It had to happen sooner or later. I mean, you don’t just create a massive empire in space without being able to go where you want, when you want. Our little town just wasn’t prepared for his presence on a Saturday afternoon a week or so ago.
Shown here is Lord Darth Vader, strolling down the sidewalk in the North Park Shopping Mall with my mom. He was actually a pretty decent guy. Apart from sabering a rude motorist in half when they stole the spot he was planning on parking his Tie-Fighter, it was almost like having a friend from college over….
OK, so maybe that’s actually my daughter in costume… But weren’t you enjoying the other story better?
My son Sam’s 9th birthday party was March 11 (his actual birthday is the 18th), and he wanted to have a massive Xbox game of Star Wars Battlefront 2. We hooked everything up at the Journey center and watched breathlessly as 11 nine-year olds screamed things like "Who just shot me?" and "I’m gonna kill you with my light saber!" and even "Sam, are you Princess Leia?" Somewhere in the middle of it all, I was wondering if our worship center/shopping mall location was the best place for cyber violence.
Now some of you reading this have already gotten a little clenched up from the whole idea of allowing something like this in "God’s house." But you know… it’s a shopping mall! Chill out for Pete’s sake. God doesn’t live there any more than he lives in the traditional church building. The Lord said to King David in 2 Samuel 7.5, "Would you build me a house to dwell in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day…"
The basic point? God is not interested in our creating for him some kind of nice physical monument or ediface. He wants to live in our very lives and manifest Himself to our world through our progressive transformation. The church is not something you go "to" but something that we are. That’s the point of our church, anyway. We’re trying to help ordinary people (like me) discover the extraordinary joy of following a supraordinary God. We do this not by creating a Christianized institution or religious country club to keep its adherents busy with all kinds of activities… BUT by simply… helping people live the lives that God has already given them with great purpose and gusto! (I like that word.. gusto).
When a Christ-follower quits trying to change the world and starts allowing God to change their self, the world is changed… Think about that.
Oh, and by the way, when you are living your everyday life for God’s glory and for other people’s joy, you will experience surprise visits. Just not by Darth Vader. God loves to appear to those who are seeking Him.