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Glorfindel: In Him Was Light

     "I thought I saw a white figure that shone and did not grow dim like the others. Was that Glorfindel?" (Frodo at Rivendell; 'The Lord of the Rings')

Glorfindel: In Him Was Light

Contrary to Peter Jackson's movie production of "The Lord of the Rings", it was Glofindel, captain of the hosts of the house of Elrond, who found Frodo before they reached Rivendell, not Arwen. He handled Frodo with gentleness, yet urgency, knowing they were being pursued by the Black Riders. It was upon Glorfindel's horse that Frodo rode, or rather, was carried across the Fords of Bruinen. Glorfindel ran behind on foot, clad in white raiment, and the steadfastness equal to if not greater than Aragorn.

Let us look upon Glorfindel and understand him better. Of the house of Elrond, he was one of the mighty. Yet, his manner was gentle whenever he could afford to be so. When driven to fight there were few who could match him. It would seem that the light of Elendil coursed through his veins. Even Frodo remembers him as being one who was "a white figure that shone and did not dim". He handled Frodo, who at the time was mortally wounded, with gentleness and caring. He led the company with boldness amid his awareness of danger. He attacked, with Aragorn, with unrelenting fierceness. A major character cast in a minor role.

As Christians we are called to be "The light of the world," as Jesus said in Matthew 5:14. What exactly does that mean? Many of us have heard sermons on this, but somehow, for many, like me, the power of those words of our Lord are not seen in explanation of sermon. Rather they are seen in exhibition of power. Glorfindel is, to us, that exhibition of power. He is a foreshadow of the Christian warrior to come. I want you to notice the three main qualities of Glorfindel as they relate to what a Christian should be like.

First they must be gentle. We walk through the lands of the wounded. Those dressed in black are not the only ones who have felt the Mogul-blade of the enemy strike at their hearts. The businessman, who finds himself enslaved to a job he hates because of his love for his family, the wife who rarely sees that husband, the children who flounder in society without direction. Look at the bars and taverns in our city any night and wonder how deep the Mogul-blade has sunken in towards their heart. Do not think of how irresponsible they have become. Follow the example of Jesus, who while dying on the cross, heard the repentant cry of the thief dying beside Him. Jesus turned to him and said, "Today thou shalt be with Me in Paradise!" (Luke 23:43) Such wonderful love, such gentleness. This is the best and most powerful of all qualities the Christian must exhibit in their lives.

Second, the Christian must have boldness. Like Glorfindel, we must not merely be aware of the danger that surrounds us, and those we seek to help, but that we be prepared to stand firm with a steadfastness that comes from God Himself. In the book of Acts an incident takes place where Peter and John command that a lame man be healed, in the name of Jesus. Because of this boldness they are arrested, brought before the elders for trial, and because of that same boldness are set free. Yet, even upon reaching the brothers and sisters in Christ, they all prayed that they might be filled with God's boldness to preach His Word. This account is found in Acts 3:1-4:31. The accounting ends with the words, "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with boldness". This is the second quality a Christian should have, one that Glorfindel had.

Third, there must be a fierceness to our attack, but we need to remember who we are attacking. Glorfindel knew his enemy and attacked with such fierceness that the horses of the riders were thrown into madness. Our enemy, usually, is not another person, but from among the armies of Satan's demons. If one has been misled, we aren't to injure that person further. Instead we are to attack that which holds him or her prisoner. Our attack against the enemy should and must be fierce. Our treatment of those misled or ensnared by the enemy must be with love and gentleness.

None of these teachings are new, but thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien and his character Glorfindel, we can see them from a different perspective than we may have seen them before. We can see these qualities being lived out through the lordly elf. In so seeing this anew we can see these teachings as if they were new teachings.

May it be said of you by those who talk to you, that "you shone and did not dim like the others". May you allow Jesus to reside in you so fully, by the power of His Holy Spirit, that the light and glory of God is unmistakable. This is not something we can attain in our own power. Go back to the above account of Peter and John in the book of Acts. They PRAYED for the boldness of God. God answered and was glorified in them, even to the point that we look upon them as great warriors of the faith. If it had been you, if you were the one brought before the council, beaten and commanded not to preach in the name of Jesus, would you have been filled with such boldness? Would you wish to live a life like that? Then find the power in the same place as they, on your knees in prayer.

     “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)