The Villager Voice ~ from Alan

CS Lewis is probably best known for his “Chronicles of Narnia,” but he was also a prolific theologian and author of more than thirty books about religion and culture.

One of his smaller books is titled, Miracles, where he tackles the difficult place of miracles in the modern mind.  But I think his best work on the subject is found in a collection of essays titled God in the Dock.  The second chapter of that book was originally a sermon he preached at St Jude on the Hill Church in London in November 1942, and he talked about the way he understands the miraculous to be small, human expressions of larger divine reality.  “The miracles in fact are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see,” he writes.  “Some of the miracles do locally what God has already done universally.”

We’re going to be looking at the wedding at Cana this Sunday, where Jesus famously turned water into wine.  Here is Lewis’ take on the episode:

“God creates the vine and teaches it to draw up water by its roots and, with the aid of the sun, to turn that water into a juice with will ferment and take on certain qualities...  But when Christ at Cana makes water into wine, the mask is off...  [the miracle] will have its full effect if whenever we see a vineyard or drink a glass of wine we remember that here works the One who sat at the wedding party at Cana.”

What do you think?  Is what we call miraculous simply a compression or distillation of those things that already occur in the natural world?  (Lewis says the same thing about the healing miracles, that healing is something that occurs naturally in the human body; when Jesus healed people, he basically accelerated the process.)  Sunday’s look at Cana will come from a different perspective, but Lewis’ idea is one worth thinking about in the meanwhile.

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