The next episode of the Star Wars saga is being released this week. I’m looking forward to seeing it and finding out what surprises are in store. I still remember the first big surprise when we learned that Darth Vader was actually Luke Skywalker’s father. My friends and I were all shocked and amazed. We couldn’t imagine anyone coming up with that scenario.
At the time, I thought the plot twist was unique. A young man with an unclear origin is chosen by a mystical group to train as a warrior against an evil crusader who threatens all that is good…then the evil villain turns out to be the young man’s father. But, in reality, the creators of Star Wars are telling an old story. Stories about origins, good versus evil and, fathers and sons are as old as the world itself. Think about all the characters in scripture and there isn’t much new in the world of storytelling.
When Jesus appeared on earth, many people were confused about his identity. They shouldn’t have been. The prophets had been predicting his coming for centuries. Not only that, they also spoke of his nature and character. Isaiah writes about a child who will be born some 700 years in the future, yet he makes it clear that the child is the author of eternity, the ‘father of time.’ Before the world was, the Messiah was. “His name shall be called…Everlasting Father.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Jesus came to reveal God’s fatherly character to us. In a shocking plot twist, he declared that he and the father are one: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” (John 14:9-10) The Son is the Father and the Father is the Son – who can understand this?
There are two things that amaze me at Christmas. One, eternity stepped into time. Two, the creator of the world became part of his creation. “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.” (Colossians 2:9)
I don’t confess to always being able to comprehend the mystery of the trinity, but I’m grateful that God is a good and loving father who gave everything in order to rescue us. That’s worth celebrating.