You know that I was raised Anglican because when I hear someone say “May the force be with you,” I want to respond with “And also with you.” Today is May the fourth, which leads some people to celebrate the great Star Wars movies. I am a Star Wars fan, though mainly episodes IV, V and VI. I am not a diehard fan in that I have not read any of the books in the expanded universe and I let my son play with my action figures rather than hiding them in a display box. Still, I enjoy the mythology created in the Star Wars universe.
I was thinking about Star Wars and the nature of evil. As you may know, there are two opposing groups in the Star Wars universe, the Jedis and the Sith. But these are not just two similar groups with different coloured light sabres. The Jedis are a group that seeks to use the force to do good. In doing this, they have an elaborate system of mentorship and training. The community keeps growing (when they are not being wiped out by the emperor), as they help each other to fight against evil.
When I first heard about the Sith, I assumed that they were just like the Jedis, only for evil. That is not exactly true. While there could be very many Jedis, there can only be two Sith at a time: a master and an apprentice. Even with this pairing, it is not a healthy relationship. While there is teaching, the goal of the apprentice is to eventually kill the master and take on an apprentice of their own. You would think the new master might think twice about bringing on an apprentice considering their history.
Why bring this up? This is an interesting picture of the nature of evil. Goodness, faithfulness and righteousness, naturally leads to community. Evil and wickedness is not conducive to community. Of course there are many examples of wicked people in groups. But a group is not necessarily a community. When a group is marked by evil, their focus will be on selfishness, greed and jealousy. Community cannot grow in that environment.
The biblical picture of the church is a community of mutual support and love. It is described as the Body of Christ. It is a community that rejoices together in good times and mourns together in hard times. The church’s community is one of our greatest apologetic resources. People of our world are familiar with the way of the Sith, but they long for true community. That community can only be found in Christ. Let us live in way that attracts others.
“Make [the faith] attractive, make good people wish it were true, and then show that it is.” – Blaise Pascal