17 June 2008

Tolkien: The Preciousness of Unity

In slowly rereading The Lord of the Rings I'm wondering how I've made it in recent months having forgotten heaven's joy, so beautifully portrayed and drawn out in this book! It is a joy I ought to have from the more simple, regular disciplines of discipleship, but for some reason this story draws it out in a uniquely powerful way.

I read this today--a picture of current Protestantism--as the elves of Lothlorien insist that Gimli the dwarf be blindfolded, a request met with impertinent stubbornness on the dwarf's part. Heated inter-racial argument ensues. The lead elf of Lothlorien remarks--

"Folly it may seem. Indeed in nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him." (p. 339)

A quote for a sermon on John 17.

And the resolution to the apparent impasse between elf and dwarf? Aragorn proposes that instead of Gimli alone being blindfolded, all eight members of the party of the ring be blindfolded, even Legolas the elf. Only in this way is unity then restored, lives spared, and progress rejoined. Fodder for evangelical reflection, full of echoes of Romans 14.

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