Your Baby Yodas
School Leader Bible Study
Your Baby Yodas
February 13, 2020 by Tom Deighan
Unless you were born in a galaxy far, far away, you know Star Wars, and if you have a daughter with a Disney Channel subscription, you are certainly familiar with Star Wars’ newest story about a lone-wolf warrior. The most memorable character is not the metal clad Mandalorian after whom the show is named. Instead, Baby Yoda steals this show by doing little more than staring blankly at the Mandalorian, but his big, black eyes are so darn cute! He is short, pudgy and green, and because no one knows anything about him, everyone refers to him simply as “the child.”
Virtually every other Star Wars character has an elaborate back story, but not the Yodas. George Lucas reportedly strives to keep them shrouded in mystery. Consequently, no one knows the name of their species or which planet they come from . . . until now, that is! I know the secret of “the child” because a Baby Yoda lives in my house. He hides his identity when everyone else is around, running through the little doggie door and pretending to play with Lamby, but as soon Renee leaves the room, and we are alone, it’s Yoda time. Yes, Yoda is a Chihuahua, or rather, my Chihuahua is a Yoda.
Peanut may not be green, but he is short and growing pudgier as he ages. And whenever I walk around the house, he ambles around right behind me, watching and studying me. If I ever look his direction, he is looking up at me with big, adorable black eyes. I do not have a land-cruiser bassinette, however, so I must pick him up when Jawas are afoot (a.k.a. “squirrels”). As soon as Renee reappears, he resumes the Chihuahua charade until we are again alone. Of course, this means I am the Mandalorian of my backyard Star Wars fantasy, but I still contend that my Chihuahua is a Baby Yoda. Those Baby Yoda eyes look up with such wonder and expectation. No wonder “the child” steals the show.
Jesus also allowed children to steal the show. In fact, we could easily forget how children were often regarded two millennia ago. In most of the world for most of history, children were routinely commodities or burdens, so Jesus’ invitation of a little child to be the center of attention during a lesson with His disciples was a bigger shift than we can appreciate (Matthew 18:2; Mark 9:36). And just imagine how that impacted that child’s life! At another place in the Gospels, He further shocked the leaders of His day when He welcomed children brought to Him for blessing (Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:13). Again, just imagine how that changed their lives! Jesus sees children differently, and we can confidently trace our current regard for children back to His ministry and the Gospels.
As Christians who happen to be educators, you have devoted your lives and careers to serving children. Many of them today live in situations where they are treated as commodities or burdens, but for a few hours each week, they have your focus and your attention. Some of them have never been blessed with kind words or understanding, but they receive it from you. Whether it be in your class, on your bus, or in your office – you are the loving hands of Christ comforting children in a dark world. Much better than being a Mandalorian to Baby Yoda!
Neither Disney nor George Lucas has the market cornered on kids, for your worlds are full of baby Yodas. Some of you have hundreds of little eyes following you. Ever watching. Ever trusting. Parents and grandparents know their trusting gaze, and they fill your lives as well. As Christians who also happen to be educators, you are doubly blessed to be surrounded by so many little watchful eyes.
In a world that increasingly seems to be shirking its responsibility to protect the innocence of the next generation, I pray that you “know the hope of His calling” (Eph. 1:18) to serve the children of your school or community. You understand the need to protect children from a world that steals childhoods. Childhood is not something to be exploited, indoctrinated, or groomed. It is something to be nurtured and protected. Children need to wander and wonder like adorable Baby Yodas, and you can change their world by occasionally making them the center of your attention. Your calling cannot be defined in standardized tests or in social media likes. It can only be appreciated in the infinite wonder captured in the eyes of your Baby Yodas. May “the child” always steal the show for you, and may you always be the Mandalorians who protect their innocence.
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