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Our Lady of Lothlórien: A Christmas Reflection

Our Inklings students read The Lord of the Rings around Christmas time in our curriculum, and then they follow it up immediately with the Gospel of John. ECA Tutor Timothy Lawrence highlights one of the many mirrors we have noticed over the years between The Lord of the Rings and the gospel story in his discussion of Mary and Galadriel. We hope this brief essay helps you to think well about the call to Christmas and what our humble response should be. Merry Christmas from the ECA Tutors and Staff!

Sandro Botticelli, The Virgin and Child (Madonna of the Book), c. 1480-1481

The Christmas story presents us with two figures who embody sharply contrasting responses to the coming of Christ. On the one hand, there is Mary, the Mother of Our Lord, who surrenders herself completely to the will of God, saying, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”¹ On the other hand, there is King Herod, who rages vainly against the loss of his power, slaughtering the innocent children of Bethlehem in an impotent attempt to hold onto the kingdom he has carved out for himself. When we prepare our hearts for Christmas, we are always faced with a choice between these two ways of responding to God. As Christians, we are called to emulate the surrender of Mary: to give ourselves with radical humility to the designs God has for us, putting aside all thoughts of ordering our lives as we see fit. If we are honest with ourselves, though, something inside us relates to the sheer terr