May ‘The Phos’ Be with You!

On this day, May the 4th:

May ‘The Phos’ Be with You!

How does an Orthodox Christian respond to Star Wars? That is an easy answer. One of the most progressive beliefs that the Orthodox Church holds is that we can learn from the wisdom of the world even when it is not specifically Orthodox.

The world of Star Wars revolves around a mysterious energy field called The Force. Jedi Master Yoda describes the Force as a type of secret knowledge and impersonal power that controls the world and guides human destiny. The Force rejects the material world for things immaterial.

What might St. Basil say about Yoda’s description of The Force? I am confident that St. Basil would love the character of Yoda but he could chuckle and say that the idea of “The Force” is something the Church has addressed and corrected in the 4th century.

For Orthodox Christians life is about “The Phos” (τὸ φῶς) (The Light) not “The Force”.

Consider the following words from the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made, In him was life, and that life was the light (The Phos – τὸ φῶς) of all mankind.” (John 1:1-5)

The Phos is the person Jesus Christ who humbly took on our material and created nature so that we can share in His Divine life.

For Orthodox Christians, God is a person whose love and life teaches us what it means to be human through humility, sacrifice and love. God is The Phos who sanctifies everything in His creation by humbling himself and bearing our burdens.

Think about it. “The Force” is a power to be wielded while The Phos is the Love of a Divine Person that turns the world upside down through humility and powerlessness.

So next time you hear the phrase “May the Force Be with You!” think about the The Phos that is Jesus Christ. He asks us not to learn a secret knowledge, but to share His Love with everyone without exception or exclusion.

– Andrew Estocin, read the full article at