Tag Archives: Oxford

4 of 7: JOY

HobbitDJ4 of 7: JOY. “The birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of man’s history.” ~ John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973)

pictures-by-jrr-tolkien-24-728Today is the day. A day when magic and amazing creatures emerge from their hiding place as the Hobbit returns to the big screen one last time. Did you know that Tolkien was a very staunch Catholic? That he fought in WWI? Had four children (one became a priest), and… at one time…had no idea what a Hobbit was? Did you know that he wrote the series as a warning as he watched the rise of Hitler and hatereds of the 1930’s? JOY was a hard thing to find as the world struggled to recover its balance after “the war to end all wars”.

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit“. ~unknown Oxford student of J.R.R. Tolkien written on a blank final exam page.

JOY for a teacher often comes from the students. In this case, the above quote is what started Tolkien on the journey of his life. He had no idea what a hobbit was, but ever curious, he began to wonder, research and “see” the story in another world unfold in his mind. Ancient battle between darkness and light was being re-born  in a new allegory. JOY was born in his children as they listened to his bedtime stories of hobbits and elves and drawfs. JOY to the literary community as story after story bloomed from his soul and pen. JOY to the world as the stories he wrote became classics to generations of children. A story that told his beliefs of right vs wrong – light vs darkness – principalities vs principalities – rebellion of children and their Father.

Tolkien used the word eucatastrohpe to describe the moment when light utterly MS-Tolkien-drawings-28destorys darkness, and righteousness returns to reign over the world once more. God has written a book that could be called “LORD of All Creation”…a story that took shape not only on stone tablets but in our hearts, our minds and our souls as well. He sent JOY to replace the sadness of sin. LOVE to warm the coldness of a stormy night. HOPE to ease our fears and sorrows with a world spinning out of our control. Advent is a time to see the JOY, the LOVE, the HOPE in all things around us and to remember the Son who, though born as lowly as a hobbit, would one day deliver eucastastrophe to the world forever.. (Do you see why Tolkien chose the Hobbit to save the world now?)

(google images of Hobbit images)