Darth Vader Helped Me See the Light (for Betsy)

toy-932922_640Some nights seem to go on forever.

Some nights are darker than others.

Have you ever endured one of those long, dark, endless nights?

The apostle, John, faced long nights. Toward the end of his life, he was exiled to hard labor on the Island of Patmos, away from everyone he loved.

But John had seen Jesus, so in the middle of his dark night, John wrote: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5

Powerful testimony from someone who endured the martyrdom of his friends, the oppression of Roman rule, and the affliction of Patmos.

Darkness seems powerful, especially in the middle of the night.

That’s when the power of darkness can seem impossible to overcome. Darkness is a serious obstacle for the human eye, the soul, the mind.

But when you think about it, darkness has no defense against light.

It succumbs easily to even the flare of a match.

When light comes into darkness, darkness literally ceases to exist. The obstacle it presented disappears and light always prevails.

Try to sleep in a room with even a tiny blinking LED light. Or try to create darkness against the light of day. A photographer will tell you the challenge of keeping light out of a dark room. It takes considerable work and even the smallest bit of light can foil the darkness.

We live in dark times, though, and it can be hard to hold onto the truth that darkness has not overcome light.

Especially on those long, dark nights.

Which makes me all the more thankful for Darth Vader.

If it weren’t for Star Wars, I might not have had a deeper understanding of the power of light, since its creators imagined the powerful weapon of light sabers. But such a cool concept didn’t really originate with Hollywood.

The apostle Paul wrote this to the church in Rome: “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13: 11-12

Paul tells us that as Christians, we have “armor of light.” Which makes sense because the Psalmist declares that God “wraps Himself in light.”

Light is the perfect armor against the powers of darkness.

Back in Roman times, John could only see soldiers with metal swords, shields made from leather, clumsy iron helmets, and breastplates of chain mail. Not bad but nothing compared to what we’ve imagined and even developed in the day of laser technology.

When we harness the power of light, it becomes a much better defense against any material darkness might use against us.

I have been known to complain to God that I’m clumsy with the shield of faith, forever dropping it and allowing the arrows of the evil one to hit their mark. God laughs from His throne at my foolishness.

He laughs because I have only imagined that He’s supplied me with a pitiful small shield and so I grow tired dancing around with it, trying to fend off the enemy.

“My little Star Wars fan,” He chuckles. “Can’t you believe that I can create better weapons than science fiction writers can imagine? Don’t you know that the shield of faith, when raised, surrounds you and covers you completely?”

And that’s when I saw it, the shield devised of light that protects me from the powers of darkness. It was there at my command the whole time.

And then I read that scripturethe armor of lightand realized that I have been seriously underestimating and underutilizing the armor of God.

My mind is so full of images from ancient Rome, I’ve missed the notion that God’s armor would look more like it was designed by George Lucas.

My helmet, breastplate, belt, and shoes glow in the dark, baby. And they are perfectly fitted to me and add no burden of weight.

My sword is like a Luke Skywalker light saber only with a celestial upgrade and my shield, well, my shield is an impenetrable wall of light against which darkness shrinks, scurrying off like a cockroach when someone flips a switch.

This is exciting to me. We live in a dark world and there is much darkness at work against us but the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. And now I can see them even better.

We’ve got the force of light on our side. Can you see it? Can you begin to understand the power of it? Can you even imagine the possibilities of using it?


I have so much to learn, young Jedi.

The forces of darkness are powerful but I know something better than the force.

I know the Light.

“ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5

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    The Conversation

  1. Amen! We serve God, not “the Force,” and He is more powerful indeed!

  2. AJ Cattapan says:

    As a Star Wars fan, I approve this message. 🙂

    Love what you’re saying here! We are keepers of the light, and with God in our hearts, we cannot fail against the darkness.

  3. This put a smile on my face. Thank you, Lori!