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Posted by on Nov 21, 2015 | 0 comments

Advent 2015: The Faith Awakens

Star Wars graphicedited

BILLIONS.  That’s how much I imagine Walt Disney will be spending to promote the new Star Wars film set to release in theaters on 12/18/2015.  You know, Star Wars: the Force Awakens, part of the Star Wars film franchise that has embedded itself so deeply in my brain (and probably yours!) that I know the story better in some ways than I know “the greatest story ever told.”

Oh, there is great potential here to move our worship and preaching into conversation with Star Wars.  BILLIONS.  Did I mention that the film industry will spend literally tons of money to advertise this new film?  Wouldn’t it be tone deaf to ignore our culture’s biggest event of the season (and yep…for many (maybe most) people Star Wars will be a bigger deal than Christmas).  Imagine if we did some things during Advent 2015 to connect our faith as followers of Jesus Christ.  Imagine if whenever people saw the Star Wars logo, or Chewbacca or a lightsaber this season, they would also think about faith, Jesus, and the manger.  But how?

Here’s a few simple and inexpensive moves our worship team is planing for Advent 2015 to use the energy of Star Wars for the sake of the gospel:

  • Advertising – 18×24 signboards, 8.5×11 posters, lawn signs and business cards inserted in Sunday bulletins that show our Advent 2015 logo.  Cost about $75, ordered online, shipped to church in a few days.
  • Sermon Series – For three weeks on Sunday mornings leading up to our Christmas Pageant on 12/20/2015, I will tie the lectionary Gospel reading in with a short clip from a Star Wars scene.  To begin on Advent 1, we will watch the scene in the first film from 1977 when Luke meets Obi-Wan for the first time.   “Signs in the sun moon and stars” appear for Luke in the form of his father’s lightsaber and a hologram of Princess Leia’s plea for help.  When asked to go with Obi-Wan and learn the ways of the force he replies, “I can take you as far as Anchorhead.”  It will take the death of his aunt and uncle for Luke the savior to be born and move to action.  (See video below)
  • Christmas Eve – Family service will include a re-telling of the Christmas story with a Star Wars themed instant pageant that I wrote and which you can find here.
  • Children’s Message – 3 words.  Remote control droid (borrowed from a friend).

So that’s it.  Simple.  Inexpensive.  Multi-generational.  In touch with the culture and with the Christmas story.  May the faith be with you this Advent season.

© Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen, 2015

Kevin Goldenbogen is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ serving an amazing congregation in the foothills of the Green Mountains of Vermont. He skis, climbs, runs, bakes bread, rides a red Vespa, and tries every day to follow Jesus. He is married to the perfect woman and has two boys who he loves beyond words.

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