Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Message from the Jovial Priest

Merry Christmas everyone

J.R.R. Tolkien (above, that's not me in case you thought it was) believed that God is the master STORYTELLER. All human history points to God's great STORY, and within this story all of human despair and hope is contained. God's STORY contains catastrophe (when hope fails) and its opposite, eucatastrophe (when out of despair hope shines through, often more miraculous then could have ever been anticipated or wished for).

Tolkien considered the fall of Adam and Eve to be the human catastrophe. Man rejected God and broke off the relationship.

The birth of Jesus is humankind's eucatastrophe, when God became man, to renew that relationship and bring hope to the world.

I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Since humans are made in the image of God, our stories and myths all point to the STORY. In Tolkien's work the explicit themes of catastrophe and despair are frequently juxtaposed against eucatastrophe and hope - from Aragorn's arrival at the Battle of Pelennor Fields to Gollum's slip at the Cracks of Doom. This is where Peter Jackson would have most disappointed Tolkien.  PJ missed the point and robbed the story of its most profound and mythic moment. Though if he had gone with Tolkien I am sure many many viewers would have cried out, just like many have after finishing the book, '6 hours of watching (1000 pages) and Frodo fails at the bitter end, Gollum slips and it's all an accident!' Tolkien would have answered, 'that's no accident - that's eucatastrophe and the providence of God is clear.' 

Today, we remember Jesus' birth.

Merry Eucatastrophe from the Jovial Priest

PS I'm not a real priest.

PPS I am role-playing one.  Should that surprise any one reading this blog?