As I watched it, I couldn’t help but notice the many spiritual correlations within the movie. I’m not sure they are intended, but they were there. The easiest example is the simple theme of good verse evil. What jumped out to me most last night was the similarities between the force and the Holy Spirit.
I was raised in the Assembly of God (A/G) denomination growing up. During my upbringing, the A/G denomination hung tightly to a core belief that the Holy Spirit was active in the daily life of Christians and was evidenced with the gift of speaking in tongues.
Yes, I speak in tongues and have since the age of 8 years old.
My spiritual history has many great memories of experiences with the power of the Holy Spirit and as youth we were encouraged to experiment, for lack of a better word, with the power of the Holy Spirit. Like the force in Star Wars, the Holy Spirit is powerful in a way that our minds struggle to comprehend it and may I say, use it appropriately.
As I watched Rey try to understand the force, I couldn’t help but think of my upbringing and my many church friends as we all felt the power of the Holy Spirit inside us. We just couldn’t fully understand the massive power that was available to us. Like Rey, we really didn’t have many mentors that could fully help us understand it either.
As I matured, I began to observe individuals misusing the power of the Holy Spirit. It seemed to me that there was a belief that began to develop that alluded you were closer to God if you operated with the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. I believe this belief along with humanities natural desire to be admired caused many to simply use emotionalism to generically mimic the real thing. Unfortunately, the generic was not as impactful as the real thing and turned people off rather than drawing them in.
(side study – Acts 3:14-41, people were drawn to Christ for salvation when the Holy Spirit was real and not generic)
There was a part in this movie where it was revealed that Luke Skywalker, one of the most experienced with the force, had shut it down inside. Ultimately, it seems there was a time he made a mistake and that mistake caused him to back down from the power rather than just push forward. It made me think, due to what I could call misuse of the Holy Spirit, have I shut it down inside? Am I like Luke?
I am in the midst of writing the book “Selling Jesus” with the goal to help individuals effectively and confidently share their faith with others. A full chapter is dedicated to the Holy Spirit and how he was sent after Christ to be our partner and coach in this life. In John 14:12-14, Jesus said that after him we would do even greater works. But, If I’m honest, I just don’t see it these days.
Culturally, it seems to me that the power of the Holy Spirit is quiet. We talk about God as the Trinity, but most Christians are really more comfortable with God the duplicity. We like God the Father as the Old Testament shows Him to us. We like God the son (Jesus) as the New Testament makes clear his life and purpose. God the Holy Spirit makes us uncomfortable. We say we believe it with our words, but faith is an action. Do we believe God the Holy Spirit with our actions?
The Last Jedi was filled with decimation of the good guys (rebels). It seemed like all was lost in the end and that evil would finally win once and for all. But, with the help of the force that was active in a young girl’s life and a small remnant of people, this movie ended with hope. Hope that the spark, would create a new fire and build a whole new generation of rebels. Good would prevail.
I know that the Holy Spirit has not went anywhere. He is just as powerful and active today as he was on the day of Pentecost. This makes me realize that the stillness I feel is not the departed presence of the Holy Spirit. It is possible that some, like me, have shut the power down for some reason or another. It is also possible that many just have never experienced the power that comes with the Holy Spirit and have no expectation. What I pray is that the Holy Spirit will become active in a new generation. That the Holy Spirit will raise up some new Rey’s to create the spark for a new spiritual awakening.
I’m praying for The Last Spiritual Jedi!