Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A sermon

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the delivery of a sermon. The Weight of Glory, by C.S. Lewis, was preached in the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford, on June 8, 1942. From Justin Taylor's essay:
As Lewis ascended the pulpit that evening, he looked out at the Oxford students and dons to witness what Walter Hooper later described as “one of the largest congregations ever assembled there in modern times.”

The anticipation to hear Lewis must have been significant, but the listeners could hardly have predicted that they were about to hear what would become one of the most famous sermons of the twentieth century, still being read and appreciated seventy five years hence.

Lewis’s announced text for the address was Revelation 2:26, 28, a passage different from the day’s New Testament reading in the Book of Common Prayer: “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations...And I will give him the morning star” (KJV). Lewis does not quote from the passage directly or refer to it by its reference, though he does discuss near the end of the sermon what it means to be given “the morning star.”

The title of the sermon, “The Weight of Glory,” comes from 2 Corinthians 4:17: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” ....

“The Weight of Glory” can be read online in its entirety. (You can also read my summary of each section here.) As the length of this post might suggest, it is worth the investment of your time to read and consider the whole thing. For it was 75 years ago tonight that the church received one of the great sermons of the 20th century. [much more, including why the sermon has remained so important and photographs of the locations]
The sermon link in the final paragraph above will supply a pdf of the entire sermon and one can also be found here.

75 Years Ago Tonight: C. S. Lewis Delivers a Sermon in Oxford on “The Weight of Glory” | TGC