In 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a book called “The Hobbit” and in 1954 he wrote “Lord of the Rings.”
The Dwarves and Elves have given us a path. Now, can we discern the breadcrumbs they left behind and find our way to holiness?
I’ll take you back to an earlier time, were we might imagine it was simpler and less congested with information, at least useless information that is. As if, knowing less made life easier which would be to say something untrue, because it simply isn’t true. The names of all suspects in our story are names like, Bilbo, Frodo, Aragorn, Samwise, Gandolf, Galadriel, Gimli and Thorin Oakenshield. The dwarves and elves did preserve that, which made this story possible for you to read and to live!
Bilbo Baggins lived in the Shire which was in the northwest of Middle-Earth. He was timid and loved comfort, like the availability of tobacco and a postal service. He was not very compatible with the older world of Dwarves and Elves. However, he did become a part of a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and its treasures from the dragon Smaug. The adventure takes Bilbo and his companions through the wilderness, to the elf haven of Rivendell, across the Misty Mountains where, escaping from goblins, he meets Gollum and acquires a magic ring.
And, thru his adventures he becomes a useful and resourceful member of the quest. Bilbo’s role in part can be seen as a pilgrimage of grace by which he grows in both wisdom and virtue toward a “life that is full”. He made this point,
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
The second Baggins’ that comes to the story is Frodo Baggins, Frodo is Bilbo’s second cousin once removed. Eventually Frodo goes forth to complete the quest that began with Bilbo, now as part of a new Quest “The Fellowship of the Ring,” comprised of nine companions. One of those companions is Frodo’s chief steadfast servant – Samwise Gamgee. Sam is strong, selfless, emotionally powerful and capable and is the necessary ingredient for Frodo to complete the quest to destroy the Ring. Upon Completion of the Quest, Sam returns to the Shire and is elected Mayor for seven consecutive terms. Samwise Gamgee made this observation:
“There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
You might consider a woman that is measured a “two ranger” or “Man High” to be something beyond you, but the Dunedain, who were remnants of the three major tribes of Edain, or (High Men), believed a Two-Ranger, meant approximately 6’ 4”. She was a striking figure with long silver hair that the elves said captured the radiance of two trees. She was the Lady of Light, the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves, She was the wisdom that could keep a man like Frodo from the perils that befalls all men, the lure of the Sirens. Like all Wisdom, she challenged Frodo, saying,
Even the smallest person can change the course of history.”
Then, there is Aragorn, a Ranger of the North, the heir of Isildur, King of Gondor. He was a confidant of Gandalf on a mission to destroy the One Ring and defeat the Dark Lord Sauron.
Aragorn led the Fellowship of the Ring. He fought in the battle of Hel’s Deep and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. After defeating Sauron’s forces in Gondor, he led an army of Gondor and Rohan against the Black Gate of Mordor, distracting Sauron’s attention and enabling Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee to destroy the One Ring.
He once said: A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day!
He was crowned King of both Gondor and Arnor. He then married Arwen and ruled for 122 years. Aragorn has been compared to the figure of Christ a hero. He told the young lads from the Shire this:
“Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.”
Then there is Gandalf, he is a wizard, one of the Istari order, and the leader and mentor of the Fellowship of the Ring.
Gandalf has great power but works mostly by encouraging and persuading. He sets out as Gandalf the Grey, possessing great knowledge
He is an immortal spirit but being in a physical body on Middle-earth, he can be killed in battle, as he is by the Balrog at Moria.
He is sent back to Middle-earth to complete his mission, now as Gandalf the White and leader of the Istari. He is described as an angel incarnate. He inspires the Fellowship with these words:
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Gimli is a dwarf a warrior and the son of Gloin
Gimli is chosen to represent the race of Dwarves in the Fellowship of the ring Gimli aids the Ring-Bearer Frodo Baggins, participates in the War of the Ring and becomes close friends with Legolas, overcoming an ancient enmity between Dwarves and Elves
He was a remote descendant of Durin the Deathless, chief of the seven dwarves and ancestor to the dwarven people to which Gimli belonged, the Longbeards. Gimli was of the royal line.
According to the Red Book of Westmarch he sailed with Legolas into the west after these battles, becoming the first dwarf in the undying lands Here is what he said:
“Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens.”
Finally, there is Thorin Oakenshield. He was the leader of the Company of Dwarves who set out on the quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon, if you remember, it was the quest with Bilbo Baggins that we started with.
Thorin is Old Norse, surly, illiberal, independent, proud, aristocratic, and like all Dwarves, greedy for gold. Thorin exemplifies the deadly sin of extreme greed but is able to free himself from it at the time of his death. This deathbed conversion has been compared to the moral transformation of Scrooge in “”A Christmas Carol” and the Thief on the cross. Thorin Oakenshield made this observation, I leave it with you for this holiday season.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
This is not a time to fear but a time to be courageous, Aragorn said: I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me!……. But it is not this day!!!! Our King is coming, Advent is almost here. Follow the breadcrumbs MY FRIENDS, you are more than capable. Ain’t it so!
Dwarves and Elves
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