There is a brilliant scene in Lord of The Rings which has spoken to me again in the last week. The scene is from the third movie, where Gondor is under siege and it looks as if the battle is lost. But there exists a network of beacons, permanently manned, with wood and fuel on hand, established long ago, and if these beacons can be lit, Gondor can signal for help from Rohan.God speaks to me through this clip every time I see it. In the midst of darkness and desperation, the bravery of the clumsy, seemingly insignificant hobbit, Pippin, means that the beacon of Minas Tirith is lit - and the next beacon, and the next, and the next. Across the peaks of the mountains, beacons are lit, resulting ultimately in the call for help being received and responded to by the King of Rohan.
I am reminded again of the call to shine brightly in the midst of a dark world:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matt 5:14-16)
For many of us, it can be hard to imagine what difference just a few of us building community together can really make in the world, even if we do manage to shine brightly before others.
God reminds me, through this clip, that if each of us just do our part in creating healthy Jesus-centred community, through which God's love, light, warmth, holiness and power is made visible in the world, then amazing things can happen - the good news of the Kingdom of God can spread like wildfire, drawing others closer to Jesus, stirring our fellow Jesus-followers out of apathy and into a life of passionate discipleship.
And so, in the words of Gandalf, "Hope is kindled."