East Nelson United Methodist Church
9024 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs MI 49319
“Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, and live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints send their greetings. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
This year I could not wait to see the new Star Wars movie and when I got to see it, it was great. One of greetings that is attributed to the Star Wars series is the phrase “may the force be with you,” although I am not sure that it is ever used exactly that way in the movie. In any case, it is an appropriate greeting even in the church, provided we edit out the secular word force and insert the Holy Spirit. In the movie, this greeting serves to provide hope to people (and aliens) who are struggling against an evil force committed to destroying all the “good” people. One of the problems is that it is not always easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys. In the movie, the force can be used for good or it can be used for evil; in fact, one of the characters representing the dark force was originally using the force for good. What both the Jedi knights and the apostle Paul knew was that the force for evil is very powerful and that we always need to be on our guard.
The apostle Paul is writing to a church that has struggled with a lot of issues and in his last address to them challenges them to a higher power, to continue the fight, and to stay in fellowship with one another. This may seem to also be an appropriate message as we leave 2015 and go forward into 2016. May God’s force be with us all.