I was sitting in a fourth grade elementary school class when our teacher was called out to the hallway. When she returned she was crying, telling us between sobs that the President of the United States had been assassinated. After she defined the word “assassinated,” we readied ourselves to return home as she announced an early dismissal.
Devastating news, for sure, that went around the world quickly. But there was another celebrity that died that very same day–the British author C.S. Lewis, an intellectual defender of the Christian faith.
C. S. Lewis was an author of many books that are now classics like: Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Lewis spent most of his earlier years as an atheist. But he began to realize that God was “closing in on him.” He discovered the joy he was missing in life would be found in the faith he had resisted.
Lewis was a rather shy professor of literature at Oxford and Cambridge universities and he passed from this earth in the shadow of another, His death hardly registered on the news blips of the day.
Another personal hero of mine died in the shadow of a famous celebrity. Mother Teresa passed from this world the day before Princess Diana’s extravagant funeral. It’s no secret that Princess Diana, who was a friend of Mother Teresa, would steal the limelight from a woman who had given her life to the poor and the needy. It is said that Mother Teresa could carry all of her life possessions in a five-gallon bucket.
These death eclipses seem unfair, but don’t they speak to how the godly live their lives? It’s not our life that we are lifting up but rather, Christ’s. Even Paul the apostle said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
While the world celebrates the rich and the famous, God celebrates the obedient, the humble and the servant. Recently, during the highest holy days of the Christian faith, The New York Times had a headline article titled, “In This TIme of War, I Propose We Give Up God.” It was just one more anti-God diatribe.
That article reminded me of a 1966 Time magazine cover article announcing God was, in fact, dead. A few years later that same magazine had a cover article titled, “The Jesus Revolution.”