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Sunday Summary

May the Force Be with You

It’s the Victoria Day weekend. Although it’s hard to think that having Monday as a day off has any special appeal just now. The name of the day has morphed to the May 2-4 weekend, refereing to the 24th day of May that has been the traditional day of celebration. For some the term 2-4 has to do with Bud Lite or any other number of beers available in a 24 pack. I wonder what Queen Victoria would say?

2 Thessalonians 3:16. Now may the Lord of peach himself give you peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.

Another day in May has taken on a new significance. It’s the 4th of the month. The original Star Wars episodes brought us the term “May the Force be with you”. I can still see Obi-Wan Kenobi giving guidance to Luke Skywalker to trust in the guidance of the “Force” in that final battle between good against evil.

If I can use that term again, it has morphed into “may the 4th be with you.” I emailed a reflection on May the 4th and invited any who couldn’t connect with the term to ask for an explanation. A couple of you were willing to admit to having missed the world of Star Wars.

Back in 1977 when Pam and I came out of the theater, having watched the first episode, I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like, as a Christian, to have that sort of connection to the “Force” in our lives, the force of God, the Holy Spirit.

Jesus promised us that we would have a special relationship with the Father through the Spirit and made that promise to his followers. They were told to hang around Jerusalem (see Acts 1: 4-5) for a few more days so that the Holy Spirit could flood their lives with power and connection. That event did indeed happen, and we celebrate that day in the church as the Day of Pentecost.

Earlier, in discussion with His disciples, Jesus promised them that his going away was a good thing for them. Once he was gone, he could send the Spirit to be everywhere at once as opposed to being locked in one place as He was in His human body.

I wonder if we need that sense of God’s presence now, as much as any other time on our lives, as we live through this pandemic.

Paul picked up on the theme of what we might expect from God’s Spirit if we allowed ourselves to live God’s way. He wrote the following and Eugene Peterson decided to give us a new take on His words. It’s a beautiful rendition for those of us who have heard these words so many times before. A new look at what we call the “fruit of the Spirit” can be a good thing.

“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” Galatians 5: 22-23

The suggestion is that when we open ourselves to God’s Spirit there are gifts available to us. Nothing we have to struggle for. They are God’s gifts to us.

Things like, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Hard not to fall back on the words we have always used before. However, perhaps we should go back once again and read how Eugene has coined the phrase, just so that we don’t get so familiar that we miss the impact of what The Spirit has for us.

We have a long way to go before we get back to the 4th of May. A long way to go before we get back to life as it was, if indeed we ever do. Nice to know we don’t have to wait for that day to come again before we can meditate on the truth that the Force wishes to be with us. It’s the promise that Jesus made to his followers, those who walked with Him in Judea, and the rest of us who have chosen to follow Him.