Star Wars is well known for all of the phrases it adds to the geek lexicon. The recent release of Rogue One is no different. You can expect quotes from that movie to find their way into pop culture and come up in conversation whenever someone can work it in. It seems that one of the most endearing quotes from Roge One came from Chirrut. Throughout the movie the blind monk would often repeat “The force is with me. I am one with the force.”
The spirituality of the Star Wars universe is a messy mix of Judeo-Christian morality, eastern dualism, and (thanks to the prequels) pseudo-science. Given this mixture, I realize that trying to draw any kind of spiritual truth from the Force in Star Wars is a shaky proposition at best. However, I think the concept behind Chirrut’s mantra is one that can be a profound faith practice, and if the force is replaced with Christ then it becomes downright biblical.
“Christ is with me. I am one with Christ” is a scriptural paraphrase. We have the promise that Christ is with us. In Matthew 28:20 the last words that Jesus said to his disciples were “surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” Being one with Christ is also very biblical. In the gospel of John, Jesus talks about how his followers are connected to him by using the analogy of vines and branches. In John 15:4 Jesus says, “Remain in me as I also remain in you.” This theme is continued in the epistles of the apostle Paul. It is clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 6:17 where Paul writes, “whoever is united with the Lord is one with him spirit.” Even though the expression originates in Star Wars it can be true to a biblical based faith and makes a powerful prayer.
The power of praying “Christ is with me. I am one with Christ” becomes clearer when examining the behavior of Chirrut. In the Star Wars canon Chrirrut is not a Jedi and he is not force sensitive. He can not feel or manipulate the force like a Jedi can, but this does not stop him from putting his faith in it. Many followers of Christ can identify with this. Most days we do not feel like super saints, we do not feel capable of doing amazing things, but that does not stop us from putting our hope in a greater force-the messiah, the Christ, the very Word of God. Chirrut repeats his mantra often to focus himself, to steady himself, and to remind himself. He does not repeat his mantra as a good luck charm. The character does it to center himself and remember the rock that his faith and life is built upon.
This is a practice that we as Christians can benefit from. We very rarely have to fight a squadron of stormtroopers, but when we face our own trials we need to be reminded of our center. We need to focus on what the source of our being should be and we need to remember what it means to live that out. We need to know that Christ is with me, and I am one with Christ.
Jesus once told a parable about a wise and a foolish builder. The foolish builder built their house on the sand and the wise builder laid their foundations on a rock. When the rains and floods came the house on sand was washed away but the one on the rock stood. The point of the parable is that our life and faith is to be built on the rock of Christ. The simple prayer of “Christ is with me and I am one with Christ” reminds us what rock our life is built upon. When you find yourself regularly getting swept up in the pace and stress of life, then consider practicing this prayer. When the trials of daily living begin to mount repeat a few times the simple and fundamental truth “Christ is with me. I am one with Christ.” Perhaps your experience will be different, but this centering prayer is a calming, focusing, and centering practice. May it aid you well as you take on your trials in life.