Monday, May 30, 2011

Children of Iluvatar

"And it came to pass that Iluvatar called together all the Ainur and declared to them a mighty theme, unfolding to them things greater and more wonderful than he had yet revealed; and the glory of its beginning and the splendor of its end amazed the Ainur, so that they bowed before Iluvatar and were silent."

- Ainulindale: The Music of the Auin
J.R.R. Tolkien

I've come across many passages like this as I've worked my way through some of Tolkien's additional works about Middle-Earth. I finished The Silmarillion a few weeks ago and am now only a few pages away from completing Unfinished Tales (no pun intended). The references to the mythical Iluvatar (the great and holy creator god of Middle-Earth and all that dwells within), are always written with the utmost poetic reverence. Everything from elves, to men, to Istiri, and Valar are resolute in demonstrating the highest, solemn respect towards the One who sits upon the highest throne. It's actually given me a fair amount to think about when I consider how I understand reverence towards the one true God of the Bible. I sometimes think that perhaps in disguising it as "Grace-based communion", I am actually living a lifestyle that proclaims that daily devotion to Christ is less important than work, family, entertainment, business, or however many of the other distractions that pervade my life. Where is that reverence that causes me to regard Christ as King and Lord over the whole earth? What is wrong in my heart when the sacrifice he made to usher me into his presence, in face of his transcendence, has me regarding Him less, and "stuff" more? Who answers to who here anyways?

"But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him."
- Habakkuk 2:20


Jake Rivers

1 comment:

  1. Tolkien, a devout Catholic raised in part by priests, drew upon the traditional Catholic attitude toward worship and reverence and prayer when he wrote about Middle Earth. Perhaps looking into ancient Catholic liturgical worship might be a worthwhile endeavour for you.