When I say, “May the Force be with you,” you can easily determine I’ve seen my share of Star Wars movies. For most people, that line is about wishing someone good luck. But as Christians, we know of a force that transcends luck—a transforming force that leads and empowers us to live the Christian life.
The apostle Paul speaks of that life-transformation in Ephesians chapter 2. He tells us that although we were once spiritually dead due to sin, God, by his power, and in the abundance of his love and mercy, made us alive together with Christ, then seated us with our Lord in the heavenly places. That’s a force I want with me.
It is by the grace of our triune God that we have been saved and by which we now live. Grace is a force that is with all believers. Through grace, we do not live alone; rather, we live with Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit. This means the works we are called to do as followers of Jesus are not done on our own—they are works done in participation with Jesus, through the Spirit.
By the Spirit who dwells in us, we join Jesus in forgiving our enemies and loving our neighbors. By the Spirit alive in us, we join Jesus in his mission to see all people live in reconciliation with God – a reconciliation that is ours in and through Jesus.
As Christians, our calling is much more than fulfilling isolated scriptures, or reacting to present circumstances. And, thank God, it is much more than operating under our own power. Our calling is to Jesus—to share in his love and in his ongoing ministry in our world. As we live the Christian life, we are particularly alert to what the Spirit is saying and doing within the context of relationships — indeed, it is there that our relational God meets us.
Some attribute the line “May the force be with you” to an ancient Christian blessing taken from the book of Ruth – a blessing still spoken by clergy in many churches in our day: “The Lord be with you.” The force that is with us is none other than the Lord Jesus, who came to us through the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that this Force – Jesus himself – will fill you with his Spirit, and this transforming Spirit will lead and empower you to live the Christian life. May the True Force be with you!
This is Greg Williams, speaking of life.