I went to see Rogue One, the new Star Wars movie, with my dad and brother-in-law a few days ago. Aside from being a fantastic film in its own right, I came away with an even deeper appreciation for the original 1977 film, A New Hope. Rogue One fills in some of the backstory and gives moviegoers a glimpse into the sacrifices of previously unknown background characters.
At the end of the movie, the Star Wars galaxy was left in a place of darkness and despair. Yet the words of protagonist Jyn Erso were still ringing in my ears, “We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope.” Little did she know, Luke Skywalker, their savior, was just around the corner.
That is how it was for the people of Israel during the time of the prophet Isaiah:
“The root of Jesse will come,
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”
But his coming would not be grand. The narrative of Jesus’ birth is a story about previously unknown background characters who were part of a ragtag rebellion against sin and death. There was a hesitant priest, an aging woman, a busy innkeeper, a poor carpenter, a teenage mom, and a group of bewildered shepherds. These are the common people God chose to usher in the advent of a New Hope.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:12-13).