The Feast of Clive Staples Lewis

While I have known for many years that C. S. Lewis died on this day, November 22, back in 1963, I only just today found out that the Episcopal Church in 2003 created a Feast of Clive Staples Lewis for this day. The Collect for the day reads as follows:

“O God of searing truth and surpassing beauty, we give you thanks for Clive Staples Lewis, whose sanctified imagination lit fires of faith in young and old alike. Surprise us also with your joy and draw us into that new and abundant life which is ours in Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

I add my “amen” to the wording “sanctified imagination.” From The Pilgrim’s Regress to The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, the Ransom Trilogy [Out of the Silent Planet-Perelandra-That Hideous Strength], The Chronicles of Narnia, and Till We Have Faces, Lewis’s sanctified imagination certainly has “lit fires of faith in young and old alike.” I also like the allusion to his autobiography, Surprised by Joy, when the Collect prays that the Lord will surprise us with His joy.

The new and abundant life in Christ was the primary focus of Lewis’s Mere Christianity, so the Collect covers a lot of ground in very few words.

We don’t make an idol of any man or woman. Worship belongs to One only. Yet we do mark the lives of those who have impacted the world with their Christian faith. C. S. Lewis is honored on this day for his many contributions. He is worthy of that honor.