The Fellowship of the Ring image carries a lot of potential. The quest to overthrow the powers of darkness is an under appreciated theme in our church today. I also like the fact that the heroes of the quest are the humble and unlikely hobbits. Of course, this is what Tolkien had in mind. The last shall be first...the short shall be tall. A problem with this image is that the Fellowship exists in response to the threat of the ring and Sauron's darkness. The Church comes into being not in response to evil but in response to the salvation of Christ. We are called to struggle against evil, but that struggle does not necessarily define us. Hence at the end of the trilogy, their quest completed, the fellowship dissolves and the heroes sail across the sea. The church is on a different path, I think.
Joe,I agree...the Fellowship of the Ring does carry weight as a working metaphor of communion, but you are so right to point out its limitations."the Fellowship exists in response to the ring and Sauron's darkness...The Church comes into being in response to the salvation of Christ"...yes!I, however, think that in the view of many people in the Church, the Church is constituted as a "reactive" body, rather than as a constructive and proactive body ... (for instance, more people seek the church in times of pain and fear than in times of celebration and joy)Your response is, as I would expect, helpful and right on...thanks for sharing !Peace, Peter
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