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The Tears of Eucatastrophe

Eucatastrophe is “a good catastrophe.” But long before the story turns good, there are tears. Many tears. Tolkien invented this word to explain how good things can come from catastrophes, how unpredictable redemption can be won in the midst of unimaginable loss.

The most poignant and gripping eucatastrophic moment in The Lord of the Rings is found in The Return of the King (of course!). In Chapter 4, “The Field of Cormallen”, Samwise Gamgee wakes up to find what he never expected but what he most certainly had hoped for. The Ring has been destroyed! Gandalf is alive!

Full memory flooded back, and Sam cried aloud: ‘It wasn’t a dream! Then where are we?’

And a voice spoke softly behind: ‘In the land of Ithilien, and in the keeping of the King; and he awaits you.’ With that Gandalf stood before him, robed in white, his beard now gleaming like pure snow in the twinkling of the leafy sunlight. ‘Well, Master Samwise, how do you feel?’ he said.

But Sam lay back, and stared with open mouth, and for a moment, between bewilderment and great joy, he could not answer. At last he 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 like 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 a 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.

As Sam and Gandalf talk he learns that his master and dearest friend Frodo is alive too and that the King—THE KING!—has taken back the ancient lands. Not only that but the King of Gondor had tended Sam in his wounds and now awaits him. Gandalf will lead him to him. “He will ride soon to his crowning, but he waits for you” Gandalf says.

And there in Gondor as the King was crowned and the Hobbits were praised, there was laughing and singing and weeping “until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.”

This scene always brings me to tears of sorrow and joy. Tears of sorrow as I consider how much my life and this world needs redemption. Tears of joy in knowing with great hope that one day my King will truly make everything sad in this old Earth come untrue.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in new creation, Tolkien

 

Merry Christmas!!!

“The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story begins and ends in joy. There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was true, and none which so many sceptical men have accepted as true on its own merits….This story is supreme and it is true.”

–JRRT, On Fairy Stories



 
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Posted by on December 24, 2010 in celebrate, Christmas, gospel, Jesus, quotes, Tolkien

 

Zion’s Pilgrim

“A captive here, and far from home,
For Zion’s sacred courts I sigh:
“There the ransomed nations come,
And see the Savior ‘eye to eye.’

“While here, I walk on hostile ground;
The few that I can call my friends
Are, like myself, with fetters bound,
And weariness my path attends.

“But we shall soon behold the day
When Zion’s children shall return;
Our sorrows then shall flee away,
And we shall never, never mourn.

“The hope that such a day will come
Makes e’en the captive’s portion sweet;
Though now we’re distant far from home
In Zion soon we all shall meet.”

Help Heavenward, by Octavius Winslow

HT Matthew Blair

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2010 in faith, heaven, new creation, perseverance, quotes

 

“Already But Not Yet” Chord Sheets

He Is Risen

Look Ye Saints

Christ Is Coming, Let Creation

Come, Lord Jesus, to Redeem Us

Upon this Mount _Isaiah 25

There Is a Fountain

“Already But Not Yet” is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Connect on Facebook and Purevolume.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2010 in hymn, mp3, music, worship, Worship Leader

 

“Already But Not Yet” Giveaway

Josh Cousineau recently reviewed my CD and is giving away two copies over at his blog. Check it out, maybe you’ll win a copy!

And yes… “Already but Not Yet” is finally available on iTunes!!!!

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2010 in gospel, music, worship

 

Discovery of Fire and the Gospel

This is why I love Jared Wilson:

Isn’t the good news like fire? Isn’t hearing it and believing in it a precious, wondrous, life-changing event? It’s startling, confusing, exhilarating in the joy of first sight of something we’ve ever longed for. It gives heat never had, warmth never felt, makes everything taste better. Don’t we dance to discover it, hoot and holler over its newness, its blazing, dangerous beauty?

Don’t we want to light many more fires with it, touching torches and lanterns and taking them everywhere cold and dark? Don’t we want to take this fire and immolate those frozen memorials to flameless promisers of fire? Don’t we want to light up the world with this wonderful elemental stuff?

Don’t we?

I know I sure do!

Lord, cause many in New England and beyond to discover the fire of the gospel of Jesus the Messiah!

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2010 in gospel, gospel-change, Heart, Jesus, revival

 

Pray for Dr. Gary Parrett

Please pray for my good friend, Dr. Gary Parrett (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary).  Dr. Parrett was seriously injured on July 3 in a tragic bus accident in South Korea where 12 passengers died. Since then, he has been fighting for his life and has yet to regain consciousness. His wife and daughter have been by his side in the hospital in South Korea, and they have been relaying updates on his condition and prayer requests nearly every day, here.

The most recent update is that he was successfully transferred halfway around the world to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston just yesterday! His wife and daughter arrived today and shared this news:

Hi everyone!

My mom and I arrived in Massachusetts this morning and spent most of the day with my dad at the hospital.  He is doing very well, although he’s still a little bit groggy from the medicine he’s been given the past few days to help him sleep.

The doctors here at MGH have mentioned their plan of moving him either to a regular ward or a nearby rehab hospital very soon–maybe even tomorrow.  His body is stable, so they think that it would best to start rehab as soon as possible.   Please pray that the doctors would make the best decision for my dad’s care and that my dad’s brain would continue to recover!

Thank you so much for your prayers, especially as all of us traveled.  We have been so blessed by God’s unfailing love and grace!

Please pray for God’s healing of Dr. Parrett and Spirit’s comfort for his family. May you also be encouraged by the words of Gary’s hymn “Come, Lord Jesus to Redeem Us”.

Come, Lord Jesus, to redeem us

from our foes and from our fears.

We await the hand of mercy

that will wipe away our tears.

We have labored long in darkness,

even now our hearts grow weak.

How we long for your appearing

and your great salvation seek.

(Rev. 21:4; Rom. 8:23; 2Tim. 4:8)

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2010 in gospel, music, prayer, suffering

 
 
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