As a side note, I have taken the last month off of writing to concentrate on the holidays and other responsibilities. While I love writing, I seldom find the time. This New Year, I plan to write at least weekly, and hopefully more, as I am well ahead in reading. I plan to finish The Lord of the Rings and Similarion within the month, and begin on His Dark Materials.
The Council of Elrond is a great midway point in the book, as it sets up the major conflict throughout the rest of the book, as well as decides the fate of 9 individuals who will forever be marked, in one way or another, by their appointment to the Fellowship.
The Council was called due to the large number of travelers from the outside who just happened to descend upon Rivendale at the same time. This is another testament to this “other power” that is at work behind the scenes in Tolkien’s work. It comes into play here, and practically every page of the book is ripe with it. That aside, all the free people of Middle Earth send representatives to the Council, each with a different message to portray, and each message speaking to their common plight – the Evil gathering in the south.
What a great picture of the Church! God’s people are scattered abroad throughout every nation of the world. Our worship of God varies largely, from very formal to very informal. Our cultures differ greatly as well, as some worship inside the comforts of a great auditorium and others around a tribal campfire. Some meet with the freedom and protection of their government while others meet in hiding, and need protection from their government. God’s people – their language, their expression, their skin color – are as different and varied as the colors of a large mural. That said, they are all part of the same mural. We are all born in sin, all need Jesus, and through him, will live together throughout all eternity.
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!” (Rev7:9-10) What a great picture of what eternity looks like for the people of God! Just as the people of Middle Earth came together and set aside their differences against a common enemy, the Church is called to do the same. We should be joining with the churches across the globe – particularly as wealthy Americans – as they see the gospel go forth in their nations. We should join with the church down the street. So what if they sing different songs or have different beliefs – we have one Lord and God Jesus Christ who alone is the author and perfecter of our faith. If we agree on that, we can work together to see our neighborhoods be won for Jesus. The schools in our neighborhoods are desperate for Christian people to mentor at-risk students. Our community’s soup kitchens and homeless shelters aren’t a permanent solution if they aren’t preaching Christ. We should partner with those places as we preach Christ and see people’s lives changes for today and for eternity.
Our great enemies, Sin and Death, are defeated. Unlike the Lord of the Rings, our Savior has already defeated evil. We need not make the trip to Mt. Doom, because he did it for us. With these enemies defeated we are free to join together and see the message of Christ go forth in the world.