<b>What’s in a Name?</b>

The first time you came across this blog, you probably wondered “What’s Anakin Redeemed mean, anyway?” Well, let me tell you a little story.

A long time a go in a galaxy far, far away…

No, seriously. It all begins with Star Wars. Growing up, I was fascinated with the movie. Like most boys my age, I wanted to be Luke Skywalker (older boys wanted to be Han Solo…he was much cooler). Darth Vader was the symbol of ultimate evil. And I understood the trilogy to be about the adventures of boy with a dream who (with his friends) conquered the evil that was in front of him. And that was a good understanding of it – on the surface.

When I was in high school, we learned about the characteristics of a tragedy. As we studied tragedies, I came to understand that Star Wars was not really about Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Han Solo, and the Rebellion’s victory over the Empire. It really should have been called The Tragedy of  Anakin Skywalker. This was several years before George Lucas announced that he was going to make the ‘Prequels,’ so Vader’s journey as the central focus of the saga was an amazing revelation to me. It changed my outlook on the films and the character of Anakin/Vader himself. No longer did I see him as a horrible monster, but as a man trapped in a prison of his own selfishness…his own sinfulness. The climax of the movie is not the destruction of the second Death Star (sorry if I somehow spoiled the ending…it has been almost 25 years, after all – if you don’t know the ending, you probably don’t really care about the ending) but the turning of Anakin/Vader from the Dark Side to the Good. In other words, it’s about the redemption of Anakin Skywalker.

Fast-forward a few years. I’m in college, riding the waves of the Internet Revolution. Although there are all kinds of social networking sites now, they weren’t around then. The most popular way to meet people from around the world was through chat rooms. Most people chose screen names that represented who they were. I chose the name Anakin (this was still before the Prequels and not many people really knew who Anakin was…except for Star Wars junkies like me) to represent who I am. I was a man trapped in my own selfishness and sinfulness. Because of God’s love for me and His willingness to send His Son for me, I have been given a new life. It was a reminder to myself and an announcement to the world that I am not who I used to be. My life has been changed.

The name of this blog, Anakin Redeemed, is a reminder that none of us is beyond the grasp of God’s grace. No one is beyond hope. The symbol of ultimate evil has become the symbol of a changed life. By the power of God’s grace, your life can change too – regardless of what your history is.

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