I recently read an article by a CNBC tech reporter who had never seen any of the Star Wars movies. I always find it interesting when Star Wars fans are shocked, surprised, and even disappointed that there are other humans that aren’t into Star Wars.
I grew up with Star Wars. I saw the first movie when I was 12 in 1977. It was one of those moments in life that ignited my sense of wonder and imagination. I’m a fan, but I’m not the 12-year-old super fan I once was. Sure, I get excited when a new episode comes out, but my life doesn’t revolve around it like it did and does for some. For some, the “GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY” is REAL, and they take it very seriously.
Anyway, back to the guy who had never seen Star Wars before.
Since He had the time, due to COVID lockdown, he decided to binge watch all 9 movies in succession to see what all the hubbub was about. He had heard people going on and on about the movies, and had been subjected to Star Wars references and movie quotes that have become a part of our culture.
Even if you haven’t seen the movies you have probably heard some of these references:
“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
“May the force be with you.” Or “May the 4th be with you” (May 4th is the unofficial Star Wars day. Yes, it’s a thing)
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
And my personal favorite, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
Geeky Star Wars fans, like me, find a way to weave these quotes into their real life conversations. If you’re not a Star Wars fan, and haven’t watched the movies, you may not get it. The guy writing the article didn’t get it either. So, He watched the movies, and was encouraged by his editor to write a brief review of each.
In the article, before he started his full review, he made a request to die-hard Star Wars fans. “I know many people reading this may be super fans. I don’t want death threats.” This caught my attention. Why would he have to make that request?
- His review was not going to be very positive? (And it wasn’t. He was not impressed with the movies. In fact, he was very critical. So, he didn’t join the fan club. That’s okay. I’ll live.)
- He understood how passionate people are about these movies, and that true Star Wars disciples might lash out in anger, which I’m sure they did.
If you’re a fan of anything, you love to share it with others. You want them to love “it” as much as you do. We get excited when we share something, like a movie or music, with someone else. “I know you’re gonna love it!” We watch them, while their watching or listening, with great anticipation thinking that it will take their breath away. That they will have the same experience that we did. When it’s over, we are looking for a reaction and may ask, “Well, what did you think?” And then they say, “Eh, it was okay”. A reaction like that can be disappointing. We might even take it personally that something that we love has been rejected. Plus, we were unable to convert them to our cause.
As I thought about the article, I started thinking about my own faith, Christianity, and the church. We have been given an incredible gift that we all want to share with the world. Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again from the dead so that we could receive mercy, forgiveness, grace, and eternal life. To us, IT IS EVERYTHING! This message of hope has changed our lives forever. Why can’t others see it like I do? Why can’t they fall in love with Jesus too? Unfortunately, it’s not usually Jesus that they reject as much as it is my representation of Him.
It’s hard not to feel responsible when we are unsuccessful in our attempts to share the Gospel, when it isn’t received and accepted. While the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 that “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow”, it’s still frustrating when we can’t make it happen. I know I struggle when my attempts at discipleship are rejected. I just have to keep reminding myself that Jesus called me to “be” a disciple first, and then “make” disciples.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20 NIV
I can’t quit. I’m called to plant and water the seeds of faith in others, and let the Lord take care of the rest. The fact that the Lord takes care of the spiritual growth does take some of the pressure off, but planting and watering seeds of faith is still a huge responsibility. Jesus never said that making disciples would be easy. History demonstrates very clearly that we will fail far more than we will succeed. Being a disciple, and a disciple maker, are very costly endeavors. Check out Luke 14:25-35. Also, read and reflect on Matthew 10, as Jesus sends his disciples out to make disciples. He makes it clear that they will face rejection and persecution.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16 NIV
Next week, I want to dig a little deeper into what it means to be a disciple and a disciple maker. In the meantime, check out these scripture passages, and may the force be with you.
Director of Family Ministry and Facility Coordinator