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How to Really Use the Force

I can’t decide if my title is too corny or too obvious, but I have to go with the Star Wars theme, one way or another. When something’s hot, you go with it. That’s why I’m married to Denise (bah dum, dum)!

If you didn’t know there was a new Star Wars movie coming out, welcome out of your barn, Brother…I hope you got your buggy fixed. It’s the highest grossing launch of a movie ever!

The reason a movie like Star Wars can be so epic is because it’s actually based in reality. Not “giant dogs that can pilot a space ship” reality, but the reality of a light and dark side.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. (Ephesians 5:8)

It’s an actual truth. There is a light side and a dark side. I think we get it. Everyone isn’t good! Too many people have thought that for far too long. If anything, deep down inside, everyone is not good!

Our world is jacked up on the dark side. It just seems to keep getting darker! But it’s not new.

Was there a dark side in the Christmas story? Who do you think King Herod worked for while he was killing baby boys, trying to kill Jesus?

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground (Ephesians 6:12-13)

Sound like a movie?

What should we do?  Use the force! (Come on – stay with me!)

The light side is even more remarkable! There really is a force – and it really can be ‘WITH YOU.”

There is a “force” all over the Christmas story. A Star that guides people. Virgins conceiving, barren women conceiving, Priest’s being struck dumb, and Angels! The undeniable “force” angle to the Christmas story is the presence of the Angels.

Gabriel shows up in the temple to tell Zechariah he’s having a son in his old age.  Six months later, Gabriel shows up to tell Mary she’s going to have a baby in a supernatural way. Then another one shows up to tell the Jedi warrior Joseph not to give up on Mary and use the force to raise the Son of God.

But we’re not done…

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them. And the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. (Luke 2:9-10)

Does that sound epic enough for you?

And the angels said –

FEAR NOT – I bring you good news of great joy, which shall be to all people (Luke 2:10)

FEAR WHAT? The first message of Christmas is “fear not.”

Hang on – you just told me about all this goodevil force stuff.  How am I NOT going to be afraid?


I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead  (Ephesians 1:18-20)

That same force – it’s there for you, too.

It doesn’t mean that you won’t still live in a world with darkness. It just means you can have peace in the middle of it. In every Star Wars movie there is a scene where someone is in a bad place, like the shepherds actually were that first Christmas, and it looks like they are being defeated by their fear and by the dark side. And there is a moment when they stop and close their eyes and hear the voice of their Jedi Master say, “Use the Force.”

The look on their face is always one of Peace.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth PEACE to those on whom his favor rests.”

Something like that.

When you are feeling defeated, like you might not be able to survive, remember Jesus said: “I have told you these things – so you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Take heart – and may the force be with you.

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