Skip to content

Jedi masters and the body of Christ

From The Briefing:

I’m about to use Yoda as a model for Christian love. If you haven’t seen the Star Wars movies, you’ll probably be mystified by what I’m about to say. This is not the article you’re looking for.

Our home group recently spent a few weeks discussing Christian love. We were focusing on how to love people facing particularly difficult problems like depression or relationship crises. We were thinking about how, in these situations, we could ‘speak the truth in love’ (Eph 4:15). We talked a lot about some of the mechanics of speaking the truth in love: for example, how do you ask the kind of questions that get to the heart of the issue? When a person reveals personal information to you, how do you organize the information in your head? Most importantly, how do you bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to bear in the situation?

We soon discovered that there were two kinds of people in the group. Firstly, there were the ‘naturals’, people who were instinctively good at loving people facing hard times. They knew how to be kind, they knew when to listen, they knew when to comfort and when to challenge. When it came to speaking the truth in love, they were Jedis. But there were others, like me, who were less intuitive. We needed to be more deliberate and conscious. We were more like apprentices, young Luke Skywalkers.

To some of the Jedis, all this talk about the ‘mechanics’ of love seemed a bit wrong. They thought: “Isn’t it a bit cold and calculating? Isn’t it inauthentic, formulaic, non-relational? Surely you just have to love people genuinely, from the heart, and the rest will follow?”

But after a while these Jedis realized something: the apprentices were different from them. The ‘just do it’ approach didn’t work for the apprentices at all. In fact, the apprentices needed the wisdom of the Jedis. We needed them to reflect on what they were doing, to break it down into little bits and teach us.

In other words, we needed the Jedis to become Yodas. Yoda was more than just a Jedi. He was a Jedi master. He knew that other people didn’t share his natural intuition. He reflected long and hard about his own innate Jedi skills. He was patient and kind. He shared his Jedi powers with Luke, in simple steps, so that Luke could understand and learn.

The Jedis in our group were very gracious to us. They became Yodas for us—and it was incredibly helpful.

When it comes to speaking and serving the body of Christ, what gift comes ‘naturally’ to you? In this area, can you become a Jedi master, break it down, and teach the rest of us?

Comments at The Briefing
Published inChurchMinistryThe Briefing

Publications by Lionel Windsor:

  • Lift Your Eyes: Reflections on Ephesians

Recent blog posts

  • Photo by Ben White on UnsplashThe gospel for criminals (Ephesians 4:28)
    Paul preaches the gospel to thieves. God’s grace gives us a new identity. That means we have work to do: not so we can take, but so we can give.
  • Sun setting on ruinsGrace and anger (Ephesians 4:26–27)
    Whether our anger is right or wrong, we can’t deny it’s there. But because we belong to Christ, we must make it a priority to deal with anger. How?
  • Is God Green? By Lionel WindsorIs God Green? Audio/video links
    Here are some links to audio and video for events I've spoken at recently based on my book: Is God Green?
  • Donald Robinson Selected Works volumes 3 and 4Donald Robinson on the Origins of the Anglican Church League
    History matters. It makes us question things we take for granted, it helps us to understand who we are, and it gives us a broader perspective on the issues we face today. One example – relevant for evangelical Anglicans, especially in Sydney – is an essay in Donald Robinson Selected Works, volume 4 (recently published by the Australian Church Record and Moore College). The essay is called “The Origins of the Anglican Church League” (pp. 125–52). It’s a republication of a paper given in 1976 by Donald Robinson (1922–2018), former Moore College Vice-Principal and later Archbishop of Sydney. In the paper, Robinson traces some of the currents and issues that led to the formation of the Anglican Church League in the early twentieth century. The essay is classic Donald Robinson: full of surprises, yet definitely still worth reading today to help us gain perspective on issues for evangelical Anglicans past and present.
  • Busts with shadowsTelling the truth (Ephesians 4:25)
    Truth is a rare commodity in our world. But Christians are people of the truth. The gospel of Christ demands that we value and speak the truth in every situation.
  • Boy reaching for the sky. Photo by Samuel Zeller on UnsplashBecome who you are (Ephesians 4:22–24)
    The gospel teaches us to change—to put off the old and put on the new. This change doesn’t save us, but it matters. It’s all about becoming who we are.
  • Ducks learning in a circleLearning Christ (Ephesians 4:20–21)
    Christian communities are places of learning and teaching. This isn’t just about transmitting information: Christians are people who “learn Christ”.
  • Ampelmann, BerlinTurn around and walk the other way (Ephesians 4:17–19)
    Darkness, futility, and desire: this is the way the world walks. Paul doesn’t write these things so that we can gloat or judge. He writes so we can repent, and live.
  • Photo by Kira auf der Heide on UnsplashPlaying your part (Ephesians 4:16)
    Paul’s vision for Christ’s body is unity in diversity. It’s not just flat uniformity, nor is it just diversity for the sake of diversity. It’s diversity for a common purpose.
  • Photo by Ben White on UnsplashThe truth in love: A key principle for church growth (Ephesians 4:14–15)
    Paul’s principle for the growth of Christ’s body isn’t about presentation or organisation. It’s more fundamental: “speaking the truth in love”.

On this site

All content copyright Lionel Windsor