(Note: this post was first published in December 2011 on my previous blog, Cin-posium. It has edited slightly for reposting here.)
A while back, I spoke on a Sunday morning at the church I am involved with in Quincy, Massachusetts, called The River. I talked about this word that linguist and The Lord of the Rings author, J. R. R. Tolkien, coined. The word is “eucatastrophe.” It means “good will overcome.” Tolkien coined this word because of his own Christian worldview. If you would like to hear that talk, please check it out here: http://theriversouth.org/sermons/entering-the-third-act-when-all-hope-seems-lost
Wrapped up in the word eucatastrophe is this idea that redemption only comes about by the facing of great obstacles. Tolkien saw the central eucatastrophe of human history as the birth of Christ, what we have taken to celebrating at this time of the year. And for Tolkien, the central eucatastrophe of the life of Christ on Earth was his death and resurrection.