I hate “The Hobbit.”
By any way of measuring, it should be my thing. I like fantasy enough that I once spent an entire weekend dressed in medevil clothing and hanging out with people who talked in fake Victorian Accents. I liked the “Lord of the Rings” movies. And don’t tell anybody, but I used to play Dungeons and Dragons.
But I hate “The Hobbit.” I find it irritating because everytime the main character gets himself into hot water, the wizard dude pops up. He solves the Hobbit’s problems, and then he leaves. Gandalf doesn’t experience the adventure with the others. And the others don’t have a real adventure at all.
There’s a spiritual thing going on here. It’s easy to think that is what God is about: we get ourselves into hot water. Then God shows up. Waves his magic wand. Disapears.
Quite a lot is made out of the idea that Jesus is to be called Emmanuel: God is with us. And he is. All the time. God is not like Gandalf. He doesn’t just show up at the 11th hour. He is not above the dirt and the grime of the roads that we are traveling. He is right here, among us. Suffering with us. Suffering for us.