I have clear memories of sitting in a movie theater with several friends in Austin, TX, one summer night in 1977. We were there to see a brand new film called “Star Wars”. The hype was enormous and the early reviews were good. Visually, it was a treat. The detail was amazing. The movie itself was lots of fun – even, no especially, with the presence of Darth Vader, a former Jedi knight who had left the Jedi to join the dark side. Every good v. evil story needs a bad guy and Darth Vader certainly fit the bill. Not everything was revealed in that first installment, confusingly labeled Episode Four. They wanted us to keep coming back for more. Many of us are still coming back for more.
The evil Galactic Empire is what I think about when I read a phrase like dominion of darkness. The Sith Lords certainly saw themselves as being the ultimate authority and having control over everyone else, at least that was their goal and they made a lot of progress. The battle between darkness and light is not a one-shot deal, it is a continuing battle throughout the ages. It still is. Many myths and legends are about this battle between good and evil, light and dark. We are told in the Star Wars myths that Darth Vader at one time was seen as the promised one who would balance the universe again. No longer would there be a battle between the dark side and the light side. They would balance each other out and work together as a whole rather than opposing forces.
The problem is age-old. Once we have divided ourselves into US and THEM, we don’t really want to merge and work together. We want to win. US is on the side of right and deserves to be in control – dominion if you will. THEM is on the side of wrong and therefore deserves to lose and just go away so we don’t have to deal with them anymore. Sometimes the winner will allow the other side to remain as long as they change sides and allegiance. Sometimes the winner decides to eliminate whoever is left from the other side to make sure they don’t try to rise up again.
When we find ourselves on the losing side, it is hard not to feel we are under the control of the dominion of darkness. Our rulers and oppressors don’t care anything about us. They only want what will enrich their own lives, and that often comes at the losers’ (our) expense.
According to Colossians 1:13-14,”[God] has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” We have been delivered. We did not defeat the dominion of darkness. God did that. We are no longer under the control or authority of the dark side.
I believe that the kingdom of his beloved Son will result in the universe being in balance once more. There will not longer be dark v. light. There will be wholeness. Shalom.