Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Eucatastrophe for 2010?
Since I got the DVD set of the JRR Tolkien trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, with the extended scenes, I have made it a habit to watch them all (almost eleven hours of movies) at least once a year. And I did just that over the Christmas/New Year's holidays.
The Peter Jackson version of The Fellowship of the Rings first came to the big screen a couple months after September 11, 2001. After such a catastrophe, Tolkien's trilogy seemed to resonate with the angst for the new millennium.
According to Merriam-Webster, catastrophe is:
1 : the final event of the dramatic action especially of a tragedy
2 : a momentous tragic event ranging from extreme misfortune to utter overthrow or ruin
But JRR Tolkien coined the word - Eucatastrophe. As the prefix "eu" means good, eucatastrophe is quite the opposite of a catastrophe. When disaster seems certain and all hope seems lost, there is "the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears."
In the trilogy, the mad Steward of Gondor ruled with a bent on self-destruction. Misinformation prevailed. The overwhelming forces of evil marched to devour Middle Earth and destroy all that was free and good in life. It looked like the evil ring of power would never be destroyed.
Then came the sudden turn of events - the eucatstrophe. The ring was destroyed in an unexpected way. The forces of evil were vanquished. Good ultimately triumphed.
Such are the times as 2010 on planet Earth when madness reigns in the world. Leaders do not seem to have the good of the people, which they serve, in mind. With terrorist threats from without and the enemy within, the forces of evil march on to devour all that is free and good in this world.
In this season between Christmas and Easter, consider Him:
"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."
from the Epilogue of ON FAIRY-STORIES by J.R.R. Tolkien
The power of the resurrection is that when all seems lost, there is the eucatastrophe.
And there is hope for 2010.
everystockphoto: Map of Middle Earth
"catastrophe." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2010.
Merriam-Webster Online. 5 January 2010