New Year, New Blog, New Hope

So here we are, the first day of a new year. If you're reading this, then you'll certainly notice that some changes have taken place regarding my blog. For one, It's all new for 2017. Two, it's been migrated into my website so there's deeper connectivity throughout my web and social media platforms.

I've begun 2017 inspired by the newest entry in the Star Wars saga, Rogue One. Yesterday, (Dec 31, 2016) I had the opportunity to watch this great movie with my oldest son. We excitedly climbed into the car, buckled up, and embarked on the grueling four minute drive to the local theater. After two red lights and stop sign, we arrived, ordered the biggest popcorn and bottled water they offered (which incidentally cost more than our matinee tickets combined), and found our seats in the darkened theater, anxiously awaiting the movie that would follow twenty minutes of previews. If this all sounds a little whiny at this point, it honestly is. I enjoy watching movies from the comfort of my home where no one sits immediately behind me and coughs incessantly while constantly nudging the back of my seat with his knees. I might also be channeling my inner "Luke" who complained that he had better things to do than help his soon-to-be barbecued "Uncle Owen." But I digress...

So where was I going with this? Oh yes - Rogue One and why it's so important to this new year. If you're not a Star Wars fan, let me say thanks for hanging on this long as my nerdom may be over bearing, but there is a point to be shared. Without spoiling the movie for those who have yet to (or may not) see it, the action, the suspense, the plot can be summed up in one word: HOPE. Now certainly this is no surprise as the classic to which Rogue One stands as a prequel is appropriately named "A New Hope." But as this new entry of lore sheds light on how the looming doom of the Death Star came to be, we also see new faces - strangers - believing so strongly in hope that they would follow that glimmer even unto death, laying down their lives so that others may live. That's what I (and more importantly Jesus Christ) would call love as recorded in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." You see, in the midst of this galactic conflict, this civil war between rebel and empire, good vs evil, we see love in action. And those actions lead to hope. Sure the shadow of the evil empire looms. Sure Darth Vader stands in that shadow, his masked vestige set aglow by the pulsing red energy of his lightsaber. But even so, there is hope. It is small and just a glimmer, yet powered by love. This is where we are as we begin 2017.

A lot of people are happy to leave 2016 in the past, but we cannot allow the previous year's events to strip us of our hope, or our love. In Star Wars, the rebellion is a unified effort to undermine and overthrow the vastly more powerful empire. That's where we are. Our love, if unified and multiplied, can undermine and overthrow this empire of hate that hangs over us just like the Death Star. If there is to be healing among all of us in 2017, if there is to be equality and opportunity, then it is won with love. And that love is our hope, like an anchor for our souls (Hebrews 6:19).

Let us ring in a new year with a new hope and love with the greatest love, a love that is selfless and sacrificial, and given freely to all mankind. Thanks for reading and may the "TRUE" force be with you in 2017!

#StarWars #Hope #Love

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