Monday, January 21, 2008

Sixpence

Yesterday was our annual gift day when we preach on stewardship and money. Adam, my friend and fellow-worker, was tasked with teaching this to our evening service and did a sterling job. In preparation, he rang me at teatime and asked if I could recall a passage from 'Mere Christianity' on giving, relating to a father and a sixpence. I could not immediately do so, so proceeded to speed-read in search of this paragraph to no avail. As it happened Adam, who is something of an IT wizz, used the ' search-inside' function available at Amazon.com which allows you to put in a key word and find the place in the book. Well worth knowing so I share it for any for whom it might be useful.

Here is the wonderful passage that is C.S Lewis at his very best ( Adam found it most amusing that Lewis has the middle name 'Staples' and thought it no wonder he like to be known as 'C S!)

Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given to you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small child going to his father and saying, 'Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present.' Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child's present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction. When a man has made these two discoveries, God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins. The man is awake now...

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