May the 4th

Today is May 4. At some point in the day, someone will proudly and nerdily say to you, “May the 4th be with you.” Just try to be gracious. They don’t get out much, and they think it’s cute.


In case you missed the memo, today is Star Wars Day. It all originated because of the above pun made from the line from the first Star Wars movie, which was pretty “punny” at first, but these days not so much. Either way, it became an opportunity for fans of the futuristic fantasy franchise to celebrate all things Star Wars. Bless their hearts.


According to Wikipedia, the first public reference to someone using the expression “May the Fourth Be With You” came from 1979, the day after Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, when her political party placed a congratulatory ad in The London Evening News, saying “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.”


In 2008, the first Facebook groups appeared, celebrating Luke Skywalker Day, with the same catchphrase. Te phenomenon spread to college campuses a few years later, and Star Wars Day was born. In 2011, the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Canada, with festivities including an original trilogy trivia game show, a costume contest with celebrity judges, and several parody films and remixes on the big screen.
As you may have picked up, I was never a big Star Wars fan, my recent social media appearance in a Wookie costume notwithstanding. I saw the first movie in the series, which was just called Star Wars at the time but later was renamed A New Hope, when it came out at the theaters at the end of my junior year in high school. I was as fascinated as the next guy, but never got around to seeing the other two flicks in the original three-part series.
Then when the three “prequels” came out in 1999 through the early 2000’s, my family got into it–especially one little boy with his light saber–but I couldn’t make it through a whole movie without dozing off. I guess the whole sci-fi genre is not for me.


My larger concern, sometimes, is that so many people in today’s world see a relationship with the God of the universe as something similar to science fiction, and they treat Him more like an impersonal “force” than the benevolent and loving Father that He is. Or, just as bad, they attempt to use Him for His power, to tap into His force, without investing in an ongoing relationship of commitment and submission to His lordship.


God is a personal and loving God, not a cosmic force. He created us in His image, He knows us intimately, and loves us anyway. He demonstrated that love by sending His one and only Son to earth, to die in our stead on a cruel cross, to purchase our pardon and pay for our sins. And, He promises His presence with us over and over in Scripture: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)