Last Thursday I joined my oldest son and my youngest grandson at an Opening Night showing of the new Star Wars film The Last Jedi--technically, Episode VIII. It was a terrific three generation bonding experience. Chris, my grandson, seemed to especially enjoy the various light saber duals, my son enjoyed seeing his son having such a good time, and I was caught up in some of the subtler parts of the story. Though, truth be told, it makes a great three generation experience because there isn
't really a lot of subtly about it!
Don't worry, I am not about to offer up any spoilers, but I was especially drawn to a line uttered fairly near the end of the film by one of the newly featured characters in this episode, Rose Tico. At a crucial point in the story, she says, "Don't fight what you hate, save what you love."
That has been floating around in my head ever since I heard it last Thursday. And the more I've thought about it the more I've come to realize it really sums up the meaning of Christmas. Granted, quite unintentionally!
The central theological idea of Christmas is incarnation. The notion that God takes on human flesh to show us how to live. And not powerful human flesh, but the vulnerable flesh of a baby. A baby who grows up to be a marginalized figure in a marginalized community. God doesn't appear to us in the form of a general or a mighty warrior, God comes as the son of a carpenter, born of a peasant woman, destined to be a homeless, wandering Jew. One who teaches that love is the answer to our problems. God comes to us in the manger at Bethlehem not to fight what God hates, (evil, injustice, war and violence)--not atg all. God comes to save what God loves. People. All manner of people.
I realize, Star Wars, as the name of the film series implies, involves a lot of battles and much violence. But I wonder if it's real message is tied up in the words of Rose Tico?
Don't fight what you hate, save what you love.
Have a blessed Christmas, dear readers.