Photo Credit: Andres RuedaEveryone needs a Yoda.

Yoda, of course, was the Jedi master and trainer of Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the epic Star Wars movies.  Yoda was a mentor, a sage, a guide, a guru, a coach – always present to ensure that his apprentices were prepared for their mission and committed to its success, even in the face of great danger and self-doubt and uncertainty.  It was Yoda who, time and time again, assured and emboldened his young Jedis with those unforgettable words, “The force is with you.”

Who’s your Yoda?  To whom are you a Yoda?

The story of Christmas would not be the same without Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and the older cousin of Mary.  According to the Gospel of Luke, Mary, upon being visited by the angel Gabriel and informed of her curious, astonishing pregnancy, runs to the hill country of Judah to visit Elizabeth, trying to make sense of her inexplicable situation.  She is doubtless confused, full of fear and uncertainty and even disbelief.  Blindsided and shell-shocked, standing at the threshold of an uncertain future, unsure of what to make of any of it, she turns to Elizabeth, her wise, trusted mentor.  And it’s Elizabeth who, in all of her wisdom and faithfulness, assures Mary that this is God’s doing – a fulfillment of God’s promises.  “You are blessed,” she tells Mary in so many words.  “And we will all be blessed because of you.  God is with you.”

We cannot live without such wise, trustworthy people – especially those who, with genuine grace and through the eyes of faith, can inspire us to be strong and courageous whenever God calls our number, whenever we are given a mission for which we may feel unprepared or unqualified, or whenever we cannot see clearly the way ahead of us.  We all need an Elizabeth to model for us that courage and trust, to remind us that we are not the first to be called, and to stand with us when we are unable to stand on our own.

Who is that person for you?  What qualities do you look for in that person?  Given all of your experiences, your successes and failures, your discoveries and wisdom gained over the many years of your life, to whom might you be that person, for the benefit of the world?

We all need a Yoda.  And we all are called to be one.

Rev. Mark