Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist.
In the epic movie "Star Wars; A New Hope" the hero, Luke Skywalker, hears the voice of friend and mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi telling him, "Use the Force Luke." Luke channels and thus controls the power of the Force to combat the Evil Empire and its agents. Among these is the feared Darth Vader.
In the following episode, "The Empire Strikes Back", in a very dark moment, Luke learns that Vader is actually his father. It is in this moment that Vader tells Luke, "Search your feelings Luke. You know it to be true." Luke thought he was ready for the confrontation with "the dark side", but Vader knows that Luke has not properly trained as a Jedi.
Who can forget Yoda's admonition, "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will."
Being a fan of the entire Star Wars series, I have become fond of many quotes (And aren't those light saber battles the best?). I admit, almost anytime I hear the name Luke, the "use the Force" quote pops into my head. So this morning as I prayed Morning Prayer on this feast, I could not overcome the "thoughts in my head".
Unlike the hero in Star Wars though, Saint Luke does not "use the Force" in an attempt to control it, thus bringing about his own will. No, Saint Luke allows himself to be used by the true Force, Almighty God.
As Christians, we are all called to allow God to use us to His desire, His plan for us and the world. There may be nothing new in what I have said here, but I think it deserves a true "search" of our hearts (not our feelings).
I think we can be guilty of trying to "use" God sometimes. You know, when we are praying in any manner other than "Thy Will be done". Guilty? I sure am.
The Holy Spirit, our friend and mentor, is speaking alright. But we are not being directed to manipulate God to fight our own battles. We are being directed to be used by God in the battle for souls. And it is not in "feelings" that He speaks to us. It is in our hearts.
Like the Jedi, we Christians must also train for the battle. It is important that we seek to properly form our consciences, lest we find ourselves unfit and not ready for the confrontations of life nor the ability to properly discern when "the dark side" is distorting the truth.
God wants us to know that He is our Father. But He wants us to choose Him freely, not manipulated by the feelings or emotions of a moment, but by life-long conversion. And He wants us to know that He is more powerful than "the dark side". He has the power to save us from being "forever consumed". It is God Who truly gives us a new Hope.
And as we cooperate with the Grace of God more and more in our lives, we are able to wield the real light saber, the light of Jesus Christ, not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, the powers, the world rulers of this present darkness, and the evil spirits in the heavens.
This "episode" is dedicated to my son Joel.