Sunday, June 29, 2014

Blessed Are The Hobbits

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:5-9)
Poor little Bilbo Baggins. He’s a meek little Hobbit with a slightly wild streak that occasionally gets him in trouble, like that time almost a year ago when it caused him to go running after a party of dwarves - without even a pocket handkerchief, mind you - in order to be their burglar. And what was he thinking when he picked up the Arkenstone but kept it to himself and even lied about it, when all along he knew that it was the one thing Thorin was seeking above all else?
In the end, though, we see that he is and always has been a kindly, humble little soul, the peacemaker who tries his best to help end the siege of the Lonely Mountain by offering the Arkenstone as a bargaining chip, even though that makes it worse in the end. And when it ends in battle and death anyway, he is sorry to have been a part of it. “You are a fool, Bilbo Baggins,” he tells himself, “and you made a great mess of that business with the stone; and there was a battle, in spite of all your efforts to buy peace and quiet.”

Despite his own feelings about recent events, Bilbo is lauded as a hero by others, and Bard wants to reward him appropriately with treasure. He is exceedingly relieved, however, that it will not be the one-fourteenth share originally promised him by Thorin. “How on earth should I have got all that treasure home without war and murder all along the way I don’t know. And I don’t know what I should have done with it when I got home,” he says, when the battle is over and the division of spoils finally takes place.

Blessed are the characters like Bilbo Baggins, for they show us what the Beatitudes look like in person. And blessed are we when we recognize these characters and let them be an example to us in how to act and interact with others as we go through the world.

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