Ever since Lucasfilm was sold to Disney on October 30, 2012 I have been looking forward to Episode VII. Like I wrote earlier this week, I thought my Star Wars life had pretty much come to an end when the credits rolled on Revenge of the Sith. I thought there would be more games and potentially more cartoon series, but I never once imagined that my biggest nerdy love would relaunch with such fervor and excitement.
A week from tonight that excitement will find its completion as I sit in the theater and watch The Force Awakens. I can't imagine any other movie exciting me this much, particularly because I don't know that much about it. In fact, I've muted a bunch of Star Wars hashtags to avoid any potential spoilers. I'm looking forward to The Force Awakens so much, which actually fits in well with the Advent season.
Advent is all about looking forward. During the Advent season we put ourselves in the position of God’s people who expectantly waited for Jesus to come as the Messiah. As we celebrate Jesus’ initial coming, we also look forward to his return, trusting and hoping that he will one day make everything right.
My level of expectation for The Force Awakens can't be matched by much. I'm more excited for Episode VII than I am for Civil War or Batman v Superman. In fact, I'd choose the Star Wars universe over the MCU or the DCU every time; the Avengers are great, but they can't hold a lightsaber to a galaxy far, far away.
I feel like I should have that same level of excitement and expectation for Jesus’ return, especially during the Advent season. For the most part, though, I go through my life planning to die long before Jesus returns. It's not that I don't want Jesus to return, but there's so much life to be lived today that it gets in the way of looking forward.
Throughout the gospels, though, Jesus tells us to be mindful of his return. He tells us to be on the lookout, to be ready for his coming, because it will be like a thief in the night. I don't think I've fallen asleep while waiting for Jesus’ return, but I'm definitely in that place of getting comfortable on the couch with heavy eyelids.
Sadly it takes a tragedy like the one in Paris or the one in San Bernardino to wake me up. In tragedies like those, where we see the depth of this world’s brokenness, it's easy to cry out for Jesus’ return. When we’re brought face to face with the destructive power of sin we feel compelled to beg for Jesus to come and make things right. But then the world moves on and we fall back into our regular routines and instead of expectantly waiting for Jesus to return, we go back to simply waiting for the next movie or video game release.
Clearly we shouldn't feel bad about our excitement for The Force Awakens. However, we should remember that there is something much better to which we can look forward. Jesus is going to come back as a conquering king and he is going to set everything right. There won't be anymore shootings and there won't be anymore cancer and there won't be anymore sin and there won't be anymore death and there won't be anymore tears. And no matter how good of a day we're having or if The Force Awakens is as good as The Empire Strikes Back, Jesus’ return will be infinitely better. And as we look forward to movies, shows, books, trips, marriages, kids, graduating and everything else, we need to always look forward to Jesus.
What helps you look forward to Jesus’ return?