May the 4th be with You

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“Then I let it all out; I said, ‘I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.’ Suddenly the pressure was gone—my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared.” (Psalm 32:5, MSG)

Today is affectionately known as Star Wars Day. It is a play on words with, “May the Fourth be with you,” as opposed to, “May the Force be with you.” The origin dates back not too long ago when George Lucas was giving an interview in a foreign country. He was asked to say the famous line — may the force be with you — but a translation error came out, May the fourth…and the rest, as they say, is history.

I guess it goes without saying that I am a big Star Wars fan. From the movies to the toys, Star Wars was a major part of my childhood. When the most recent movies started coming out, I was elated to be able to share some of my inner child’s excitement (which admittedly isn’t too far below the surface) with Ethan and a new generation of Star Wars fans. When I saw the most recent film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I was struck by a certain teaching point between Yoda and Luke Skywalker. I have to give credit to my friend, Andy Manuel, for this insight.

Luke felt like a failure, because he was unable to save the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia. His failure forced him into a self-imposed exile. At his lowest point, just when he was ready to destroy everything he held dear, he received a visit from Yoda. Their exchange is very moving and insightful. Yoda said, “Heeded my words not, did you. Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery, hm. But weakness, folly, failure, also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher failure is.”

We might not like to admit it, but failure is a great teacher. Even Thomas Edison knew this when he referenced how he learned 2,000 ways not to make a lightbulb, but he only needed to find one way to make it work. We act as though we need to be perfect and without fault to have value, when in reality, our past folly and failure can teach us exactly what we need to move closer to perfection via the grace of God Almighty.

In today’s verse, we see King David mention taking his failure to God, so he could receive freedom from the pressure of guilt that was destroying him. I think there is a lesson here we all can learn: your follies and failures don’t disqualify you from your place in God’s family; no, in fact, God wants to redeem you so you can use them to help others see there is hope for them, too. This is the essence of Yoda’s lesson to Luke, too.

Have you fallen into folly and failed? God wants you to know you are forgiven, and He wants to remove the pressure of that guilt from you. Will you let Him do that today, on this May the 4th? The results will be out of this world, I promise!

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for forgiving me of my folly and failure. Forgive me for the times I think it disqualifies me from a relationship with you. Help me to give it to you, receive your forgiveness, learn the lessons from my failure, and pass on to others how they, too, can experience a new life in You. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.