The force of God’s love brings us into his presence.
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And Elijah came near to all the people and said,
“How long will you go limping between two different opinions?
If the LORD is God, follow him;
but if Baal, then follow him.”
And the people did not answer him a word.
1 Kings 18:21 English Standard Version
I remember seeing Star Wars for the first time. This was before it was renamed “A New Hope.” For some reason I didn’t see the movie until the fall of 1977 even though it had been released in May of that year. I was on break from college in Michigan and visiting my sister in Chicago. Like most people who watched the movie for the first time, I sunk low in my seat when the Imperial battleship came flying over my head.
Being that I was in my senior year of college and about to enter seminary, I was compelled to see the theological significance of the movie. I was convinced it had Christian overtones. Good overcomes evil. Christ destroys sin. How much clearer did it need to be?
A real person named Elijah stood on Mt. Carmel and called out to the people to follow the true God. If that true God was Baal, then follow him. If it was Yahweh, then follow him. The saddest part of this story is that people said nothing.
How many times have we heard the call of God to follow his Son and we’ve done nothing? We say something like, “I would love to follow, but I’ve got too much on my plate now. Maybe tomorrow.”
Elijah didn’t give up. He built his altar, killed the sacrifice, drenched the altar with water, then called on his God. Though the people remained silent, God didn’t. God consumed everything on the altar as well as the altar itself. God can’t remain silent. He must act.
He has acted for us in his Son who was the sacrifice laid out on the altar of his cross. His death and his resurrection ring throughout the world. His action has changed lives. It has changed our lives.
God brings us into his reign through the power of the Holy Spirit. Through God’s mercy we are on the side of the most powerful force in the universe.
Though the Star Wars movies might have become more convoluted where good is evil and evil is good, in God’s case he always acts for his people. And his action is always good.
Okay, so I can’t help myself, I’ve got to say it. May the Force be with you! May the Force of forgiveness and mercy reign in your life.
Copyright Douglas P Brauner