“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
It’s like a chapter from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings—hope dims in the creeping clouds of Mordor while armies driven by fear and rage cower in the eaves of the deepening shadows. But it was just today’s Facebook and news reads. Angry? Depressed? Fearful? Hopeless? It’s easy to slide into the reeking pits of the Land of Shadows.
Who do we believe? What is truth? We won’t find it in Mordor. The shadows “are only a small and passing thing,”—hope, truth, light remain like the stars and aren’t going anywhere. Man has made his mess, God made the stars.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.” —Psalm 20:7–8
“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 skeptical men have accepted as true on its own merits. For the Art of it has the supremely convincing tone of Primary Art, that is, of Creation. To reject it leads either to sadness or to wrath.”
The greatness and power of the Resurrection of Jesus is beyond measure—it’s the superlative of all happy endings. If you are His, revel in it; if you aren’t, plunge into Him. You will live forever. Because He loves you.
I sometimes think about the cross
And shut my eyes and try to see
The cruel nails, the crown of thorns
And Jesus crucified for me;
But even could I see Him die,
I would but see a little part
Of that great love, which like a fire,
Was always burning in His heart.
—Bernard of Clairvaux
Well said, St. Bernard. Now it’s our turn to seek and see.
“He never went off subject.” —Journalist Tom Brokaw, of Billy Graham
No one had to ask what his subject was—when you heard the name Billy Graham you knew it was, without apology, Jesus.
Let me meddle a minute…
When others say your name, what do they think of? What do you aspire to be known for? Will it outlive you? Is it greater than you? More than that, what will you be remembered for? That’s the subject of your life.
Billy never went off subject—he knew that everything in life is less than Jesus except the people Jesus died to save. Do we? Like Billy, our subject is known by everyone around us, and it will be our epitaph.
Lord help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray,
My prayer shall be for others.
Help me in all the things I do,
To ever be sincerely true,
And know that all I do for you
Must needs be done for others.
Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this, my motto be.
Help me to live for others,
That I might live for thee.
Just like Jesus—so it’s what we do.
Go make someone else’s day.
“He made us the lamps of His light, not the salesmen and customers of His fire. He fits no category, exceeds every attribution, defies all literary description. He is immeasurably more than the object of our study—He’s the subject of the universe itself. He is “the superlative of everything good you choose to call Him”, Rev. Lockwood preached— yet we still tread the waters of the Sea of Him seeking to stay afloat, waters in which He intended us to drown.” —JRM
We want to tread our own paths in Him. He is everywhere you go—get lost in Him.
We want to keep our heads above the waters of His dreadful depths. He is good—drown in Him.
We want to know all about Him. Know Him.
We fear the Lion. Let Him catch you—He won’t hurt you.
Sometimes reckless abandon is perfect.