A few thoughts about Easter and The Lord of the Rings

There’s a part near the end of the third book (“Return of the King”) that strikes me so powerfully. The character of Samwise Gamgee encounters a dear friend whom he had believed to be dead, and with profound simplicity asks the question “Is everything sad going to come untrue?”

My kids and I have been watching The Lord of the Rings movies recently. I know that some folks are really big fans and others (my wife, for example) just don’t care for it. In fact, I recently ran a poll here on my website asking people what they thought of LOTR, and the results were:

  • 73% identified themselves as “FAN: Love LOTR. I’ve read the books and enjoy the films.”
  • 13% selected “SUPERFAN: Love the books and films, plus I speak Elvish with my friends. Or I would if I had friends.”
  • 10% went with “NOT A FAN: Grown men running around with swords fighting goblins and orcs? Are you kidding?

If you’d like to contribute to the poll, click HERE

Personally, I’m a fan of both CS Lewis (Narnia) and JRR Tolkien – and I find it interesting that Lewis, the famous Christian writer, was influenced by Tolkien to accept Christ.

I’d like to share a short piece from the last book, The Return of the King – and I’ll try not to spoil the ending for you… The character of Sam awakes – believing that everything is lost and that his great and terrible adventure has been a horrible failure. But he awakes to find his friends surrounding him – and to his astonishment, one friend, whom he thought dead, asks him how he feels:

But Sam lay back, and started with open mouth, and for a moment, between bewilderment and great joy, he could not answer. At last has gasped: “Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?”

“A great shadow has departed,” said Gandalf, and then he laughed and the sound was like music, or water in a parched land; and as he listened the thought came to Sam that he had not heard laughter, the pure sound of merriment, for days upon days without count. It fell upon his ears like the echo of all the joys he had ever known. But he himself burst into tears. Then as sweet rain will pass down a wind of spring and the sun will shine out the clearer, his tears ceased, and his laughter welled up, and laughing he sprang from his bed.

“How do I feel?” he cried. “Well I don’t know how to say it. I feel, I feel” – he waved his arms in the air – “I feel like spring after winter, and sun on the leaves; and like trumpets and harps and all the songs I have ever heard!”

This must have been something of what the Apostles and other followers of Jesus felt when they discovered that Jesus was alive, that He had risen. Shock and astonishment. Joy and fear. Perhaps shame – and then relief at His acceptance and forgiveness.

As Christians worldwide celebrate Christ’s resurrection today, I’d like to recapture that astonishment that the Apostles felt that morning – that everything sad was going to come untrue. Our sins, forgiven. Our Savior – who was dead – now alive.

Everything sad is going to come untrue. Amen.

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  1. Angela says:

    This is so, so, SO beautifully put. Thank you Scott. I’m typing this with tears streaming down my face right now. Thank you.

  2. Hey, I didn’t know you had a blog! I’m a semi-fan of LOTR; I find it hard to sit for that long, but otherwise, they’re cool.


    Jenn Wolf

  3. AMEN!
    Wonderful post Scott. I love how Tolkien was so clear that his books were in no way “allegorical”(as we all know, he really disliked them), yet they apply so much to life, especially the Christian walk. Funny how our beliefs and values transfer to everything about us.

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