The Vigil

A powerful symbol of hope in Peter Jackson’s, The Return of the King, is the beacon that Pippin lights to call the Riders of Rohan to the aid of Gondor. What does this hope rest upon? Courage, obedience, and duty. The beacons, twenty-foot towers of timber waiting to be lit, require someone to stand watch day and night, ready to bring the flame to announce a desperate need.

To serve at one of these beacons demands watching and waiting for the flame on the horizon, a signal to light the waiting timber and so send the urgent message over the mountains and hundreds of miles of land.

I respect anyone who takes on this duty. These beacons must be tended at all times, in a solitary vigil, night after night, year after year. We, too, must be ever watchful, even in the darkness.

Dedication to this austere commitment is built on the two principles of obedience and duty, but their foundation is love. To wake in the night and care for a child who is ill, to wait upon the Lord in prayer when all others sleep, or to watch in the night are silent, humble acts of love.

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