A couple of year ago, Star Wars Day (May the Fourth) fell on a Sunday. I have a few enthusiastic fans in my church who wanted to honor the day with a Star Wars themed liturgy that a pastor had posted online. I politely declined but I did read through the document. The worship service started with the phrase above,
Leader: May the Force Be With You…
People: And Also With you.
When trying to find an image to use for this, there are many memes to choose from a lot of them claiming specific denominational roots. I found versions that implied that this turn of phrase was Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, and Catholic. I did not dig deeply into the web search to see who else might claim the phrase and found a nice non-denominational image to use. It makes me curious why so many folks felt the need to share this thought. I think it has something to do with boldness.
Several times in the original trilogy the ‘Way of the Force’ is referred to as a religion. Usually in a disparaging way. In fact there is a Jedi religion. After the first movie came out, people tried to get some traction around a church but it seemed not to have a major following until the birth of the internet. Called the Jedi Church or Jediism it now primarily exists online, but has enough adherents to create noticeable blips in the census data for several English speaking countries. In New Zealand, 1.5% of the population claimed Jediism as their religion making it the second largest religion in New Zealand after Christianity. This religion is held together by a small, but devout, group who believe strongly in the power of the Force and its ability to manipulate the world around us even when they have no proof of it. And while I may not agree with them, I do have to admire their faith and conviction.
We tend to be very quiet about our faith and when questioned about the lack of proof for our faith we avoid the question (cowardly), quote random scripture passages (unhelpful), or lash out (destructive). None of these things help people understand that our doubts do not minimize our faith. We have faith in spite of our doubts and we usually have proof. Our proof may not make sense to anyone but us, but it gives us strength. We should be proud to share our story with people, not embarrassed or defensive. We should be confident sharing our faith in small ways throughout out lives. We should tell people we are praying for them, that God loves them and we do to. It’s a little scary but if the Jedi can do it, so can we.
The Lord be with you. Have a blessed day.
*about the meme: I did not create it and do not know who did. I tried to trace it back to it’s original source and got as far back as dudelol.com. I couldn’t find the original post to properly credit the creator. If it was you, well done!