Star Wars Advent Antiphons: December 17 – Wisdom

A long time ago, on a website far, far away….

Well, okay, it was actually only 2015, when I was blogging for The Sci-Fi Christian. In the run-up to both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Christmas, I thought it would be fun to find ways in which the (to that point) existing Star Wars saga could illustrate the themes of the traditional Advent antiphons, the series of biblical images and titles for Christ on which the church meditates in the final few days before the Feast of the Nativity.

I haven’t updated these Star Wars antiphons in light of any Star Wars material that has debuted since 2015. Maybe next Advent! In the meantime, enjoy these antiphons as they appeared on The Sci-Fi Christian four years ago.

Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars" (1977)

O Wisdom, who came forth from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from one end to end, and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: Come, and teach us the way of prudence.

When my ninth grade English teacher introduced us to the literary archetype of the “Wise Old Man”— the mentor who accompanies the fledgling hero on his quest—she told us to think of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The prequels were still more than a decade away, so we thought only of Sir Alec Guinness’ Ben Kenobi. 

Ben helped young Luke take his first steps into a larger world with sage counsel and faithful friendship. Not even Darth Vader’s lightsaber stopped Ben from guiding Luke. Whether in the flesh or in the Force, Ben epitomized “wisdom from on high.”

Granted, Ben did choose to withhold some important information from Luke! I’ve often debated whether Ben wisely handled the truth about Luke’s father. Ben’s speech about “truth from a certain point of view” sometimes seems no more than fast-talking justification of a fib. On the other hand, Luke couldn’t have handled the whole truth while still a Tatooine farm boy, craving adventure and excitement.

Today’s antiphon reminds us that God’s wisdom is prudent. It carefully takes the future into account—as Ben Kenobi did when telling Luke about Luke’s father. “There is a time for silence,” after all, “and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3.7, NRSV), and the wise know the difference. 

May God make us wise enough to speak truth with prudence. May the Holy Spirit guide us so we never speak Christ’s truth in anything but humility and love, and never leave his liberating truth unspoken when it most needs to be heard. 

When was a time in your life you experienced Jesus as wisdom? Share in the comments below!

Antiphon text from The United Methodist Hymnal (1989). Post originally published on The Sci-Fi Christian, December 17, 2015.

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