May the 4th Be With You
Alright, if you don’t like Star Wars or don’t know what Star Wars is, then you might want to skip this blog post.
Today is May the 4th. It’s known as Star Wars day to many because of the famous line which you can see pictured above. But this is also the first day for the Skillman Church of Christ to begin focusing on another one of our yearly themes: Advocate Hope. From January through April, we focused on the idea of Living By Faith, committing to searching the scriptures, learning about the nature of God, and how we can be faithful to what God has called us to do and to be. And now, from May through August, we turn our attention from the inward expression of that faith to the outward expression. (Of course, that doesn’t mean that we stop or no longer care about the inward expression… Simply that we don’t want our faith to only be internal, private, and therefore of little use to our neighbors that Jesus called us to love.)
So, why does it matter that today is May the 4th? And more importantly, what are we to do with this topic of Hope?
In the Star Wars universe, there is an idea that there is a universal Force (that seems to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent). This Force is in all things, and it helps to bring life to the wider world. It can give people special abilities and direct actions of whole groups of people. However, it is also dangerous. There is both Light and Dark within the Force and within each person. What is left to us, then, is a decision. A decision to trust that our fellow beings (in the Star Wars universe there are all kinds of races from all over the universe, not just human beings) are doing their best and are not out to destroy us… or to push away from one another and to instead only seek for our own needs and wants.
And this decision runs all throughout the movies, books, cartoons, and whatever else they can put out there for people to consume. This decision marks what kind of person you will be. Will I work together with others or will I make sure that I am well taken care of. Of course, it sounds like an easy question to answer–after all, we all know the “right” answer. But in reality, it is quite difficult to make that choice when your life is on the line.
Which is why when people do make that choice, it sparks something in all of us. When the music builds, and the moment is coming when a choice has to be made, and the heroes choose to be selfless and to trust one another, all of our hearts beat as one. We are all united in victory, in joy, and in hope.
That spark leads to hope. It leads to hope because we have not failed one another. Instead, we have served one another, even if it cost us something. Which is why Star Wars is really all about Hope. It is about the hope that the world, the very universe, isn’t left in darkness. It’s about hope that we don’t have to live in fear of each other. It’s about hope that there is something out there–the Force (or for our purposes, God)–that is seeking to set things right. It’s about hope that tomorrow doesn’t have to be like yesterday, especially if yesterday brought challenges, pain, or suffering. It’s about hope.
As we seek to advocate hope to the world around us, may we do so in the name of Jesus, and may we do so by choosing to trust and care for one another rather than simply seeking our own good.