Morals of the Clone Wars 3.4: Sphere of Influence

•September 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Moral: “A child stolen is a lost hope.”

Too many children today are being kidnapped or sold into prostitution. Human Trafficking is a terrible savage act that should not be happening today. Yet it is. Many are standing up to fight against those who are violating our children in this way. Much has yet to be done. (Visit humantrafficking.org or trafficfree.org for more info.)

I wonder how often we think of the less obvious ways are children are stolen from us. Possibly from the “need” for both parents to be working, so children spend their days being raised by day care providers. Possibly through trying to give them everything they ask for instead of teaching them contentment. Possibly through too much television and video games. Possibly through too much “hands-off” parenting, letting children do as they desire rather than having a strong relationship with them. Perhaps it is through a lack of community and too many single parents trying to do it all on their own.

There are many ways in which our children are stolen from us, and all too often we have let it happen. But it’s never too late. We must not let our children be stolen from us. There is always hope, as long as there are people willing to care, love and fight for the sake of our children and their future.

 

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Morals of The Clone Wars 3.3: Supply Lines

•September 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Moral: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

We’ve heard this adage before most likely. And most likely we agree with it. If we have the will to get something done, we’ll find a way to get it done.

Often, it’s our will that’s the problem. If we claim to follow Christ, we have claimed His Lordship over our lives. But most of us seldom fully let our lives fall under His Lordship. We still exercise our own will far too often.

Part of the church’s problem lies in following His will. We’d rather make it our will that get’s done. We can find a way to make our will happen. But with God’s will, we often don’t feel there’s a way to make it happen. We forget He empowers us to do so.

Morals of the Clone Wars 3.2: ARC Troopers

•August 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Moral: “Fighting a war tests a soldier’s skills, defending his home tests a soldier’s heart.”

As we battle not against flesh and blood, but against the very things that fight for our souls, we are tested on a daily basis. Often we don’t realize it, but we are enticed to do that which we shouldn’t do, to not do the things we should do, to think that which is impure and even to be passive in living out our faith. When we take time to start each day with prayer and thoughtful intention about saying the course as well as taking time to reflect upon our day in the evening, we train ourselves to defend our heart against the forces that try to take it captive.

Morals of the Clone Wars 3.1: Clone Cadets

•June 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Moral: “Brothers in arms are brothers for life.”

I don’t want to get into the whole “Onward Christian Soldiers” analogy, looking at followers of Jesus as soldiers in a war against evil. In some ways it is apt, but it also gets blown way out of proportion and used in ways that it shouldn’t.

Maybe we just need to remember that as children of God, we are brothers (and sisters). And it is for life. So, it would be prudent for us to spend more time together, working with one another instead of against each other.

Morals of The Clone Wars 2.22: Lethal Trackdown

•June 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Moral: “Revenge is a confession of pain.”

I often feel sad for those people I hear say that they couldn’t forgive someone. I understand (or can at least imagine) the pain involved if someone murdered or raped a family member, or even if someone violated my home and property. I can understand wanting revenge in those painful situations. But revenge only harbors and builds the pain. God calls us to forgive others because He has forgiven us. In fact, He says He can’t forgive us if we don’t extend forgiveness to others.

Revenge hardly makes us feel better. Often it just builds upon our pain and adds to it. We don’t feel better.

Forgiveness is one of those things that doesn’t make sense to do. Yet it makes complete sense to do.We forgive not just for the other person, but for ourselves. Forgiving releases the bitterness of vengeance that continuously grows.

Morals of the Clone Wars 2.21: R2 Come Home

•May 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Moral: “Adversity is friendship’s truest test.”

Friendship fairs well when all goes well. It’s when the tough times come when you know how true your friendship is.

Redemption’s Song

•April 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Say what you will about the movie, my favorite part of Return of the Jedi is the end: Darth Vader’s rredemption. Luke is determined through the entire movie to save his father–that there must be something good in him. And, as Vader confesses, Luke was right.

I have a friend who wrote recently about his frustration with Easter–that many Christians get too focused on death and resurrection. His point is that too often we view the purpose of the cross as being able to offer others “fire insurance”–that is, giving them the opportunity to accept Jesus’ sacrifice for them so that they can avoid going to hell.

And this is what Jesus did. His sacrifice made it possible for us as a sin-filled race to be reconciled with God so that we may spend eternity in His presence (otherwise pure holiness and tainted humanity could not be in proximity). But there is more to it than that. Jesus’ resurrection (as well as His entire life) made it possible for us to live more fully right now. On this side of Heaven.

The original Star Wars saga illustrates this in that those whose lives come in contact with the Force have the opportunity for a fuller life. Luke goes from whiny farm boy to saving the galaxy. Han’s smuggling days get transformed into heroic adventures with a beautiful princess by his side. Gambler Lando becomes another hero in the rebellion. And Vader…well, we’ve seen Vader’s transformation, albeit briefly.

This is Easter for us, though: we can live more fully. We can live adventurously (in the face of death) as we follow Jesus. We can save the world as we work towards justice and reconciliation. We can go up against the enemy with the intention to bring love into darkness because we know we have life ahead of us. It’s not just about feeling good ourselves or personal salvation; it’s about bringing the Kingdom here and now.

He is risen. He is risen, indeed.