“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Rule and obedience, begetting and bearing, heat glancing down, life growing up. Blessed be He!"

...Let's keep working through Lewis' beautiful passage in Perelandra. He writes,

"Rule and obedience, begetting and bearing, heat glancing down, life growing up."
Rule and obedience is the relationship between the the Creator and creation, between God and man. We find our place when we submit to his sovereign rule, and in this asymmetric relationship there is beauty, uniqueness on both ends, just as there is in the relationship between man and woman. We are not to God what he is to us - everything is utterly unique, "never the same thing twice."

Begetting and bearing describes ways in which new things come into being. The new things are unique not only in what they are, but in the way in which they come to be. "Each movement becomes in its season the breaking into flower of the whole design to which all else had been directed." With each movement, the way in which things are renewed and transformed is itself a new theme in the dance. Lewis' story in Perelandra, especially the "great dance" chapter, exemplifies this. The "mode of change" through which creation grows is rich and diverse and is itself always new and growing. The Word is first begotten (not created) as the Son of God the Father, and then born as the son of Mary. Begetting and bearing.

Heat glancing down, life growing up. The fullness of God's intense love and joy and power shines down upon creation. All things receive this heat from their Creator and grow upwards towards Him, their Maker for whom they were made, the source of the light they reflect, the Living God who gives life to all things. The light comes from Him, is reflected through Him in all things, which were made by Him and for Him, and the light returns back to Him as all things grow forever higher and deeper, always moving towards their Maker. For more on the relationship between Creator and creation, see "All Creation Bears the Image of the Creator."

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