If you don’t love the Lord of the Rings movies, something is wrong with you.
Yes, I said it.
You need to repent, because it is the best movie of all time.
What’s that? The Dark Knight? Forrest Gump? The Godfather? Yeah those are good, and I will let you finish, Taylor, but the Lord of the Rings was the best of all time… of all time!
And the best character in the Lord of the Rings is this guy, Gandalf.
Do not be fooled! He may look old and Grey (all my fellow nerds just chuckled), but don’t mess with him. It doesn’t matter who you are. Hundred-foot tall fiery demon monster? Ha! Much like the honey badger, Gandalf ‘don’t care’. Even though he could just blast you with magic lightning, he’ll still pull out ‘The Foe-Hammer’ and sword fight you to death.
Why? Because he’s Gandalf, and that’s just how he rolls.
He’s also a surprisingly great Theologian.
In the final film, the aptly-named “Return of the King”, Gandalf makes his way to the capital of the greatest Kingdom on Earth. Once there, he has a confrontation with the Kingdom’s ‘Steward’.
See, the rightful King had to be away for a while, so in his place a ‘Steward’ was appointed to watch over the Kingdom until the King returned.
Of course, true to life, it didn’t take long for the Steward to lose his mind.
He started to think that the Kingdom was his. He forgot that the throne he was supposed to ‘keep warm’ didn’t actually belong to him. He forgot that ‘his’ authority was only delegated to him by the true authority.
He forgot who he was.
He forgot that he wasn’t the King.
He forgot that the King would return.
So when Gandalf reminded him, he reacted the same way prideful, greedy people (like us) always do.
He was outraged. He was indignant. How dare you? Who do you think you are, old man?
Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you see where I’m sitting? I’m on the throne!
I’m in charge! I’m setting the schedule! I’m making plans for the Kingdom!
And this ‘return’ you’re talking about just isn’t gonna work for me.
Well, you can bet Gandalf wasn’t about to stand for that nonsense.
Gandalf got right in that usurper’s face and taught him- and us- a great lesson.
“Authority is not given you to deny the return of the King, Steward!”
He says, “Hey! Remember!”
“Remember who you are!”
“You’re not the King!”
“The King is coming back, and you don’t get any say in the matter!”
“You don’t have that authority!”
The Steward needed to remember that. And you know what? So do we.
Remember, you’re not The King.
Jesus is The King.
Authority is not given you to deny, modify, or reschedule the return of The King.
The King will return, but when and how he returns is not up to you. You don’t have a say in the matter. That authority is not given to you.
You don’t get to vote on it.
It’s not the ‘Democracy of Heaven’. It’s the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’.
We don’t have a President. We have a King.
We don’t elect him. He elects us.
Let’s stop yelling about exactly how and when The King will return, because that’s up to him.
Let’s rest and rejoice in the fact that The King will return- whenever he decides, and however he decides.
David Kent is a
wizard writer from Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.). His writing has been featured on Challies.com, Blogging Theologically, MitchMiller.me, and a bunch of other swell places. He studied Theology at Liberty University and is a fan of Gandalf and Jesus (not in that order).
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