Hera and Rude Disbelievers

Hera Syndulla
Credit: Lucasfilm and starwars.com

Ahsoka was a wonderful show. The first episode captured the feel of the original trilogy in a way that we have not seen so far. We also had some lightsaber fights that were far closer to the samurai films that helped inspire the galaxy far, far away than has been seen in most Star Wars. Today we will be looking at Hera’s experience in a situation where those around her refused to believe.

In Part 7: Dreams and Madness, Hera, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (wife of Obi-Wan Kenobi himself, Ewan McGregor) is being questioned by politicians from the New Republic about the events at Seatos. The politicians are not convinced that Thrawn is a threat and one in particular, Sentaro Xiono, is rather militant that this was a waste of resources and very much against Hera’s escapades. His tone is rude and his bluntness abounds. His intention is to put Hera on trial and he really wants her out of the military. Then we are pleasantly surprised by an appearance from C3-PO who comes with news from Senator Organa that the mission to Seatos was approved by her.

Some of us followers of Jesus have had similar experiences. A town near me has had a a group trying to block access by religious groups to parks and public spaces and it was all brought on by a guy who doesn’t even live in the town. How are we supposed to respond to those who are so militant they treat us as enemies?

The first thing we need to do is look at the sermon on the mount. This sermon from Jesus is the primary basis for Christian ethics.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. ‘ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:43-45

When you have enemies or someone treats us as enemies, we should not treat anyone as enemies. Our call is to show the love of Christ so that they see Him in us. Christ does not ask us to ignore that our enemies are enemies, but commands us to treat them better than they treat us. He doesn’t say we won’t have enemies, but exhorts us to treat all humans with dignity and respect.

Proverbs 25:21-22 tells us that being generous to enemies has a powerful effect.

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.

Proverbs 25:21-22

What does it mean to “heap burning coals on his head?” I’m sure lots of theologians can give you various thoughts. Here is mine. Sometimes people want to be our enemies. When we don’t act as an enemy, it infuriates them. They want a reason to throw us under the bus but when we show kindness it takes away those reasons and they feel angry about not getting the rivalry they want.

It should also be noted that there were characters in that room that were not militant but still were unsure about the claims of Thrawn being alive. Not all people who disagree with the Gospel are militant. Many of them are kind and respectful. We should not paint all of them as if they were militant terrors. It would be both disingenuous and fallible on our part.

Jesus doesn’t leave space for using power to overcome them or even trying to out-politic them. In that same episode Chancellor Mon Mothma approaches Hera with a question. Did Leia really give you approval? She has heard nothing about it. “Eventually.” is Hera’s response. In other words, this claim by Liea was really a lie as she had not originally gotten approval to Hera. That is not the way of Christian ethics. Now, had Leia shown up to make a face to face appearance that could have turned the tide without any trickery. In fact someone (Mon Mothma?) comments that she should be there.

Simply put, when we have enemies we don’t need to lie or cheat. We don’t need to be scared of having people with other opinions and beliefs working with us to make decisions. We don’t need political power. What we are called to is kindness. The same kindness that draws us to repentance (Rom. 2:4) will also help heal differences and show people the wisdom and grace of Christ. Indeed, some who are militant have been won over by kindness and respect.

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