Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even agony into glory – C.S. Lewis
Once again Lewis surprises us with a clever view of how God works. While he speaks of that future day when we look back with joy. He might be a little off in the timeline.
The strange thing about Jesus is that He has already attained heaven, our future, for us. Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. His death and resurrection is the end and the beginning, the judgment and reward.
Yet Jesus brings the glorious future backward to us in holy baptism so that in Christ you live in the future now. You have met judgment day. You have met the resurrection. Our hope is not in maybes but in certainty. For it has already begun that first Christmas Day, that first Easter morn, that first splash of water and words, and that first taste of His Holy Supper.
As Victor Frankl observed in the concentration camp, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” By forgiving us, bringing us back to God, and giving us an eternal future, Jesus certainly gives us meaning and purpose. So that even suffering now has meaning, and even value! It teaches us our weakness, yet highlights God’s mercy and strength on our behalf.
The future reality that you will enjoy indeed does work backward and turns even agony into glory.
It’s like our advent wait for Christmas. We aren’t really waiting for Christmas. It has already come. We don’t need to pretend it hasn’t while we go through the fun rituals of preparing our hearts for the meaning of that first Christmas Day. The light has dawned. The cat’s out of the bag. Nothing you can do can change that.
What agonies do you have that need Heaven to shine backward upon? How do church services act as the future shining backward on us?