Dressing up as Christ ~ BitterSweetLife

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Dressing up as Christ

Hey there. This is Jamie, here to bring you some C.S. Lewis fare and so stave off AJ’s Lewis cravings.

I re-read Mere Christianity earlier this summer after someone gave me a beautiful leather-bound edition as a graduation gift. One brief quote particularly affected me:

Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.
It’s a provocative statement, because of course we are not Christ, and can’t be. And yet, as Lewis points out a little later, the New Testament instructs us to posture ourselves in exactly that position—as Christ.

Speaking briefly of the Lord’s Prayer, Lewis notes:
Its very first words are Our Father. Do you now see what those 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. (emphasis original)
This is perhaps what Paul has in mind when he says that all who have been baptized into Christ have “put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27).

In a sense, as Lewis suggests, we’re playing pretend. We let Christ clothe us in his own clothes, and then we practice our first tottering steps in his shoes, like so many small children dressing up in mommy’s heels or trying out daddy’s shaving cream.

It’s merely pretense at first. But why do we do it? So that as we grow up into Christ, the pretense may become the reality.

I forget sometimes that Christ has such grand intentions. I am content to play in the sandbox perpetually, not remembering that his vision is to mold me in the form of himself, to make me into a “little Christ.” For now, all I can do is fumble in his oversized, awkwardly fitting garments. But someday…someday…


Note: Great job, Jamie! Thanks for contributing. In case you're wondering, Jamie took me up on my invite to post quotes plus commentary on C.S. Lewis. If you'd like to do something similar, let me know. - AJ

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Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife