We all live an epic! We all do! the question is: How great is our epic? I believe the greatest epic is the epic found in Holy Scripture. That mega-epic is made up of other epics large and small. That brings me to my point about your epic. Your epic can seem small, even insignificant. What makes your epic significant is the larger epic it is related to.
I’ll leave the discussion of your epic for a moment and focus on a great written epic: Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings is a multi-volume set of works by J. R. R. Tolkien. Follow along as we explore the Lord of the Rings epic. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Trailer
The Lord of the Rings is a great epic with many parallels to life for those of us who are not living an epic. Or, are we? Maybe, there is more significance to this life than I glean from it. Maybe, I missed something fulfilling. I believe these themes apply to a larger audience.
After this whole complex tale was born in the mind of one simple man. I use simple reverently, but to emphasize that he is human just like you and me. Tolkien created (in his mind) one of the biggest epics of all time. I don’t want to lower the emotional energy, tireless thought, and hard work he put into this epic. I am so glad he devoted all that he did to create the novel trilogy that has been finally delivered to us as a movie trilogy.
Back to my points, I ask you to view the trailer to see how the themes portrayed there apply to you individually. I believe the 4 themes displayed on the screen have eternal significance. I also believe they apply to all of us.
In fact, I believe they are so significant I’d like to spend most of 2013 exploring the implications of these themes.
Like Samwise and Frodo, we are on a journey and we face the same issues Frodo and Sam faced.
Questions for reflection:
-What most stood out to you in the trailer?
-What feeling rose in you?
-What desires do you perceive underlie your feelings?
-What will you choose in light of your feelings and desires?
Why do great stories like Lord of the Rings move us? They move us at a heart level because they speak to us in the language of our hearts. They move us also because they echo greater, larger realities. They get us in touch with the longings in our own hearts. They awaken or excite longings.
The four points seen in the Fellowship of the Ring resonate in every person’s heart of four spiritual realities placed in us by God.
So, what were the themes placed on the screen of the Fellowship of the Ring trailer?
- Fate Has Chosen Him
- A Fellowship Will Protect Him
- This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way, no one will! (spoken, not displayed)
- Evil Will Hunt Them
I’d like to take the liberty to recast each of these points that make them more meaningful to the Christ follower. “Fate Has Chosen Him.” According to Jesus’ words we were chosen by Him. I love that thought and it comforts me. Knowing that He chose me for a purpose makes me significant and you too! Experience that significance today. God has a plan and He is executing it. The beauty is that He has allowed us to be a part of His grand design, His great plan, and we have a part to play in His plan. (God has chosen you!!)
That brings us to this statement: “This task was appointed to you and if you do not find a way, no one will!” God has given you a part to play in His grand design THAT IS YOURS ALONE. If you do not find a way, no one will.
Whoa!!! When I first heard those words, I thought daunting! Too big! Who me??? I can’t! But I came to realize that there is more to this point than first comes to my mind. My part to play in His grand design is NOT without support. I rest in the reality that is mine in what Jesus has given me. I must believe, have faith that He supports me. I am not alone! I do have resources that I did not know I had. What God offers is so comforting that I gladly, by faith, accept my role in His plan and take one step at a time with His love, comfort, care, mercy, and strength. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” He would not give me a role without also giving me the love, strength, and courage to come through with Him. That’s the kind of God we serve. He asks of us but knowing our nature, He provides the way for us to fulfill all that He asks.
How are you receiving these realities? Can you trust Him to do this for you?
vividly portrayed in the Lord of the Rings. The Ring, it’s effects on Frodo and others, Gollum’s total obsessions with the Ring, the Orcs, the Uruk-hai, Saruman, and Sauron all are forces of evil in the Lord of the Rings show that evil is at work. Jesus said the Devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. We see it portrayed in the Garden of Eden, through the Temptations of Christ, and in Jesus’ last hours in Gethsemane as he faced down Evil and sought the Father’s help. (Evil is hunting you.)
A Fellowship Will Protect Him
Christ followers have a great fellowship which desires to protect them. We will discover so much more about that fellowship this year. It is a much more beautiful concept than I ever conceived. But let me get back to the point. The truth is that we, Christ followers, need a fellowship. The church is our fellowship, which meets needs not met anywhere else on earth. But, I go out on a limb here and say that we all need intimate fellowship with a few close men or women. A fellowship which allows us to communicate our needs and desires and have them met by the intimate fellowship.
Men, (excuse me ladies), we don’t sense that need often but that does not mean that it is not real. There is a need whether we sense it or not. I can tell you that intimate fellowship is a real need for men and for women as well. It seems that women are more geared to open up and seek fellowship and men generally are not. I am not stereotyping you–we are all unique.
I avoided close, intimate fellowship most of my life. I look back and see missed opportunities for me because I was not willing to open up and be free before God and brothers. Only God can make that up. I did not find the role I was called to play during those times. Seeking out the fellowship is a way to meet needs and in the process have our needs met. (A fellowship desires to protect you.)
May God grant a way to have the intimate fellowship He desires for you. That fellowship starts with Him today.
Questions for reflection (with my answers):
What most stood out to you in the trailer?
“Frodo’s support was agreeable. They supported when he stepped forward. They did this by faith, not knowing whether their efforts would help him.”
What feeling rose in you?
“I am thankful and grateful for fellowship.”
What desires do you perceive underlay your feelings?
“I want to see truth triumph over lies and evil.”
What will you choose in light of your feelings and desires?
1. Support the truth advancing in the world.
2. I choose to see evil suppressed and destroyed.
3. I need to better understand evil and how to oppose it.”
Hang on! If you listen I promise you will be rewarded.
There is a Grand Design, a Larger Story in play. Contemplate the role that you have to fulfill in that larger story.
There is more to this tale if you care to engage…see the entire presentation of EPIC by John Eldredge under “Related.” Let me know through the comments if you have questions about where this story is leading.
John Eldredge, in EPIC, presents what we are made for. What will fulfill us as Christ followers? Are you ready? Please listen.
We are meant for relationships, from the beginning. Our God is very relational and desires relationship and intimacy with us. Find out more about what He desires and what you are made for.
I so relate to his farm stories. I grew up on a farm and I so long to get back there. My wife grew up swimming. She longs to be near the water. What great longings for the past are in your heart? Do you want to see those longings fulfilled?
Evil entered the earthly realms and it is hunting you! Contemplate that for a moment. See how evil has affected you and those around you? Find out more here about the battle that rages with evil in the world. Don’t let the Evil One shut you down. There is a way through if we seek it from the Giver of Life.
He said, I came to give abundant life, however, the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I serve the Master who gives abundant life. He is the source of all that is good. Seek Him for what we all need–life, eternal life. Are you receiving His eternal life today? Why or why not? He longs to give it to you.
Eldredge gives us a vision here of the beauty and majesty of the Creation act with so much honor and glory given to the Creator. All of creation worships the Creator. The Creator loves His creation. We, the created, were created to love Him back.
He gives us a hint of the backdrop of the Lord of the Rings. We were made for this. We were made for more. We all long for Eden, and all that comes with it–the final home going, being in His presence.
The Fall portends the Evil that hunts us to this day. Beware!! Don’t betray your Savior or His salvation and Glory or your brothers and sisters.
Eternity is in our hearts, you and me. Eden, Eternity, Home is what we are longing for. Live right now as if you are there with Jesus in just a moment. This life is not it. Eden is where it is. Glimpses of Eden are given to us here. Are you seeing all that you have in Him?
Eldredge can’t sing very well so he does not get it. We will attain Paradise. We will have a New Heaven and a New Earth and we will enjoy all that God has made in a way that we can only get a glimmer of with our current abilities to perceive.
Yes, Restoration is a good word. God is in that business now, today. We are being restored to Him now and going forward.
God’s Everlasting Love (Romans 8)
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake, we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Any time you see LR in the title of a blog this year, it stands for Lord of the Rings. It’s a hint that the blog is about the themes delivered in the Lord of the Rings trailer. Join me in this great adventure of seeing the themes of the Fellowship of the Ring trailer played out in the life of the Jesus follower (and that could be you).