Besides COVID in 2020, perhaps the next thing that has taken our culture by storm is “Baby Yoda!” Our family just returned from a trip to Disney World, and yes, we enjoyed Galaxies Edge where we got to pretend like we were in Star Wars! I even got singled out and questioned by Storm Troopers who demanded I show them my identification.
Anyway, back to Baby Yoda. I cannot help but think as Christmas approaches, there are certain similarities between this “special child” in a galaxy far far away and the real Chosen Child born here on earth over 2,000 years ago.
In fact, I think it is partly these overtures that play a role in stirring in our hearts for those into the new Mandalorian TV show. While I don’t believe these similarities are entirely intentional, I believe God is speaking even through culture in ways that ultimately point to Christ. This is similar in purpose by God for the benefit of those seeking like the wise men of old who followed the signs in the sky to discover this savior of the world. Likewise, for those looking today, they may end up seeing or finding the Christ child in a new way this year!
First, as I have watched the Mandalorian episodes, you can’t help but feel the intensity of the hunt for this child by the remnants of the evil empire that have alternative plans for this special being. Likewise, Herod, under the inspiration of evil demonic powers, being threatened by this news of a newborn king, hunted Jesus down after his birth, trying to snuff out his life because of the threat he posed. Yet, along the way, there were “protectors” in the form of both human beings and angelic messengers who fought for the child’s safety, just as the Mandalorian and some of his friends do for the “Baby Yoda” child.
Secondly, I think about our continual search for “the chosen one” or those deemed “special” who can provide some form of salvation in our lives. But as Star Wars has effectively and relatably proven to do, its Jedi “saviors” aren’t all “good” all the time. They all have their battles with the dark side, no matter how special, just like we do, no matter how gifted, with our sinful nature. Some, who started out with promise, went entirely to the dark side and fell, while others have been redeemed from the dark side. It is the story of us all. Some of us are consistently faithful like Obi-Wan Kenobi, others more like Anakin Skywalker who have fallen but been redeemed, others like Luke or Rey (and it seems so far Baby Yoda too…although his outcome is not yet known) who struggle but overcome their darkness, and still others like Count Dooku who fell to the dark side and was not redeemed. Here we can compare these characters with some biblical characters like Daniel, David, Abraham, the Kings of the Old Testament, Peter, Paul, and Judas. That is to say nothing about about modern day leaders and believers too.
But there is one, who while tempted like us all, never gave in to any sin or darkness. There is one who is The Chosen One in whom true salvation is found. There is one who is incorruptible and sinless. And he, too, was once born as a vulnerable human being. Our search for a Savior and salvation does begin with a baby. Our search for meaning, purpose, adventure, and battle revolves around this child. Just as the Mandalorian was swept into a much bigger drama than his own through his relationship with this child, so too are we swept into an epic battle much larger than our own galaxies. It is a story of deception, darkness, danger, intrigue, failure, but also devotion, love, sacrifice, redemption and hope. These are all themes of the greatest stories, movies, and drama’s; because these are all themes of the ultimate story and drama: The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The birth of Jesus was not as some of our hymns portray it as a “silent night” or “peaceful night.” Instead, it was heaven and hell breaking in and breaking out simultaneously. It was a daring rescue operation that all revolved around the birth and the survival and eventual sacrifice and resurrection of this promised child. All things, including Baby Yoda and even Star Wars, point us to this ultimate story, a story that is still unfolding and that we are a part of even to this day. But do we have eyes to see and ears to hear?
May the force…wait…may the grace of God be with you this Christmas season!