Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back – First Impressions, Deceptive Can They Be

Theme: Learning from those older and wiser

Bible refs: Joshua 14 vv 6-14; Luke 2 vv 22-38

Location of clip: 52 mins and 8 secs to 55 mins and 19 secs

Film Description:
Episode 5 sees the evil Empire (surprise surprise) striking back. With the help of Darth Vader they attempt to wipe out the annoying rebels, a.k.a. Luke Skywalker and his sidekicks. The rebels are based on Hoth, and when the Imperial forces arrive to annihilate them, Han Solo and Princess Leia flee to Cloud City. Luke goes off on his own, looking for a little green crinkled man called Yoda. Yoda is the Jedi’s Jedi – the knight to top them all. Luke learns vital wisdom and he heads off to team up with the others to put a stop to Mr Vader and his naughty Empire.

Clip description:
Luke waits in the swamp to meet up with Yoda. Yoda is right there with him, but he has no idea this is the great man. Yoda doesn’t look like a top Jedi operative. He’s small and green and talks funny does he. He’s hardly a giant in his field. Yet this is the one who has trained Jedi warriors for 800 years. Appearances can be deceptive. Much more is there to tiny Yoda than meets the eye.

Thoughts:
Luke can’t see past a little green man with big ears. He thinks he’s hanging around with a muppet when in reality he’s rubbing shoulders with a superhero. In this day and age of instant techno pop and torn designer jeans – the kids are kings. The young and the pretty are the new royalty. Everything panders to the naïve and inexperienced. They are the ones who matter. Yet history and the Bible teach us another lesson. The old and the grey have much to give us. They have lived and learnt. And we’re deceived by their appearance. Life has left some of them looking a little ragged. They don’t have green skin and ears like Spock – but they don’t look like spiritual giants either. And many of them are. I remember someone telling me about their visit to meet Mother Theresa. They waited for a while in one of her hospitals and wondered where on earth this amazing woman was. Then they noticed a little cleaning lady, shuffling though the door. Except it wasn’t just any cleaning lady – this was the woman who brought love to thousands and inspired millions.

It’s easy to overlook people. We all do it. I heard recently that we make a judgement of someone within seven seconds of first meeting them.

Mary did it at the tomb. She looked at the grave-busting Son of Thunder and just saw a little insignificant gardener. Alan Titchmarsh instead of Jesus of Nazareth. Two guys walking to a place called Emmaus did the same thing.
The Bible is full of little wrinkled men and women who are dripping with wisdom and experience. Simeon and Anna, waiting patiently in the temple for a divine baby. Joshua and Caleb, men past their prime who invaded a land and gave birth to a nation. Abraham and Sarah, Elizabeth and Zechariah – way past their parenting days and yet suddenly producing offspring who would change the world.
But not all the old are wise. Many of the Kings featured in the book of… er Kings went astray as they got older. Some of them began well – leading the nation along godly paths, but as their resistance dwindled and their eyes faded they took the wider roads, those that led to idol worship and compromise.

Questions:
1.Do you have older friends who have guided and encouraged you over the years?
2.We often hear of grandparents who prayed for years for member of their family – are you aware of older people praying faithfully in this way?
3.Have you ever looked to older friends for guidance and a listening ear?
4.Many churches have more older than younger people – why is that?
5.Did the clip make you think about anything else?

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