Lord of the Rings Rock!

Last night we started a 2 week series on the Two Towers – we focused on Gollum.
Gollum was Smeagol, a hobbit before he was corrupted by the ring. When Gandalf tells Frodo the sad story of Smeagol turned Gollum, Frodo reacts:

I can’t believe that Gollum was connected with hobbits, however distantly,’ said Frodo with some heat. ‘What an abominable notion!’ ‘It is true all the same,’ replied Gandalf

Sadly we usually react in the same way when someone in our community turns Gollum – we distance them by disbelieving that they are also created in the image of God.
We all have the potential of turning into Gollum, in fact our culture is a ‘generic Gollum producing machine’.

Gollum was so corrupted by the ring, that he passed the point of no return – he could not help himself, once again in the words of Gandalf:

He (Gollum) hated the dark, and he hated light more: he hated everything, and the Ring most of all.‘What do you mean? Said Frodo. ‘Surely the Ring was his precious and the only thing he cared for? Bit if he hated it, why didn’t he get rid of it, or go away and leave it?‘You ought to begin to understand, Frodo, after all you have heard,’ said Gandalf. ‘He hated it and loved it, as he hated and loved himself. He could not get rid of it. He had no will left in the matter. (The Shadow of the Past, p.54)

This sounds a lot like Romans 7 where Paul talks about the times he do the things he doesn’t want to do and neglect to do the things he desires to do, he ends that realistic scene in the Bible like this:

Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord – Romans 7:24

Another theme we explored was Frodo’s change of heart towards Gollum. In the Fellowship of the Ring he made the statement that it was a pity that Bilbo didn’t kill Gollum. Gandalf rebuked him for that statement saying that he should not be too ‘eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it.’

In the Two Towers Frodo calls Gollum Smeagol – and as he speaks his real name, Gollum changes as if he remembers something of his normal self. I love the dialogue in the movie:

Frodo: You were not so different from a Hobbit once were you… Sméagol?
Gollum: What did you call me?
Frodo: That was your name once, wasn’t it? A long time ago.
Gollum: My… My name… Sméagol.

We are called as a community to encourage each other through the discipline of remembrance. ‘Do you remember that you are called Christ’s child? God loves you.”
Let us stop calling people names and start the process of divine remembrance!
Frodo lives the ancient command of Jesus out in his attitudes towards Gollum:

“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. Matthew 5:43-47

Who is the Gollum in your life?