Who was it, I wonder, that decided to schedule the local elections for Star Wars day?* A day to stop and consider how the forces of truth and justice might triumph over ‘the dark side’. Deep issues are played out within the arts that give wisdom for life, especially when we consider the complex politics that surround us at the moment. Yoda’s words have become famous: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Jesus knew the same, and in fact prescribed the cure: “perfect love drives out fear.” (1 John 4.18)
It seems to me that fear is driving much of our politics at the moment. Fear for jobs, housing and neighbourhoods; fear about what might happen if borders are unsecured; fear about what Brexit might bring; fear about what a government of a given party might implement; fear of people who are different from ourselves in some way; fear of leaders of other nations. Fear is rarely the word that is used, yet it underlies so many of the problems we face and the difficulties we have in understanding one another and finding a way forwards together.
Fear puts up barriers: love, on the other hand, enables us to dismantle the barriers and let go of the fear. May the force of love we know as God be with us as we prepare to vote, both on Star Wars day and also for the national elections in June.
*“May the fourth be with you”
Blog by the Revd Cate Williams, Mission and Evangelism Officer