I really love sci-fi series. I’m particularly partial to Star Trek and Star Wars, but open to others too. Some of the dystopian stuff feels a little too real right now. But summer feels like a great time to catch up on some of these strange fan favorites.
I’m also often intrigued by the spiritual and religious undertones of different characters and fictional cultures. There are classic struggles of power and love. Good versus evil. The Upside Down. The Force and the Dark Side.
These stories mimic our existential questions, resistance to tyranny, the search for the divine, and aligning one’s life with a particular path.
In one of the newer Star Wars series, about a Mandalorian bounty hunter named Din Djarin, we learn that the people of Mandalore subscribe to a number of strict spiritual and social tenets including never removing their helmets. Their armor and weaponry is also a sign of their vow of allegiance.
This Mandalorian Creed, or code, or order is summed up in the refrain: “This is the Way.”
It’s a refrain that the Mandalorians repeat to each other similarly to “May the Force be with You.” To which faithful Lutherans always respond “And also with you.” ☺
These creeds reference something deep about our need for connection, to each other and to God. They point to a shared language and an understanding that we are seeking the same path.
During the Reformation, Luther and his allies also had these kind of hashtag creedal refrains: Sola Fida, Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Christus, Soli Deo Gloria. By Faith, Grace, Christ, Scripture Alone and to the Glory of God Alone.
We also have these creeds in our time. One that resonates in celebration of PRIDE month and Reconciling Works is “Love Wins.” It’s even on the Oreos package and all over Target right now. But it is an affirmation of our LGBTQ+ siblings and the work of embracing so many who the church has (and still is in many places) rejected.
Love Wins recognizes that our creeds and what we say matters. That too many have been hurt because of hate. That the church is a living voice and an ongoing quest for Winning Love with God. This is our creed as we shift from pandemic to endemic. This is our creed in the face of division and so much gridlock. This is our creed in defending those who are being attacked in war and in rumors of war. This is our creed with those we struggle to befriend and accompany and support. This is our creed in our homes.
From Jesus to the Apostle Paul to Rev. Dr. King, nothing else can drive out evil and suffering and pain and grief like love can. Nothing. It is what we keep coming back to. It is our ask, our search, our knock, and the open door.
Love that hopes all things. Love that endures all things. Love that wins.
This is the Way.