Maybe the Best 2 Minutes of a Movie I’ve Ever Watched

About a month ago I had a project due in a class taught by Jerram Barrs (some of you may remember him, he’s a professor at Covenant Seminary who spoke on Harry Potter at The Crossing a while back). The project allowed for a lot of flexibility, so I wrote a short student ministries curriculum based upon The Lord of the Rings. I watched many video clips while preparing, but this one literally brought me to tears multiple times. This two minute clip has given me a picture to remember, one that has encouraged and challenged me in my faith the past month. Maybe it will impact you as well.

Allow me a quick soapbox. If you haven’t watched these films, or read the book, give at least one of them a try. You may not be a fantasy person. Good, I’m not either. And these movies are probably my favorite, and the book (or books, if you wish) is right up there as well (and on a side-soapbox…watch the Extended Versions. Yes, they’re even longer. But they’re worth it, especially for those who have read the book).

Here’s the setup: this comes at the end of the second film. Wars have been fought, people have died, evil has begun to spread. There have been a few glimmers of hope, but despair and hopelessness have begun to set in. Immediately before this clip, Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) essentially was resigned to defeat and was going to allow the ring to be captured. But then Sam Gamgee (Sean Astin) says this:

Here are my thoughts in bullet points:

  • He begins by speaking of “the great stories…the ones that really matter.” If there was ever a story that really mattered, it is the story of God redeeming people and the world from sin, destruction, and pain. That is the story that God has given us parts in as Christians.
  • We all have moments of despair, moments of hopelessness. Times when the world or our lives just seem too dark and far gone to ever be fixed. God promises restoration to us and the world, but sometimes that seems impossible, “How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?”
  • The hope of final redemption is summed up well: “It’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass, a new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.”
  • He also gives a challenge that has sustained me. The “folks” in the really important stories don’t turn back, they don’t give up. They have chances to, but they don’t. And the reason they don’t isn’t just because they’re more persistent or diligent or strong. It’s because they believe in something good and that belief is strong. But we’ve got it even better than these two hobbits. They had no promise of success. We do.
  • And finally, I want us to notice the impact such belief and hope has. Check out Gollum’s face. Sam’s speech melts his hard heart, and you see it all over his face.

Any other thoughts? Thanks for reading…

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