Summary: This graduation sermon takes a look at the StarWars Jedi, looking for and finding parrells with the values and practice of Christianity.

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Long ago in a Galaxy far far away…. And with those words we are whisked off to a fictional Galaxy where the noble Jedi Knights fight the evil of the Dark Side in an effort to overcome that evil and champion Peace and Justice.

I love Star Wars. I am so sad (bummed) that Revenge of the Sith is the final movie. I would have liked the saga to keep going on and on and on. It’s a great story. But I’ve got news for you – Its not fiction. Oh I don’t mean that Yoda, ObiWanKanobi, Anakin and Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Padme or Princess Leia really exist in that galaxy far, far away;

But, as we speak, there is a battle going on and it is the very same battle that takes place in Star Wars. It is the battle of the forces of good against the forces of the evil. We call that battle life and if we are to survive that battle, we need training as intense and weapons as advanced as any Jedi Knight.

For those of you who don’t know; the Jedi Knights of Star Wars fame, were an order of knights empowered and guided by The Force to protect the galaxy from evil. They were the guardians of peace and justice. That’s what they were called in fiction. In the world of today we call them Christians.

It isn’t a giant stretch to see the Parallels in the role of the Jedi, in that galaxy far far away, and the role of the Christian, in the world today. More and more, being Christian makes us different. Its even true here in Charlotte where we kind of assume that everybody is Christian. But the truth of the matter is, for a lot of people; the church is only a place for marrying and burying people. Christian values and teaching seem pretty irrelevant to a lot of people, or at least they are fairly low on the list of what is important.

I intentionally chose this topic for today, because I knew the latest Star Wars movie was going to be released last Thursday, so I figured folks would have to live under a rock not to, at least, have heard about Star Wars this week.

And also, because I especially wanted to talk to the graduates who are going out into the world and will be making more and more independent decisions and choices revolving around following the ways of The Force or being seduced by the Dark Side.

As you graduates venture out on your own, you will, more than ever, see the evil of the Dark Side. And without a clear understanding of your own faith and of Christian values and a commitment to Jesus Christ, you will be defenseless against the superhuman forces of evil in the heavens.”(Ephesians 6:12).

And I can hear the young people, students and graduates quietly saying – “Yada, Yada, Yada, heard this all before. The world’s not so bad. I can’t wait to get out in it and be on my own. I can handle it.”

I have news for you. Without Christ you can’t. Evil is sneaky and seductive. It creeps into our lives a little bit at a time and the next thing you know, you are up to your neck, to quote JarJar Binks, “in deep doo doo.” One stupid act like drinking and driving, cheating on an exam, burning up the campus or doing any kind of violence(even if you think it is a good cause, because there never is a good cause for violence) can hurt you in ways you can’t even begin to comprehend.

So where does that leave you graduates and where does it leave the rest of us? How are we to embrace The Force and avoid the seduction of the Dark Side? As we live in this world from day to day, how do we survive? Can we live at peace and still battle evil?

The answer is a resounding “Yes!”, but in order to do so, we must prepare. As Jedi’s needed to prepare, so do Christians. As the Jedi learned from the older Jedi Masters, so we must learn from those in the faith who have gone on before us.

As the Jedi had to study to understand The Force, and learn how to use a light saber, and many other means of defense. So must Christians learn how to put on and use the armor of God. And, as with the Jedi, our weapons are all defensive in nature, never are we to take the offence, the Bible is clear about no pre-emptive strikes, in fact violence is always the absolute last, last, last resort, even if we are hit first, remember that “turn the other cheek” thing that Jesus said.

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