In July of 1977, one of those life-changing moments happened. A friend invited me to the movies to see the biggest hit of the summer. That was the first time I saw Star Wars (now known as Star Wars: A New Hope). I was fond of sword battles even then. I’d grown up watching Errol Flynn spar with Basil Rathbone in films like Captain Blood and The Adventures of Robin Hood. But swords that glowed and hummed brought a new level to the duels. In the 1970s you could sit and watch a movie twice, without paying again, as long as the theatre wasn’t sold out. I spent most of the rest of that summer watching that movie over and over, discovering something new each time I saw it.
I’m not sure if anyone thought that over 45 years later, this one movie would give rise to 10 more, numerous cartoons and shows, hundreds of books and there are still more on the way. While I was in London at the Star Wars Celebration, many of the actors who have been in the movies or shows said the same thing about what it was like to be a part of the Star Wars universe. From Vivien Lyla Blair (Princess Leia in the Obi Won Kenobi series) to Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian, first seen in Empire Strikes Back), most of the actors said the same thing, that they were excited to be part of this ongoing story. Below are a few pictures from the event.
As much as I am a fan of all things Star Wars (or other fantasy and science fiction stories), there is one story I love even more. It is the story of God’s loving and salvific presence in our lives. Even though fewer people go to church, join a church or even say they are Christians, I am still excited to share the Good News of what it means to be saved and redeemed. When I was a child, the narratives started in Sunday School and Wednesday night prayer meetings, when an adult would retell the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark or Abraham and Isaac. Hymns like We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder and Go Down Moses taught me about these two men of the Old Testament.
My parents would watch classic movies about people in the Bible. Samson and Delilah, David and Bathsheba and Ben-Hur were among them. One of the first films I saw about Jesus was called The King of Kings and starred Jeffrey Hunter. When I was in high school there was a mini-series called Jesus of Nazareth. I still watch this series and The Ten Commandments nearly every year. For me each film reminds me how wonderful it is to have God in our lives.
As good as some of these movies are, I enjoy reading the passages of the Bible the most. I never tire of how God continues to journey with us. Our Lord’s steadfast love truly endures forever. Nearly every time I read passages from the Bible, I discover something new about how we are in a dynamic and awesome relationship with our Lord.
As we continue to celebrate the wondrous and miraculous joy of the empty tomb, may we tell the stories of faith from both the Old and New Testaments. Each time we share them, we learn a little more about how God is with us, continuing to accompany us on our journeys of faith. I hope that each time a part of our Lord’s story is shared: in a Bible study or a sermon message, or even in a casual conversation in a parking lot, that you may discover new revelations about God’s love and God’s light which shines in and through every one of us. And Amen.