This gloomy Saturday: LOTR and Risen

It rained all day today. I took advantage of the weekend: catching up on books, some writing, and a few good movies.

The Two Towers, J.R.R. Tolkien

Picked up The Lord of The Rings again. It’s been several months since I’d left Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli chasing after the Orcs over Rohan, but easing right back into the story wasn’t a problem. Seeing their names on the page felt like greeting old friends.

One thing I really like about LOTR is that significant aspects of its story run parallel to the present state of our world. Middle-Earth stands on the verge of open war with a growing, destructive force. Their world is changing, and the people of Middle-Earth are bewildered by the shifts and waves in their lives as they know it. At some point, they have to ask themselves “What now?”

Isn’t that the same for many of us, with all the things happening in our world right now?

‘It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels,’ [said Eomer], ‘The world is all grown strange. How shall a man judge what to do in such times?’

‘As he has ever judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.’

–The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien

~

Risen (2016)

I did some research on the intentions behind the making of Risen, and found that the filmmakers wanted to tell the story of the resurrection, but with an equal balance of cinematic appeal and Scriptural truth. They were a bit free in their telling of the story, but I didn’t find this too much of an issue; it was refreshing to watch the resurrection story from the perspective of a skeptic, and see my own grappling reflected in the honest exchanges between Clavius and Jesus.

Clavius: ‘I do not even know what to ask.’

Yeshua: ‘Speak your heart.’

Clavius: ‘I cannot reconcile all this with the world I know.’

Yeshua: ‘With your own eyes you’ve seen, yet still you doubt. Imagine the doubt of those who have never seen. That’s what they face.’

–Risen (2016)

The last part especially dug into my heart, the words so well-known but so personal at the same time, meant for me and anyone who loves Him:

“Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every nation. You will be my witnesses in Judea, and Samaria, and to all the ends of the earth.”

I must have heard and read these words a thousand times, but today I felt like I was sixteen again–hearing them said to me for the very first time.

‘And know that I am with you…

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-10-38-46-pm

‘…to the very end of the age.’

~

It was a good Saturday.

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