Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Eucatastrophe and The Garden Ahead

We've got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Apologies to CSNY Joni Mitchell, but we are neither stardust nor golden.

The problem is that we can't get ourselves back, and no matter how it's done, it won't be our way. But we must get back. And that it is not wishful thinking; it is God's plan.

The long road of cursed banishment out of the Garden of Eden meanders (give or take) 3500 hard years until it crashes into the climax of the covenant. Rough places are made smooth, high places brought low, crooked roads made straight, valleys raised.

They called him Jesus.

Jesus is the great reversal. In the redemption of his perfect obedience leading to the reconciling condemnation of the cross, he lays his body to be crushed in the gears of time and doing so stops their turning.

The curse dies with him.
It stays dead. He does not.

And the gears start turning the other way.

I believe it was J.R.R. Tolkien who invented the word eucatastrophe. It refers to a catastrophe of goodness and glory. It is an eruption of un-damage, an explosion of unbrokenness. It is the un-unraveling. It is the sudden turn of wonderful events at the end of the story. It is a cataclysm of beauty and wonder, the reversal of darkness and death.

The eucatastrophe of history is the resurrection.

And the road back begins. Like the roads of the old covenant they are difficult, meandering. And long.
But we are on the downhill slope of history, the turning point of time in the cross of Christ and the eucatastrophe of the resurrection are casting warm sunlight at our backs, and before us lay not an armed cherubim blocking the way into the restored garden, but the saints who have gone before us and the Father, for whom a thousand years is like a day. And the Garden ahead is better than the one before, a super-fulfillment of Eden's promise.

The kingdom is at hand.

We will enter the promised land because it has been purchased by Jesus and what is his is ours and he is carrying us there himself.

Christ is golden.

1 comment:

Zach said...

Great stuff on the Resurrection as eucatastrophe.

I assume you've read The Silmarillion and if so, a good book along some of the same lines (which I think you might find interesting) is "Splintered Light" by Verlyn Flieger. I read it for a Theology of Tolkien class this semester. Good stuff on language and Tolkienian themes such as eucatastrophe.