Study Guide: The Force Awakens

Sunday July 16, 2017 | Shawna Boren

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

Each of us is unique. We each have our own story, our own calling, and our own distinct set of giftings, talents, and experiences that shape our uniqueness. However, many of us are stuck living in stories of all the reasons we are disqualified from having a life of purpose and impact in the kingdom. Shawna uses the unlikely heroes of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' to remind us that God can nullify any of the objections our minds present that keeps us from living out our identity in Christ.  

Extended Summary:

In the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens the story involved two very unlikely heroes named Finn and Rey. Each character is struggling with an identity crisis about what if anything would entitle them to a life of importance and calling. As the story progresses the audience learns that with each character there is actually much more going on below the surface than is initially obvious. Each Finn and Rey saw themselves as invisible, and with good reason. The societies each of them were born in to recognize specialness or uniqueness based on social status, family position, and talents, very similar to our own real life culture we are all a part of. But as the stories progresses, we see each character step in to a unique calling that only their life experience, mind, and vision could have prepared them to succeed in.

We see this same scenario time and time again in scripture where God chooses the unlikely heroes to reveal his true heart that He is always looking beyond the surface. In the book of Ruth we read the story of a woman named Naomi whom, after traveling to a foreign land out of desperation from a famine, has now lost her husband and two sons and is left with just her two daughter-in-laws. Later on Naomi decides to move back home and her daughter-in-law Ruth has decided to accompany her and continue on even after her other daughter-in-law has turned back for Moab. In Ruth’s famous response along the road back to the land of Judah, she tells Naomi:

‘Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.’

Ruth abandoned her whole identity to honor her commitment to Naomi. She left her land, her people, and her god out of honor to her relationship with Naomi. The odds were surely stacked against Ruth as she accompanied Naomi back to Bethlehem given her gender, ethnicity, and marital status, and there’s no reason her story should be in the bible from a worldly perspective, but God always sees beyond the surface and honors Ruth’s heart. Ruth was eventually seen for who she truly was as a brave, loyal, woman of honor by a man named Boaz. She and Boaz marry and she was able to take care of herself as well as her mother-in-law Naomi.

Although there are many instances of this pattern in scripture, another key example is shown in the lives of the Corinthian people. As a blue collar town that included many working class people and former slaves, they were not very high up on the socioeconomic or religious ladder. But God sees beyond the surface and sees a group of people that need to recognize their new identity in Christ that has given them a divine calling to make a difference in the world. God sees beyond their place the broader culture as foolish, lowly, and weak in order to show the powers what true wisdom, honor, and strength looks like. God nullifies their cultural standing and gives them a divine mission and calling in the world.

We must keep in mind that each of us is infinitely unique in our experiences, vision, mind, and talents. God desires to nullify anything in our lives that we allow to keep us from stepping in to the life of purpose and mission He has for us.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Were there any sections of scripture discussed that need more clarification? What parts did you not understand?
  2. Were any of the principles or ideas new or challenging to how God relates to the powers of the world? Where have you seen yourself in these stories of Ruth and Corinth?
  3. Which of the three takeaways were most impactful for you? What steps are you going to take to start implementing it?
  4. Reflect on if you have anything in your life that needs to be nullified so that you can see yourself the same way God sees you. Invite the Holy Spirit in to help in this process.