I Don’t Really Like Star Wars, and That Gives Me Hope for the Church

Confession time: I have never stayed awake through any of the original Star Wars films.

While I am at it, I might as well add that I don’t really like the Beatles either.

Now that I’ve pretty much offended everyone, let me say that these facts give me hope for the future of the Church.

While I would certainly not call myself a Star Wars fan, I really enjoyed “The Force Awakens” and love “Firefly.” These simply would not exist without the original Star Wars.

While I will hum along to “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yellow Submarine,” I much prefer the music that has come about as a result of the trailblazing done by the Beatles.

I don’t think there is any doubt that the Church is in a time of transition. Whether we are talking about social issues, worship styles, church and denominational structures, or even Christianity’s place in the world… There are many questions, many answers, many problems, and many solutions. And to be honest, I don’t agree with all of the answers or solutions — and neither do you.

The comparison to pop culture threatens to reduce the idea down to personal preferences, which is itself a cancer in the Church. So, to be clear, what I am saying is that times of transition are messy. There is often a sense of urgency — sometimes real and sometimes imagined — that forces words and actions. But it takes time to develop and innovate or even to test new ideas against old ones and decide that the old is better.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we sit around and just wait for a decade or two. The stuff that I feel fixed the flaws of Star Wars or the Beatles came about because people dug in and did work. Whether they were fans or critics, they took what they learned and made something of it.

So, as we head further into a year that will hold many important opportunities for discernment, discussion, and debate, let’s not view everything we are disappointed with as the end of the world. It may end up being a catalyst for the work God wants to do in and through you and others.

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