Digging the light out of us

There may not have been much about the Lord’s Prayer in cinemas over the Christmas period, but at least there was Star Wars.

And if you happen to live in my neck of the woods, there was a bonus: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the local theatre.

One of these productions is of course almost explicitly Christian, though it is hard to know how many of our secularised children actually realise it. Perhaps more than we think: children are pretty sharp, and tend to find out things.

Of course there is not a great deal about lions and witches in the Bible. One strains to think of even a single reference to wardrobes. But the story that C S Lewis wrote is the same story of Christianity in different words: the power of light over darkness; self-sacrifice; forgiveness; love; even resurrection.

But what about Star Wars? Not quite the same clear reflection there, perhaps, but it arouses in us very similar reactions. In the SW universe there is good and evil, and the evil appears overwhelming, just as it does in Narnia.

There is also something hidden that makes all the difference. In Lewis’ story it is the reappearance of Aslan at a critical moment. In Star Wars, the title says it: The Force Awakens. The moment that sends a shiver up the spine is the moment when this is revealed, and the Force makes its choice (I would like to be more explicit, but you may not have seen it yet).

There are those who would identify the Force with the power of the Holy Spirit. You could also argue that it is the light entering the world, and the darkness being unable to overcome it. Take your choice. Either or both.

What is undeniable is that people leave both productions uplifted, having seen light overcome darkness. There’s no real reason people should want to see light defeat darkness unless we are created that way – and stories like this dig it out of us.