Long ago in a galaxy far, far away, before the term “social distancing” had been invented, when people in masks robbed banks, when the year looked like a countdown instead of an eye chart, I wrote about our church’s twentieth anniversary, and specifically about the man who welcomed us when we started going there.
Because we’re talking about God, we can fill that blank with a lot of words, all of which are true. “Comfort” is the word that probably leapt to mind first, from 2 Cor 1:3. And while many need comfort in these days, we’re going to look at a different word.
One of the things we need most in these days is discernment. The dictionary tells us that it is “the ability to judge well.” That pretty much sums it up: we need the ability to judge well. And we need it because, historically, humans are pretty bad at it. We’ve been bad at it for a very long time—Hey, let’s eat some of that fruit, it will make us smarter than God!
Hey, remember back when the biggest problem we had was a bunch of guys kneeling before football games in protest of police brutality against black people? Seems like ancient history, doesn’t it?
You knew this one would find its way here, too, didn’t you?
We binged the Mandalorian over the holidays with the kids. At a total runtime of 315 minutes, according to IMDB, it’s a little over a half-an-hour longer than FA and TRoS combined, and approximately one million times (to the nearest hundred thousand) better than both of them. It has everything you’d want and more: Apollo Creed, Angel Dust, Jack Cates, a Baby Yoda, the Darksaber.
(Spoilers galore. But if you haven’t seen it by now, I don’t think you’re going to be bothered by spoilers.)
A couple of days after my birthday in 1999 (I partied like it was), I sat in a theater at midnight with a few friends and several hundred new acquaintances and watched the curtain rise on the first Star Wars movie in over fifteen years. George Lucas had decided to embark on filming more of his original vision for the Skywalker saga, and the people in the theater could not have been more excited. The world was going to end in a few months if all the news was any indication, but nobody in that theater cared; we would at least go out having seen a new Star Wars.
Bernadette Fox finds life, and people, stressful. She hires a concierge service from India so she doesn’t have to deal with the day-to-day details of being a wife and mother. She needs a new extra-strength prescription to handle the possibility of being on a cruise ship, even a small one with only 150 people on board. She and her husband and daughter live in an abandoned Catholic school with vines growing up through the floor. In short, Bernadette is a mess.
And the mess keeps growing. It turns out the concierge service is actually an identity theft ring, and Bernadette has given them the keys to the kingdom, and the bank accounts.