Daily Archives: December 24, 2021

From C.S. Lewis


When human souls have become as perfect in voluntary obedience as the inanimate creation is in its lifeless obedience, then they will put on its glory, or rather that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch. For you must not think that I am putting forward any heathen fancy of being absorbed into Nature. Nature is mortal; we shall outlive her. When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive. Nature is only the image, the symbol; but it is the symbol Scripture invites me to use. We are summoned to pass in through Nature, beyond her, into that splendour which she fitfully reflects.

And in there, in beyond Nature, we shall eat of the tree of life. At present, if we are reborn in Christ, the spirit in us lives directly on God; but the mind and, still more, the body receives life from Him at a thousand removes—through our ancestors, through our food, through the elements. The faint, far-off results of those energies which God’s creative rapture implanted in matter when He made the worlds are what we now call physical pleasures; and even thus filtered, they are too much for our present management. What would it be to taste at the fountainhead that stream of which even these lower reaches prove so intoxicating? Yet that, I believe, is what lies before us. The whole man is to drink joy from the fountain of joy. As St. Augustine said, the rapture of the saved soul will “flow over” into the glorified body.

From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

Daily Scripture Passage: Isaiah 9:2-7


Isaiah 9:2-7 (ESV)

2  The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
    on them has light shone.
3 You have multiplied the nation;
    you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
4 For the yoke of his burden,
    and the staff for his shoulder,
    the rod of his oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
    and every garment rolled in blood
    will be burned as fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Thoughts to Ponder from Luke 1:67-79


Luke 1:67-79 (ESV)

Zechariah’s Prophecy

67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
    and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74     that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

“He has visited his people and set them free” (Luke 1:68).

     Think back to your childhood, to the last long, hot school day before summer vacation started. Recall the anticipation and excitement you felt – relief; release; stepping out of the close, dim classroom into the wide-open sunshine. Every day was filled with possibility and potential.

     Christmas Eve can hold the same eager expectancy for you now – but in a quiet, awe-filled sense. It is a day of anticipation, of hope, and of reflection. A day to stop what we’re doing and try to spend as much time as possible pondering the light and hope that entered the world when Jesus was born.

     Jesus came to bring us salvation. He came to set us free from sin and to bring us back into our Father’s embrace. He came to bring us a salvation that far surpassed the forgiveness of our sins – as wonderful as that is! He came to bring us light in our darkness: the hope of a new life here on earth and the promise of heaven after our days are done. Jesus’ birth was heralded by a star so bright was heralded by a star so bright that wise men from hundreds of miles away followed it until they found Jesus. This is the same light that is shining on us today.

     Salvation has to do with life overcoming death. It is full life, not just cringing existence scrabbling bleakly among the rubble of fear and guilt. This life is marked by freedom from enemies like bitterness, resentment, and past hurts. It is a life free from self-love and self-centeredness. All this is yours because in his compassion, God has made his light to shine on you. And that is the light of Christ, who was born on Christmas Day.

     In Jesus – even in the infant sleeping in the manger – all the fullness of God is pleased to dwell. He came so that we can have life, and “have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Sit quietly today and think about that. Jesus came to bring you God’s life. Christmas is tomorrow. The darkness is about to fade. Ask God to shine his light on you so that you can rejoice with all the angels and saints.

Jesus, thank you for setting me free and shining your light into my life. Teach me how to have it to the full. Amen.