That was the text I received this morning from my friend Tom.
“It never gets old”.
Along with a meme that said, “May The 4th Be With You”.
For those who don’t know, today is Star Wars Day. It is a fully fan-inspired holiday that celebrates the movie franchise with an obvious pun on the popular Jedi phrase, “May the Force be with you.”
Fun fact: The phrase was first used on May 4, 1979, when Margaret Thatcher took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Members of the U.K. Conservative Party published a full-page advertisement in the London Evening News which read, “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
It wasn’t until 2008 that the first Facebook groups used the catchphrase to celebrate what they called “Luke Skywalker Day”. And “Star Wars Day” didn’t actually make an appearance until 2011.
So the memes continue each year. And as Tom pointed out they never get old. At least not until tomorrow, when die hard fans call for the “Revenge of the Fifth”, a play on Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
A hundred and forty years ago the prolific hymn writer Fanny Crosby penned these words:
Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word;
tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard.
Tell how the angels, in chorus, sang as they welcomed His birth,
“Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings to earth.”
Fasting alone in the desert, tell of the days that are past;
how for our sins He was tempted, yet was triumphant at last.
Tell of the years of His labor, tell of the sorrow He bore;
He was despised and afflicted, homeless, rejected, and poor.
Tell of the cross where they nailed Him, writhing in anguish and pain;
tell of the grave where they laid Him, tell how He liveth again.
Love in that story so tender, clearer than ever I see:
stay, let me weep while you whisper, love paid the ransom for me.
Fanny Crosby, Tell Me The Story Of Jesus – 1880
Like a timeless meme, the story of Jesus never gets old. In part, because they are stories of our living Savior. In part, because we continue to find ourselves in the middle of His story:
Our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet.
Hebrews 10:12-13 NLT
Additionally, for all of the story of Jesus that we know and can read about in scripture, there are many things that happened that we simply don’t know. As the Apostle John reminds us:
Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.
John 21:25 NLT
I was recently introduced to a relatively new retelling of the story. The Chosen is a television drama based on the life of Jesus Christ. It is the first multi-season episode-based series about the life of Christ, and Season One is the largest crowd-funded media project of all time.
The first season of The Chosen—eight episodes—is available for viewing, and the second season is currently being released, with the first three episodes already posted. In total, seven seasons are planned.
This telling of the stories of Jesus is different, too.
Some of the locations and timelines have been combined or condensed. That means they’ve been changed. And there are backstories, characters, and dialogue that have been added.
In some ways it’s similar to how children’s authors take Bible stories and re-tell them for kids. Often they’ll include details in their version of the stories that may or may not have actually happened.
The writers have been careful with the artistic license they’ve taken. It has been designed to support the truth and intention of the scriptures. Just realize this is somewhat different from the stories found in the Gospels.
Okay—with all the explanations aside, The Chosen is worth viewing. It’s a fantastic reimagining and retelling of the story of Jesus.
You can find details and view episodes here: https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen/watch
Or you can download the free app on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Or you can go old school. And as the creators of The Chosen series encourage, you can read the Gospels.
Either way, it’s the story of Jesus. And it never gets old.