All our hopes now lie within two little hobbits, somewhere in the wilderness
Gandalf, The Two Towers (film version)
I don’t care if you took advantage of the day after Christmas being a Saturday so that you could pack away your decorations. Christmas is not over.
It ends on January 6, Epiphany.
This is not debatable.
I understand that we all want to put the year that has been 2020 behind us. But let us not forget what Christmas is really all about. It’s about hope in a manger.
One of the things I usually try to do over the holidays is watch THE MOVIES. You should know of which movies I speak. This year, I gathered online with some long-time friends. We met years ago on another forum, shared a lot of all things Lord of the Rings, and remain steadfast, if distant, friends to this day. I shared of that story earlier in the year. [When a Friend Sails Into the West]
We picked three consecutive Sunday nights in December to watch THE MOVIES “together.” It’s something we started years ago. We’d meet in a Yahoo chatroom (I told you it’s been years), we’d cue up our DVDs to the same spot and someone would countdown to go. We’ve moved on from Yahoo to another chat room in an undisclosed location.
It’s a little quirky, we know. But twenty years of friendships can’t be all bad.
To be completely honest Sunday I started another watch through THE MOVIES. After all, I had packed away my blue screen and lights and suddenly had my home office back again after two months of getting ready for, and then actually completing virtual Santa calls.
As I’m writing this, I’ve just finished The Two Towers. I’ll get to The Return of the King a little later. Perhaps
There’s a line in The Two Towers where Gandalf says to Aragorn, “All our hopes now lie with two little hobbits, somewhere in the wilderness.”
I’m not sure if that line exists in the books or just the screenplay, but it is significant. Gandalf and company know that all they can do is hold off the inevitable. If Frodo does not accomplish his mission of destroying in the ring, all hope is lost.
You should watch THE MOVIES again. Or you should watch them the first time. And you should read the books.
Yes, you should.
What struck me, or maybe it slowly crept up on me, over the past weekend when we were celebrating, in our homes and socially distanced, the coming of the Christ Child, was that our hopes lie in a manger.
Or they did.
Think about it. That’s where the earthly version of this story begins.
A small, helpless, baby resting in the trough use for feeding the animals.
But there in that manger was the hope of the world.
We understand the significance of it now. That baby must fulfill his mission.
There are a lot of songs and stories about the infant.
Soon, however, we’ll be approaching Lent and we will begin the journey to the cross.
Tolkien did not set out to write allegory, but there’s no denying that the journey of Frodo to Mordor parallels the journey to the cross.
Maybe that’s why I love the stories and have since high school. Maybe that’s why in 2020 it was a good time to re-read the books and re-watch THE MOVIES.
They are a reminder that in the darkest of times, we have hope.
I’m not sure that 2020 can be called the darkest of times. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty stanky.
So was the stable.
And that’s what Christmas is all about.
In the midst of all the stank, we have hope.