We are now headed into the month of March. There are many things happening this month. We are in the season of Lent. It is Women’s History Month. There are also plenty of religious and secular holidays that will be taking place; the most notable being St. Patrick’s Day and the very colorful Hindu festival of Holi. Ramadan, the holy month of prayer and fasting in the Islamic calendar, also starts this month on March 22nd. Then, my new favorite tradition, Tolkien Reading Day, is celebrated this month!
Tolkien Reading Day is held on the 25th of March each year. The date of the 25th of March was chosen as the date on which the Ring was destroyed, completing Frodo’s quest and vanquishing Sauron. It has been organized by the Tolkien Society since 2003 to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favorite passages. As some of you may know, I enjoy reading the works of Tolkien and I also quite enjoy the movies. So, in the spirit of Tolkien Reading Day, I would like to share an excerpt with you. This excerpt is not technically from the actual works of Tolkien, but it can be found toward the end of the film Two Towers. However, it is inspired by Tolkien’s words and I believe it resonates well.
Sam: It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are.
It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end.
Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow.
Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something.
Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t.
Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.
I share this excerpt with you all because I believe that there is truth in Sam’s words. There is indeed “good in this world,” and sometimes we need to be reminded of this.
In the beginning of the Book of Genesis, God creates the world in the six days and rests on the seventh. Throughout these days, God speaks and creates. Then, after each creation, God sees God's creation and it is good. At the end of the sixth day, God looks out over all of creation and sees that it is “very good.” Thus, there is indeed good in this world, and the Bible continually reminds us of this. Throughout scripture we hear stories of darkness, but God gives to the world the light that is Jesus. Through Jesus, we receive the good news that comes to us through his death and resurrection. Then, this good news leads us into discipleship. Throughout the season of Lent, we are called into repentance. We are called to remember our sins. Sometimes, this can lead us to feel bogged down by the darkness and evil of the world. In these instances, remember that there is indeed goodness. In fact, you too are good because God has created you. So, look to the cross. Remember that you're indeed a sinner, but you are also good. May the goodness of the Lord lead and guide you through this season of Lent. Amen.
Peace and Blessing, Pastor Ethan Doan