Before we go any further, let me clarify. I know Star Wars is a franchise and not a single movie. It’s a fandom, a subculture, some might even say a lifestyle. I have a dog named Vader and a son who could likely write dissertations on any number of subjects from the galaxy, but I am not an expert. I am a fringe fan.
Bald Confession: I pretend to know more than I do just so I can bond with my son and occasionally throw in a biblical parallel. You know, Deuteronomy parenting and all.
“…and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up.”Deuteronomy 6:11 (NET)
See also Deuteronomy 11:19 and Psalm 78:2–4.
Expect me to make mistakes when it comes to Star Wars. Go ahead; roll your eyes along with my kid. It’s okay. Just try not to miss my point for the details.
Caveats, disclaimers, and diversions out of the way, let’s get to the question.
Can Star Wars fit into Christmas?
Last night I finished watching THE MANDALORIAN and there were some real Christmas-y feelings there.
All of Advent is about expectation. Waiting in the tension of promises yet to be fulfilled. Hope of a better tomorrow. Trusting that one day pain and suffering will end and that injustices will be set right.
If you haven’t watched it, STOP READING NOW. Go watch it and then come back, but DON’T RUIN THIS FOR YOURSELF!!! I’m not kidding. Go. Get outta here, ‘cause I got something to say and I can’t be held responsible for any ruined element of surprise.
A Thrill of Hope
While the Dark Troopers were slamming into that blast door, Gideon smirking from his spot on the floor, our small band of heroes holding weapons ready, it looked like all hope was lost. They were trapped with no way out. BUT THEN — a glimmer of hope appeared.
I audibly gasped. I jumped forward from my seat on the couch. I KNEW rescue was coming! I knew our little green guy would be saved and I knew who would be in that ship.
Little by little, step by step, we watched a cloaked Jedi gain ground, destroying the opposition. My heart swelled with each advance. I held my breath. We waited and it was not for nothing. Salvation, restoration, HOPE had come in the flesh.
The beauty of Christmas isn’t just a babe in a manger. It’s not even about gifts or grace or eternal life. The most beautiful thing about Christmas is the release of tension, the assurance of rescue, the fulfillment of long-awaited promise. All this wrapped up in a tiny, humble package.
The Empire didn’t know they were losing. But everyone in that cockpit felt it. They knew life would be different now. A great weight — and a great wait — was lifted.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;
He knows our need, To our weakness no stranger!O Holy Night, select excerpts
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is Love and His gospel is Peace;
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother,
And in his name all oppression shall cease,
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful Chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his Holy name!
One of my favorite pieces of the Nativity story is often completely ignored at Christmastime. It’s not painted on ornaments or available as a figurine. I do, however, have a print of this painting hanging in my living room.
It’s an old man name Simeon. You can find his story in Luke 2:25–35.
Simeon waited his whole life to meet the Messiah. The Holy Spirit had promised he would not die until he met the Christ, the one who would bring salvation. As Mary and Joseph brought their infant son into the Temple, the Holy Spirit led Simeon to them. He took the 40-day-old child into his arms and proclaimed:
“Now, according to your word, Sovereign Lord, permit your servant to depart in peace.Luke 2:29–32 (NET)
For my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples:
a light, for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
The Galaxy needed more than a Baby Yoda, and our Christmas celebrations need to remember more than a Baby Jesus.
We need to see the salvation we’ve been waiting for, the rescue prepared for us.
The Messiah came to bring relief, everlasting hope, and assurance of things set right.
That, my dear friends, is the awesome beauty of Christmas.