One of the books I’m reading this holiday season is JRR Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring.
On their long journey, Frodo and his trusty companions find themselves in gloomier and gloomier predicaments, in hollow, dark forests and in orc-infested hillsides and caves.
So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise when Frodo desperately longs for home, for the Shire, for his bedside light and the comfort of his pipe.
“But now his thoughts had been carried away from the dark mines, to Rivendell, to Bilbo, and to Bag End in the days while Bilbo was still there.
He wished with all his heart that he was back there, and in those days, mowing the lawn, or pottering among the flowers, and that he had never heard of…the Ring.”
Poor Frodo, how he longs for home!
But he knows his journey. He knows the roads he must walk, the darkness that is ahead of him.
His cause keeps him going, steady, though his heart aches for home.
An infant Babe came and felt the earth with His hands, knew family through humans and flesh.
Don’t you think He longed for home?
For His old lawn, for prettier things, for holier beings, for none of our orc-ness?
But He continued on, from that very first cry, that very first taste of earth-air and that very first step on our dirt.
He knew His cause, and He walked with such grace.
This is the reason for our Advent.
Hallelujah, Frodo kept on.
Hallelujah, Jesus didn’t just go home.
The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine.
You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest
and like warriors dividing the plunder.
For you will break the yoke of their slavery
and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
The boots of the warrior
and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
They will be fuel for the fire.
For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!