Written by Matthew Laney
"When I called, you answered me." - Psalm 138:4
A long time ago (1977) in a galaxy far, far away (Hollywood), George Lucas created "The Force" and it was good…and bad; light…and dark, depending on how a priesthood of Zoroastrian Samurai used it. Kids like me were too taken with Jedi mind tricks, telekinesis, and the ability to make blue lightning come out of their fingertips, to consider the theological implications of that far-away galaxy.
Lucas wasn't the first to imagine God as an impersonal energy field penetrating all things. Raw-energy-god has been around for a long, long time. Some call it "Tao." Others refer to it as "Buddha-nature." Still others call it "Presence." Christians call it the Holy Spirit.
In other words, you don't have to give up your affinity for God as the deeply interconnected power of relationship knitting the universe together to be a Christian. That's an important aspect of God's nature. We just don't stop there. The Christian faith invites us to broaden our theological spectrum to also embrace the personal dimension of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
For Christians God is not only love, but also a lover. God is not only light but also a light-bearer. God is not only healing but also a healer. God is not only being-itself, but also a being who loves us and longs to save us from ourselves. We need both. The challenge of the Christian faith is to keep them in balance. Like the Force… but much better.
God, like the Force you are always with me. And what a privilege it is to address you personally and know your deep love for me and all creation.
Matthew Laney is the Senior Minister of Asylum Hill Congregational Church, UCC, in Hartford, Connecticut.