Star Wars: The Force Awakens is expected to be the biggest movie of all time. Advance sales have already surpassed any other movie; Imax says its sales are double the previous record. The film premieres tonight in Los Angeles. It will be released globally on Wednesday and hits U.S. theaters this Friday. Fans started lining up days ago.
Like everyone my age, I remember the first Star Wars movies with great nostalgia. The theme song is so familiar, most of us recognize it after just a few notes. Fortunately, the composer of each of the six Star Wars movies is back for the seventh.
John Williams has won five Oscars and has been nominated forty-nine times. According to today's New York Times, that's more than twice as many nominations as Meryl Streep. The American Film Institute designated Williams's score for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) the greatest American movie score of all time.
But even a great composer needs an orchestra. We would not know of Williams, or Bach or Beethoven or Mozart, without musicians to play their compositions. George Lucas is the genius behind the Star Wars franchise, but he needs actors, directors, and a plethora of other professionals to bring his ideas to the screen.
The greater our opportunities, the more we need community.
One of Aesop's fables tells of a hungry lion that tried to attack a newborn calf. The oxen circled around the vulnerable calf, horns locked together against the lion. So the predator tried a different tack: he whispered a rumor about one of the oxen. As it was repeated and spread around the circle, the oxen began to argue with each other, then to fight one another. And it was an easy matter for the lion to attack the unprotected calf.
Satan "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). He always works to divide the people of God, knowing that we are far stronger when we are together than when we are apart.
By contrast, Jesus prayed that we would be "perfectly one" so that the world would know the Father sent the Son (John 17:23). As he intercedes for us today (Romans 8:34), I believe he is praying for our unity right now.
One of the miracles of Christmas is the way it unites the diverse body of Christ. (For more on unity see Nick Pitts's Christmas music: uniting Ozzy and Bieber). Most of us celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25, but some observe Christmas on January 6. Some denominations follow Advent liturgies, while others do not. Some hold services on Christmas day, while others do not.
But we all worship the same baby in a manger. We all join the shepherds in their wonder and the angels in their adoration. We all celebrate the fact that "the Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God" (C. S. Lewis).
In a culture that celebrates the lone hero, that encourages rugged individualism and self-reliance, remember that you are but one part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). Whatever your greatest opportunities or challenges might be today, your Father and your faith family are ready to walk with you. We are to "bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2).
Whose burdens will you carry today? Who will help you carry yours?
Publication date: December 14, 2015
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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