Gospel Meditation

Thankfulness and Hope

Early this week I came across an excellent quote by C.S. Lewis on aiming our hope at heaven. His point is unless we are properly hoping in the world to come, we will never be effective in living a full, joyful, hopeful Christian life in the world today. This seems to be the exact opposite of what our contemporary culture thinks. A confusion he winsomely and eloquently unravels in the quote below from his book "Mere Christianity".

"Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither. It seems a strange rule, but something like it can be seen at work in other matters. Health is a great blessing, but the oment you make health one of your main direct obects you start becoming a crank and imagining there is something wrong with you. You are only likely to get health proided you want other things more - food, games, work, fun, open air. In the same way, we shall never save civilisation as long as civilisation is our main object. We must learn to want something else even more."

- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952; Harper Collins 2001) 134.

Leave a Comment

Comments for this post have been disabled.


Join us Sunday at