Breaking the Enchantment

This world is NOT our home. We may know that theologically, but everything around us tries to convince us that we are living in the real world and anything beyond this world is vague, fuzzy, and insubstantial. It is, in fact, other-worldly…which is to say un-real, merely a figment of our imagination.

But Scripture tells us that the opposite is true–the things we enjoy and celebrate on this earth are only “a shadow of thshadow Jonathane things to come,” but in contrast “the substance belongs to Christ.” (Col. 2:17) “Now we see in a mirror dimly” (I Cor. 13:12) but one day the veil will be lifted and we will see “face to face”. Now we reside in a temporal, fragile “tent” but there is an eternal “house…in the heavens” which will one day be ours (2 Cor. 5:1). Rather than being ethereal and vague, heaven actually has more weight, more substance, more reality than all that we can see and touch on this earth. There is a “weight of glory” that awaits us, which supersedes the “light and momentary” things of this earth (2 Cor. 4:17).

God has placed within each of His children a deep longing for our true home, and when we quiet the noise of our incessant strivings to gain more of this world, that longing begins to surface more and more. This is how C.S. Lewis describes it (in his sermon appropriately titled “The Weight of Glory”):

In speaking of this desire for our own far-off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter…. The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited. Do you think I am trying to weave a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them. And you and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness which has been laid upon us for nearly a hundred years. Almost our whole education has been directed to silencing this shy, persistent, inner voice; almost all our modern philosophies have been devised to convince us that the good of man is to be found on this earth.

There IS more. This world is NOT our home. If you belong to Christ, then let your heart sing with the hope and anticipation of a glory and a home that is even more real and substantial than all that we can see here and now!

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