We completed the summer issue of the PCC Scroll.
Here is the Editor’s Corner.
I love the Lord of the Rings movies. The development and growth of the main cast is extremely well done over the course of the trilogy. As with a lot of movies, quizzes were developed to identify which character you were most like.
People desired to be Aragorn, Gandalf or Frodo. Aragorn is thought to represent God as King. In the movie version, he struggled with being the heir of Gondor, but he eventually embraced his birthright to be king. Gandalf the Grey/White is thought to represent the resurrected Christ and prophet. He was the all-knowing God the Father figure. Frodo is thought to represent God as the sufferer and priest. He saved the world but not for himself and left with the elves.
I ended up attending a history lecture series about the books. There I discovered that, according to Tolkien, the character that most represents Christ (and is the “true hero” of the story) is Sam, though other characters have attributes. While a lot of people have opinions, it is Tolkien’s assertion that means the most. Although often relegated to being a follower of Frodo, it was Sam. Not Aragorn who was brave and mighty. Not Gandalf who was all-knowing and wise. Not Frodo who was the ring bearer. But overweight, frightened and often overlooked Samwise Gamgee (whose name translates as halfwit).
So why the Sam character? Sam was a gardener who enjoyed dancing, music and poetry. Although a character who was often overlooked and seemed insignificant at first, Sam was the most servant like of the characters. He never sought glory. He was in the background, always there but often unnoticed and not celebrated. Sam is the character who was with Frodo for most of the quest to destroy the one ring except for a short period of time when Frodo’s mind was poisoned against Sam by Gollum.
It was Sam, overcoming fears of water and heights to stay with Frodo, to the rescue. He beat a giant, man-eating spider in a one-on-one battle (If I had encountered Shelob, there is not enough electro-shock therapy that could bring me back). He stormed a tower full of orcs to save Frodo. And, my favorite, he carried Frodo on his back up the side of Mount Doom (a volcano) when Frodo could go no more, even though he too was tired, fatigued and hungry. Think of the poem “Footprints in the Sand” with Christ carrying you and your burdens.
Sam was a hero and represents Christ as servant and is a model for Christian discipleship. Sam sacrificed of himself to help Frodo in the quest to destroy the one ring. He did not always agree with the choices Frodo made, but he stayed because of his love for his friend.
So how does this tie into the newsletter’s theme of sharing your gifts and talents? It is the everyday acts of people like Samwise the Brave, that often get overlooked, that make the difference. Once he knew his assignment, Sam carried it out despite the price.
Remember they wanted Jesus to be a king, but He came to be a servant. Whenever you use your gifts and talents, I admonish you to serve with the spirit of a servant.