Reflections May 2014—Catching the Good Infection of Christ

 

May 2014

CATCHING THE GOOD INFECTION OF CHRIST

n C.S. Lewis’s book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, you may recall the scene when Aslan, the Lion, roars and breathes on the statues in the White Witch’s castle and they suddenly are filled with life, energy, and joy. In the following passage from his book, Mere Christianity, Lewis describes how we, like the statues in Narnia, can be infected by the life of Christ by staying close to the warm, moist breath of our Triune God. Lewis writes,

And now, what does it all matter? It matters more than anything else in the world. The whole dance, or drama, or pattern of this three-Personal life is to be played out in each one of us: or (putting it the other way round) each one of us has got to enter that pattern, take his place in that dance. There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made. Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prizes which God could, if He chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever? Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die?

But how is he to be united to God? How is it possible for us to be taken into the three-Personal life?

You remember what I said in Chapter 1 about begetting and making. We are not begotten by God, we are only made by Him: in our natural state we are not sons of God, only (so to speak) statues. We have not got Zoe or spiritual life: only Bios or biological life which is presently going to run down and die. Now the whole offer which Christianity makes is this: that we can, if we let God have His way, come to share in the life of Christ. If we do, we shall then be sharing a life which was begotten, not made, which always has existed and always will exist. Christ is the Son of God. If we share in this kind of life we also shall be sons of God. We shall love the Father as He does and the Holy Ghost will arise in us. He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has—by what I call ‘good infection’. Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.

Joy, power, peace and eternal life – these are the things that human beings have been longing for since the beginning of time. There are many false paths to attaining them. However, in some ways the means to them is easy – draw close to the Triune God and surrender to His forgiving and life-changing grace that allows us to become little Christs.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."
JOHN 15:5-8  (NIV)

 

1 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. Touchstone: New York, 1996, pp. 153-154.


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