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Self-giving is absolute reality

[I]n self-giving, if anywhere, we touch a rhythm of all creation and of all being. For the Eternal Word gives Himself in mortal sacrifice; and that not only on Calvary. For when He was crucified on Calvary He did that in the wild weather of His outlying provinces what He had done at home in glory and gladness. From before the foundation of the world, Christ surrenders begotten Deity back to begetting Deity, in obedience. And as the Son glorifies the Father, so also the Father glorifies the Son. ...From the highest to the lowest, self exists to be abdicated and, by that abdication, becomes the more truly self, to be thereupon yet the more abdicated, and so forever. This is not a... law which we can escape... What is outside the system of self-giving is... simply and solely Hell... that fierce imprisonment in the self... Self-giving is absolute reality.

C. S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain, ch 10, p157
Read it and weep.

0 thoughts on “Self-giving is absolute reality

  1. Otepoti

    I glimpse this truth through family - each member of a family exists for the lasting good of all the other members. This is true even of wilful children, since they exist to make their parents, willy-nilly, more mature.

    Or so I trust.

  2. Glen

    Hey Heather - this quote is quite like the 'glory' stuff on John's gospel I wrote last week. What we see at the cross *is* the glory of the eternal God. The Son has always deferred to the Father, obeyed Him, glorified Him, given Himself up to Him, etc, etc. Therefore ultimate reality (as shown by the cross but which reaches into the depths of eternity) is self-giving.

    Now *that's* glory!

  3. Glen

    Hi Otepoti, family is such a good illustration of this - of trinity and of grace. We are who we are in our relationships - and these relationships are ones where we both lose and find ourselves. Shouldn't surprise us - it's how God has been forever.

  4. Heather

    Hm. Your post, I did understand (I think).

    I'm going to have to ponder Lewis' statement a little more.

    The concept of "God is relational" I can grasp. My heart has no problem with that.

    But it is difficult to make the mental transition from "monolithic, supremely authoritative deity" to "multifaceted relational, INTERPERSONAL--yet seamlessly unified deity"

    Does that make any sense?

  5. Glen

    Hey holiday longing,

    Yes indeed - we manage to live at odds with the very nature of reality! I guess that's called sin. But Christ's grace is that He continues to shower love on us sinners. And the very first thing we must do is *receive* from Him, just as He receives all things from the Father. It's a flow, from Father to Son, from Son to us and from us out into the world. Thanks for reminding us about the receiving part. Very important.

    Just heading off to your blog to read the goodies.

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