When Jyn is rescued from prison by the rebel alliance she is asked to help them out. They have heard that her father has built a new and highly dangerous weapon, one capable of destroying planets. It is known as The Death Star. They need Jyn to help them find her disappeared father and get hold of a copy of the plans so the rebels can find a weakness and destroy this huge killing machine.
When the rebels attempt to take on the mighty Imperial forces it seems like a real David and Goliath situation, but Jyn encourages them with her vision. The evil Empire is huge, dominant and powerful, what on earth do the beleaguered rebels have that can fight against that? ‘We have hope,’ Jyn tells them, ‘rebellions are built on hope.’
Not all rebellions are bad. Christians are essentially rebels, rebelling against the idea that this world is all there is. Rebelling against the notion that the darkness will win. And rebelling against the powerful forces of oppression, fear and emptiness. This world is not our home, we cry, we are just passing through, on our way to a kingdom of kindness and wholeness. And crucially we are invited to be rebels with hope. Though this world is a damaged and difficult place, there is hope and purpose and meaning. Time and again the prophets in the Bible talk of another dimension, an invisible world which occasionally breaks into this one and gives them hope. ‘Speak to these dead bones,’ God tells Ezekiel, when he finds himself in a valley of death, ‘and they will live.’ Ezekiel obeys and the bones experience resurrection. (Ezekiel 37)
‘In Christ alone our hope is found,’ we sing in the most popular of worship songs, ‘he is our strength our life our song. This cornerstone, this solid ground…’ This world is constantly shifting and shaking, the earth seems to tremble at times and it feels as if our houses are built on very soft sand. It’s often when we experience quakes in our lives that we look up and discover again that there is more. I often feel as if the ground is trembling, fears about life, money, friends, family, the future… even watching the news sometimes, it can feel as if there’s a whole lotta shaking going on. But those things can also makes us pause and look up. We keep rediscovering the solidity of God when we are shaken by the inadequacies of life. There is hope, there is solid ground. We are reminded that we need more than the world we can see and touch, we were made for more than this. So many folks reach out to God when storms hit, so many folks search for the cornerstone of Jesus when this life runs out of opportunities. No doubt the ground will continue to shudder and the clouds will attempt to blot out the sun. But, the writer John encourages us that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1 v 5) Though the earth shakes and the mountains fall into the sea, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, so Psalm 46 encourages us. We are invited to press the pause button, to still ourselves for a moment and tune into that divine hope.