Reflection for week 17th Febuary 2019

"Let God transform you by a complete change of your mind" (Romans 12:2).

C S Lewis based his book "Mere Christianity" on radio broadcast talks he gave during the war. One chapter is called "Let's Pretend". In it he considers what may happen when we say the Lord's Prayer. "Its very first words are Our Father. Do you now see what these words mean? They mean quite frankly that you are putting yourself in the place of a son of God. To put it bluntly, you are dressing up as Christ. If you like, you are pretending." Of course we are nothing like The Son of God; it's "a piece of outrageous cheek".

And yet, he goes on to say, pretence can lead up to the real thing; just as children's pretend games are part of their growing up. When you realise what you are doing, will you not see what can be done to make this pretence more of a reality? Are there things going on that you should not be doing? Or are there things you are not doing that you should be doing? Christ, the Son of God is at your side and beginning to turn your pretence into reality. "He is beginning to turn you into the same kind of thing as Himself".

Lewis also tries to see this from God's perspective as he "sees before him in fact a self-centred, greedy, grumbling, rebellious human animal". Lewis imagines God saying "Let us pretend that this is not a mere creature, but our Son. .... Let us treat it as if it were what in fact it is not. Let us pretend in order to make the pretence a reality." Is that what Paul wrote about "Let God transform you by a complete change of your mind"?

These ideas seem to be summed up in another quotation from C S Lewis: "Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbour; act as if you do, and you will presently come to love him." That sounds like a good way to go about things.

John Williams