Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Return of the King


Reading the Lord of the Rings. Hadn't realised how eschatological bits of the Return of the King are. Probably noticed it because I've been reading Revelation and the prophets recently.

There is peace, reuniting after (presumed) death, joy, healing, feasting, thrones, a coronation, a renewed city, the nations come together, judgement, forgiveness, the ancient tree replanted, no more fear of night, a long-awaited wedding... "Is everything sad going to come untrue?"

Some of the language is decidedly messianic:
"ancient of days he seemed and yet in the flower of manhood; and wisdom sat upon his brow, and strength and healing were in his hands, and a light was about him."
There's even a psalm:
"Sing now ye people of Minas Anor
for the realm of Sauron is ended for ever
   and the Dark Tower is thrown down.

Sing and rejoice, ye people of the Tower of Guard
for your watch hath not been in vain,
and the Black Gate is broken,
and your King hath passed through,
   and he is victorious.

Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you,
   all the days of your life.

And the Tree that was withered shall be renewed,
and he shall plant it in the high places,
   and the City shall be blessed.

   Sing all ye people!"

But of course, it falls short. Sauron was the enemy - but not the ultimate Enemy. 

Aragorn may be the king around whom all this centres, but the enemy's downfall was not brought about by him. His bride is marrying way beneath her. And he is just a mortal human, not divine.

The healing is not complete, and it's not forever.

To quote Paul (out of context): 
"These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is Christ."

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