As we journey through these uncertain times, each day Sean will to seek post a thought or reflection, a Bible verse or a prayer
Saturday 15th May 2020
A few years ago a rare unpublished letter by CS Lewis was discovered folded up inside a second hand book. Dated 19th August 1945 and addressed to a ‘Mrs Ellis.’ One person describes the letter as intimate, full of quite deep, philosophical thoughts, that you would only share with someone on the same wavelength. There is no record of who ‘Mrs Ellis’ was, but the tone of the letter would suggest a regular correspondence.
The letter explores Lewis’s concept of joy. This was an important theme in his writings. One of his best known works was his memoir ‘Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life.’ As well as telling the story of an extremely unhappy childhood, the development of his academic career and his experience of being wounded in the trenches of Northern France, Lewis gave an account of his conversion to Christianity. ‘In the Trinity Term of 1929,’ Lewis writes, ‘I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.’ For CS Lewis, his experience of faith emerging within him would later be described in a single word - joy.
Quotes about Joy by C S Lewis
All Joy reminds. It is never a possession, always a desire for something longer ago or further away or still “about to be.
Joy is the serious business of heaven.
No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.
The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting.
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
John 1: 9-17
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
Joy is an important part of the Christian faith. It both a consequence of knowing Jesus and also a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Note what Charles Wesley writes in the opening verse of his hymn ‘Love Divine’ and the source of our joy.
Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down:
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown:
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation,
enter every trembling heart.
Is the experience of joy part of your faith? If not something is missing. Maybe time to have a chat with the minister....
Holy One, we celebrate
that where people are gathered together in love:
You are present
and good things happen and life is full.
that we are immersed in your mystery
our lives are more than they seem:
We belong to each other
and to a universe of great creative energies,
whose source and destiny is you, our God.
that your spirit beat in the heart of Jesus of Nazareth:
The good news of your healing, embracing and liberating love
was heard by the broken, the lonely
and all bound by life’s sorrows and struggles.
that the spirit of peace and hope is present
with us and though us:
In our struggle to love
we incarnate your holy presence in our world.
And so, aware of the hurts and longings all of us carry,
the awe and wonder that is around us,
and the gifts of faith and this community of faith:
We pause and we become ever aware
of the sacredness of our lives.
In that awareness may we act and speak and live.
May it be so…
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. You will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever.
A Celtic Blessing
The deep peace of the powerful wave be with you,
The deep peace of the air that moves be with you,
The deep peace of the water that flows be with you,
The deep peace of the silent land be with you,
The deep peace of the shining stars be with you,
The deep peace of the Creator,
Redeemer and the Spirit of Peace be with you.
Delirious - I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever