I was fifteen when Star Wars first hit the big screen. With my four year old cousin in tow, I sat in a packed house in the Queen Street Theater in Lancaster, PA’s downtown. The theater is now a bus terminal, but when I drive by there I sometimes reminisce sitting in the dark, cousin and popcorn balanced on my lap, and being blown away as spectacularly as the Death Star. What a phenomenon!
I have now had the joy of passing on my love of Star Wars to my son. Of course, being a Star Wars purist from the original Jedi generation, the only movies worth talking about are Episodes IV-VI. But that’s for another article.
Several years ago, soon after the release of one of the prequels, our family was at a restaurant which had set at each place paper place mats that listed ten sayings under the heading “Jedi Wisdom.” My son and I were tickled as we read each one, trying to impersonate the character it quoted. Yoda, of course, was the most fun.
Waiting for our food, listening to our young son excitedly adding to the list of Jedi-isms, I began to wonder if it was wise of Christian Star Wars fans to take the teachings of the Force lightly with our children. Should we, perhaps, as we are enjoying the spectacle that is Star Wars, use the Jedi as an object lesson on biblical principles?
The Jedi religion is portrayed as more deistic than theistic. But its “wisdom” mimics biblical sensibility. As I read the list again, scriptures began erupting in my mind. I couldn’t wait to get home to my computer. As a fun exercise, I created a little juxtaposition.
Let go of your anger.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath… Psalm 37:8
Let the force flow through you.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you… Acts 1:8
Don’t center on your anxiety.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life… Matthew 7:25
Do or do not. There is no try.
Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’, ‘No’… Matthew 5:37
Let go your conscious self. Act on instinct.
…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29
Keep your concentration on the here and now.
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself… Matthew 6:34
Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.
“We have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me”, he said. They all ate and were satisfied. Matthew 14:17-18, 20
Don’t give in to hate.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:43-44
Beware of the Dark Side. Once you start down the dark path, forever it will dominate your destiny.
…he who pursues evil goes to his death. Proverbs 11:19
Judge me not be my size.
“You are not able to go out against the Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy…” So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 1 Samuel 17:33, 50
God’s admonition in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 is a call for a continual and pervasive teaching of scripture to our children.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
I don’t blame anyone for rolling their eyes at this nerdy little exercise. But should we ever separate ourselves from teachable moments with our kids? Star Wars is a great escape into fantasy and entertainment, but should we ever take a break from looking for object lessons that would point our kids to Christ? I’m thinking the enemy never takes a break from looking for object lessons that would point our kids to him.
As the light sabre is the elegant and effective weapon of the Jedi Knight, so is the Word the beautiful and ultimate weapon of the Christian. (Ephesians 6:17) Let’s never put it down.