May The Fourth Be With You
For whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:4-5
I write this on May 4 th which is also known as Star Wars Day. It was on this day in 1977 that the movie ‘Star Wars’ was released. If you haven’t seen the movie, it is about the rebels, led by a farm boy, a princess and a swashbuckling smuggler, overcoming the evil forces of the empire. Actually, if you haven’t seen the movie, I am shocked.
In the first letter of John, John writes of love and faith overcoming the world. The word for overcome in Greek is ‘nikh’ or ‘nike’.
Yes. That nike.
Sometimes the word is translated ‘conquer’, as it is above. Other times it is translated as ‘victory’.
The Greeks seem to have understood that true victory could not be achieved by humans. Only the divine could achieve true victory.
That was understood by John and the other early Christians.
Jesus Christ overcame sin, death and the devil. He is the truly victorious one. He is the divine one who overcomes on our behalf. Because he is victorious, we are victorious.
The Greeks also understood that sometimes defeat looks like victory. Sometimes victory looks like defeat.
Jesus’ victory looks like defeat. He died on the cross. It looked as if everything was over. But at that point of defeat, Christ was the most victorious. It was there that Christ saved the world.
Two things we gather from this. 1. Christ’s victory is our victory. 2. Sometimes our defeats are really victories.
Oh. One other thing. May the fourth be with you.
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California.