May the Fourth Be With You. Yep, it’s International Star Wars Day and all over the world people are walking around saying “may the force be with you” – with a lisp. It’s an appropriate day to ask why themes of religion and philosophy and the battle between good and evil, prove to be such a winner in movies. From Star Wars to Matrix, the Lion King and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, we seem to have an interest in exploring deeper issues vicariously on the silver screen.
The “Force” in Star Wars is an energy that can be harnessed by those who have the ability to do so. It is an energy field that surrounds us, penetrates us and binds the galaxy together. While the Jedi use the Force for good, the Sith use the dark side for evil in an attempt to take over the galaxy.
I suspect that our fascination with the battle between good and evil is because there is a reality about it that we bump into at various levels. Every day in the newspaper and on the TV news we hear about hoons, bashings, robberies and unsociable behaviour. We don’t like it and argue loudly that the government should do something about it. But deep down we know that we are only a step away from behaving badly ourselves.
There’s a sign of that struggle in the words of Jesus, when he said: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” The struggle between good and evil is evident at the deepest level of our beings and very often we find the drag towards the dark side stronger than the desire to do good. Even the Apostle Paul felt this struggle when he said, “what a wretched man I am” after making the comment: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
Fortunately, he finished off his rant by saying: Thanks be to God who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord. There is an answer to the ultimate battle between good and evil and it’s not in some nebulous “force”, but in the reality of Jesus who took the battle to the place of death on the cross where he became the ultimate overcomer, not through force but through love.
John put it this way: This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.