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A Sword Reforged

In one of Tolkien’s tales, ‘The Children of Húrin’, a sword of one of those children is taken by some clever smiths to be reforged. In Tolkien’s tales, everything has a name, even the swords, and this one, once known as Anglachel, is reworked to become Gurthang, “Iron of Death”. And its blade is strong and keen, and has a particular thirst for all things dark and dangerous.

Yet this notion of being reforged and repurposed is not just for works of romantic fiction. It’s also to be found in the great stories of real people in real time. The Book of Books speaks of some who were thrust into the fire and caught between the hammer and the anvil, and carefully refashioned into weapons of righteousness; and purged from their dross, and sharpened by truth, and strengthened by grace, and repurposed for a life of holy love.

Two centuries ago Scottish minister Robert Murray McCheyne once famously said: “A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hands of God.” Yet what is said of good ministers may surely be said of all who strive to live wholeheartedly for God.  And what shall be their names? Those who were once called ‘Serpent’s Friend’ shall now be called ‘Serpent’s Bane’, and those who were once known as Pride, Malice and Greed, shall now be known as Patience, Mercy, and Grace. And in these days, may the Church, that great Armoury of God, be filled to overflowing with such good and holy weapons.

DM 1st June 2020


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