I have to confess that before I met Sam and before our girls started to watch and become fans of the Star Wars canon, I knew very little about Star Wars. I knew the main characters, and I knew I had seen some of the original trilogy, but I had never seen the prequels nor did I understand the mythology and world of Star Wars. Now, most of our discussions in the car have centered around theories of the new Star Wars and which character has found Darth Vadaer’s helmet and of course, who the Jedi Knight with the crossguard lightsaber is and whether this lightsaber is even practical.
We aren’t the only ones discussing the debut of the new lightsaber. There has been much discussion about the new crossguard lightsaber that will appear in the Force Awakens this week and with that discussion brings the reminder that in order to become a Jedi Knight you have to construct your own lightsaber as part of your training. We have certainly discussed as a family whether the new movie would have a scene where a manual was found that contains instructions about how to construct lightsabers or whether someone would find an old lightsaber and then try to construct one himself or herself, but the question remains (at least until Thursday), how do you construct your own lightsaber?
In this season of Advent, where candles are lit every week to represent love, hope, joy, peace, and finally the birth of the Christ child, we are all reminded that we are light-bearers. We are the ones who display and brighten the world with these traits. This is how the world knows and understands the gospel message, the Advent message. The light that shines forth from transformed lives is how people understand that the kingdom of heaven is indeed here on earth.
But the thing about being a Jedi Knight and constructing your own lightsaber is that no two lightsabers are the same. They are each created and constructed as part of Jedi training, which means they bear the marks of the internal battles between the light and dark side. They bear the marks of the transformation process.
As light-bearers, the light we shine does the same. My battle between the light and dark side and my transformation into one called and dedicated to the hope the Christ child brings to the world is not the same as anyone else’s. There is a different glow to my journey than to my family’s or to my congregation’s journeys. There is something miraculously specific about my journey that no one else can claim. In sharing that journey of transformation, perhaps there are parts that ring true for other people. Maybe there are intersections, but there are never repetitions of our journeys. We each hold the ability and the responsibility to construct our own lightsabers.
And if you’ve yet to begin that training or to construct your own lightsaber, what better time then the season of Advent and the opening of the new Start Wars movie where we are reminded of the difference light can make in a world of darkness.