us because we will be made new, perfect creatures. As new creatures, we will most innocently rejoice in the things God made us to be.

Lewis also talks about the other sense of glory in the sense of how we will shine in brightness, splendor, and luminosity. We will be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, and to become part of it. We will be made perfect creatures, without sin, corruption, and disease.

Not only do I like Lewis’ descriptions of glory, but I also enjoyed the quote, “Meanwhile the cross comes before the crown and tomorrow is a Monday morning.” God’s mercies are new to us every morning because the precious blood of Christ has washed our sins away. Christ had to die on the cross before we could receive the crown of life.

The last main point that Lewis talks about is the burden of our neighbor’s glory that we must carry daily. This load is so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. We are to love the sinner, yet hate sin. Lewis writes, “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to you senses.” We show love to our neighbor by caring about his salvation and in the way that we help him with struggles throughout life.

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