BBC Prayer for the Day – Hobbits and Creativity

Good morning.

Today is the anniversary of the birth of JRR Tolkein the great master myth-maker and storyteller. It is a day for remembering the wisdom of wizards and the bravery of hobbits and for celebrating a writer of extraordinary tales and fables.

Fantasy writing and myth-making, like all good storytelling only achieve greatness when they manage to convey great truths. Sometimes they speak of pilgrimage and describe journeys from one place or state of mind to another. Sometimes they delight in the complexities and unexpected realities of love and relationship. Sometimes they simply tell that age-old story of the victory of goodness over evil for just one more glorious time.

It is good to celebrate the creativity of a great writer. The pictures and images that Tolkein used remind us that the great truths of the world can be conveyed by words that were never meant to be treated merely literally. The magic of mind-changing myth-making depends on being able to accept an imaginative landscape – a place in our minds designed for drama.

The imagination is a spiritual place in which we can play out our own parables, legends and sagas. In the theatre of the mind we can rearrange the world to better suit our hopes and our dreams.

Let us ask a blessing on all who use their creativity to cultivate and create worlds of wonder, wisdom and insight. Let us pray for the grace to accept the truth wherever we find it and nurture what is good wherever we are.

God of love, help us to imagine better worlds and to pursue kindness, bravery and wisdom through all our days. Amen

UPDATE – listen to this here


  1. Amen! It’s depressing that Tolkien doesn’t get the pop-Christian praise that Lewis (as fiction writer) receives (especially since those Narnia books are total, overly analogous, vacuous guff). His mythic complexity, however fantastical, is a far better reflection of ‘reality’ than Lewis’ attempted reenactment of the Passion with whiny posh kids and funny talking animals.

    This, by Auden, is good:

  2. I just saw your church listed as a GAY friendly church on
    To accept sexual deviancy as normal is a sin.

    You put your soul in danger of eternal damnation for welcoming unrepentant homosexuals into God’s house. You blaspheme the Name of God.

    Homosexuality should be criminalized. Homosexuals commit crimes against God, against nature, against the Holy Bible and against the human race.

    Because of your church, I now know why God wrote:

    Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

    :26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    :27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

  3. How strange, Don, that a man of your views found themselves on the inclusive and sane Or perhaps not:

    As for Leviticus : it was “written” by a variety of Priestly figures, for a particular time, and its audience, Orthodox Jews, know better than most the evils that occur when minorities are persecuted by the “faithful”.

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