What Star Wars Teaches Us About Our Spiritual Journey

“A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight.” – Luke Skywalker to Rey

You are not alone on your spiritual journey.

I finally went to see the end of this Star Wars saga. Whether you like Star Wars or not, we can all agree that these iconic films reflect a story that resonates with all of us. All of us long to understand who we are and to be part of a purpose larger than ourselves. 

No spoilers here, especially because this quote was in the trailer. There’s a moment when Luke Skywalker (the O.G. Jedi from the originals) says to Rey: 

“A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight.”

To appreciate the depth of this moment in the film, you really need to see it, but as I watched, I began thinking of when the writer of Hebrews says: 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The Bible uses the imagery of family to express to us our relationship to God, to Jesus, to one another. Family, in light of the ancient cultural context of the Bible, came with promises, purposes, and provisions that ran through generations. There were roles and responsibilities among families. Names were important in families. The bondedness of a family ran deep.

In our current cultural context, it may be a little challenging for us to fully grasp the depth of “family”. Maybe for you, your best expression of “family” is “broken,” “complicated,” or “distant.” Maybe your view of “family” doesn’t look like 2 parents, 2 kids, and a dog. But maybe it does. Maybe your expression of “family” is “safe,” “home,” or “supportive.”

Wherever you find yourself, our current cultural context makes it challenging for us to understand the depth of bondedness for “family” in ancient culture. 

Jesus takes the depth of “family” to even deeper levels. For Jesus “family” meant communion and solidarity that was stronger than human DNA and blood. For Jesus, the mediator of the family of God, becoming family members makes us part of an eternal lineage, with all of its beautiful promises, purposes, and provisions. Followers of Christ become tethered to a spiritual family in the past, present, and future. You are not alone on your spiritual journey. 

Our Past Family

When the writer of Hebrews encourages us about the “great cloud of witnesses” that surrounds us, they are talking about the family of God that we’re part of. You may realize that on an intellectual level. But think about this for a moment: Moses is your tio, Joshua is your cousin, Esther is your grandmother, Thomas is your other cousin, and Mary is your tia. 

These people aren’t just random stories about random people. They’re stories about our family. And think about the abuelitas and tias that have gone before you who have extended la bendicion to you. 

Our roots in God’s family run so much deeper than we realize on a daily basis.

When Rey – the last Jedi – is told by Luke, who isn’t related to her by blood – that one thousand generations of Jedis are in her, she becomes tethered to a greater family. If you’ve seen the other movies in this part of the Star Wars saga you know that a big question for Rey is “who is she”? Rey feels abandonment by her family, yet in this moment, she becomes part of a greater family. 

That’s what happens to us. Regardless of our experience with family, when we step into the family of God, we become part of a greater family. In this family, we carry thousands of generations within us. In this family, we have promises, purposes, and provisions. Like Rey, we have a fight to fight. In the words of Hebrews, we have a race to run. We have the model of Jesus to frame our journey forward. We are not alone. You are not alone in your spiritual journey. 

  • Who are the people in the Bible who I identify most with and why? How can their stories support my spiritual journey? 
  • Who are the people in my family who I most identify with and why? How can their stories support my spiritual journey? 

Our Present Family 

One of the big themes in the movie is how the Force brings together unlikely partners to carry forward the story of Jedis and the Resistance. Rey’s journey towards facing the fight wasn’t an isolated one. Neither is yours. 

Your spiritual journey is unique to you, but it is not an isolated journey. We are on a caravan together. As you grow, I grow, and we grow. 

“There is no way than an individual can be formed in the image of Christ for others without the nurture of the body of Christ, and there is no way that the community of faith can be the body of Christ if it does not nurture the individual members towards wholeness in Christ.” – M. Robert Mulholland An Invitation to Journey

I was listening to a conversation at my local coffeeshop and one of the people said: “I’m just doing my own thing when it comes to church and my relationship with God.” Maybe you’ve said this at one point. I hear this all the time. “I’m doing my own thing.” “My relationship with God is personal.” None of these are wrong. But they will not develop a holistic spirituality. You will find yourself imbalanced in your journey as you walk towards wholeness. 

In our very socially isolated context, being part of God’s family – growing and walking with others in solidarity – may be one of the most radical and disruptive decisions we make. And it will be the decision that transforms you the most. I understand that we have church on-demand via YouTube and Facebook. You can get a good sermon, a good worship set, and good inspiration for your week, by attending church through a screen. I listen to and watch several sermons a week and listen to Spotify daily. But the present family of God, who you walk this journey with, determines whether you can fight the fight. Whether you can finish the race. 

Rey could not fight the Empire on her own. Neither can we. You weren’t meant to be alone on your spiritual journey.  

  • Are you committed to a regular rhythm of gathering with God’s family? If not, what keeps you from that regular rhythm? 
  • Who are the people in your life who are growing and walking in solidarity with you? 

Our Future Family

When we discover that we are not alone on our spiritual journey and we weren’t meant to be alone, we begin walking in purpose. We begin to realize that our journey is not about us. We see how the race is a marathon. God is a God of generations. One generation passing the baton to the next. 

If Rey carries one thousand Jedi generations in her, then those generations don’t die with her. They live on through her. She fights the Empire with her past and present family, so that her future family can have a fighting chance. 

The same is true for us. As members of God’s family, we carry the stories and the victories inside of us, so that they can pass on our future family. We carry the promises, purposes, and provisions, so that they won’t stop with us. 

I learned recently from a friend that because women are born with the amount of eggs that they will have for their lives, the baby inside a pregnant mother holds the eggs of her child. Meaning that mother, daughter, and granddaughter (3 generations) all live within a pregnant mother. This explains why our generational trauma can be traced back what our grandmothers were experiencing. And it also paints a beautiful picture of how biologically life is carried from one generation to the next. 

Our biology reflects our spirituality. You hold worlds inside of you. Worlds waiting to be born. God’s future family carried on through your spiritual journey. 

  • Why does it matter that you carry generations inside of you? 
  • Who is someone younger than you that needs you to run your race? 

“A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight.”

You are not alone on your spiritual journey.

Let’s walk together!

Pa’lante,

sg

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