The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis– letter 3

Screwtape’s third letter to Wormwood highlights the truth that our growth in Christian character must embrace all our relationships– especially the most mundane, domestic and ordinary. It is often the people with whom we live that experience the most unfiltered, and un-renewed, version of us.

If you have not yet got your own copy of C.S. Lewis’ book, you can download chapter 3 here:

Screwtape’s closing sentence is, ” Remember the elder brother in the Enemy’s story.” He is referring to the other Prodigal Son, the one who never left home. His character is revealed only at the end of the Parable:

28    “The older brother became angry and refused to go in [to the celebration feast in honour of his brother]. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 

31    “ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”

Luke 15:28-32

For Consideration

  • How would you describe the older brother’s relationship with his father?
  • How might you advise the older brother to respond to his situation, now with his wayward brother returned home, now in conflict with his father?
  • How would you describe your relationship with your housemate(s) / family?
  • How would you like to demonstrate your Christian maturity in the mundane, domestic and ordinary parts of your life?