In this episode, Rev. Beverly Gibson and Johnny Gwin explore and share thoughts on hope, purpose, courage and the Heroes journey. Carefully, Rev Gibson parallels this week’s lessons and readings with the epic good vs. evil tale of pop-culture staple Star Wars. Yes, the Luke Skywalker and Han Solo Star Wars of 1978, titled A New Hope. The characters of the scripture readings and the fictional ones in a galaxy far, far away, seem to be in a constant tug of war of embracing the light and fighting the darkness of the forces of their foes, the external world, and themselves. These Biblical and Sci-fi epic stories of struggles that seem too large to overcome are eventually transformed into victory only when hope, guided by insight and purpose, evolves into real courage. These timeless and heroic tales aren’t just stories; they are reflections of who we all are. Hope is something that we are wired to search for and follow. Hope is what can give us strength to carry on and control our fear of the unknown until we reach our final goals. We can find ourselves in dark places and hard times, but each of us (like the apostles and the rebel force) have talents and gifts that we can contribute to making things better. We are called to discover what those God-given gifts are and to step away from the darkness and fight to walk and bring others into the light.
Heroes need a purpose, as well as, strength and a brave heart when bringing down an empire or reclaiming a kingdom. What can we do to transform ourselves and our communities from mere mortals to epic heroes full of hope and courage that (against all odds) work to make a better world we all envision?
Click to read Rev. Gibson’s full worship notes
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What you will hear:
> The convergence of passion and purpose
> Beverly’s inclusion of the Star Wars (A New Hope) universal themes in this week’s sermon
> The ubiquitous parallels of Star Wars lessons in the classroom setting
> The double edge sword of presenting fiction like Star Wars from the pulpit
> The comparable motifs and themes of epic journey fiction and stories in the Bible
> The messages of transformation and the “calling” that changes the person
> Penny Dreadful (TV show) and it’s example of personal transformation
> The “monster” is always within and the rejection of that reality
> Tim Ferris and his practical way to bring more light in daily life.
> Build fires in as many ways as possible until the storm blows over
> Bring more light (and kindness) during this hectic and stressful Christmas season
> Less about yourself. It’s not where I think I am going; it’s more about where am I am now and the awareness to adjust my “inner compass” based on what happens on the journey
> Eliminate the idealized world and be aware of what is “really happening”
> Small acts of kindness can bring light in the world
> The shocking confessions of parishioners who have not seen Star Wars
> Johnny recommends the awful 1979 Star Wars Holiday – made for TV -Special featuring Chewbacca and his family
> We all are called to discern our purpose of drawing ourselves and others away from darkness and toward the light
> Beverly suggests Tracy McMillian and her thought provoking posts on Instagram for daily inspiration
> Johnny suggests listening to the podcast Where There’s Smoke by Brett Gadja & Nick Jaworski – this insightful show brings light to the dark internet
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