I love Star Wars. There, I’ve said it.
While I appreciate that it’s more acceptable to be a geek these days, I still feel a slight tinge of shame when I admit that.
Still, I’ve said it now, it’s out in the open so let’s just move on. ‘What’s this got to do with the gospel though?’ you’re probably already wondering, well I’ll get to that shortly, but first a bit of context.
I’ve recently started playing Star Wars Fallen Order (I know, I know, I just turned 40 and I still play video games too), and I’m really enjoying it. While it’s a few years old now, it’s still beautiful to look at, and wonderfully immersive, I want to run around and explore all the nooks and crannies of the various locations throughout the game; sometimes I’ll even just stop and stare at something particularly well-rendered…
As I was playing it the other day though, I began to wonder to myself, what is it that I enjoy so much about playing games like this, and in particular, what is it about the Star Wars ‘universe’ that engages me (and so many others) so much?
I came to the conclusion that it’s about longing. We all long to be a part of something bigger and greater than us.
All of us desire (whether through Star Wars or something else) to be involved in something greater than we are. It doesn’t matter how rich or successful we are, we all long to escape the world we’re in, a world often filled with sorrow and tedium.
Essentially, we long to be a part of a fairytale.
All of us know that this world is not as it should be, and so long to be part of one that has clear rules; one where we know who the good guys are, and who the bad guys are. A world that is different from ours and yet has recognisable values. What we don’t often realise is that the longing we have will only ever be met in Christ.
I believe that this longing for something more, which is so often expressed through escapism, is a longing for something greater than this world offers. I believe that the bible teaches that this longing is the one that can only be fulfilled through relationship with God.
The wonderful truth is that if we are in Christ, we are part of a fairytale, a true fairytale!
When we put our faith in Christ we become part of the most wonderful story ever told! A tale with villains, and one perfect hero. A tale of trial and adversity, (and weird creatures) and triumph in the face of overwhelming odds. This is the tale of the gospel and all other good stories, including Star Wars, point toward it.
Often, it’s easy to forget how amazing the story of the gospel is, and instead turn to worldly fairytales for comfort. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying games, tv and movies, we must never make them a replacement for the greatest story ever told.
In the gospel we are part of something bigger, and something better. The longing we feel here and now is finally satisfied, and we can look forward to being with our hero and enjoying him forever.
That’s something that Star Wars can never compete with!