Facing Our Vaders

The following is only an excerpt of this sermon. The full sermon can be heard by clicking the audio link below.

Psalm 32

In the third installment of the great saga of my child, that is “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”, Luke Skywalker seeks to complete his training as a Jedi Knight. The Jedi, by the way, for those of you who don’t know, are the guardians of the galaxy, the defenders of all that is good until they are wiped out. But to finish his training, Luke turns to the home of Yoda. And Yoda is old now, and he’s about to pass into the realm beyond and he tells Luke, “No more training do you require. Already know you that which you need. “

“Then I am a Jedi,” says Luke.

“Hmm, not yet,” says Yoda, “One thing remains: Vader. You must confront Vader. Then and only then a Jedi will you be.”

Now let’s be honest, you all want to be Jedis, right? You all want to move things with your mind and you all want to kicks some patootie with a lightsaber… Come on, fess up! Well, maybe that’s just for young boys fascinated with light sabers. I don’t know, maybe you don’t want to be a Jedi. But there are some pretty good things that come with being a Jedi. Because in addition to being guardians of the peace, the Jedi have peace. On top of being defenders of freedom, the Jedi are free. Who doesn’t want to be at peace and free?

Unfortunately there are too many things that stand between us and peace and freedom. To reach peace and freedom, in the words of the Jedi Master, we must face our Vaders.

Now, an essential part of every Presbyterian Worship service is a time of confession. In the traditional service, we usually have a printed prayer or some kind of litany which gives language, which gives voice to our sin, to our brokenness. And it always includes a time of silence for us to reflect, to turn our gaze inward, so that we might reflect on our own brokenness, our own sin and offer it up to God. Now this time and opportunity for confession, though it is essential, it is not meant or intended to make you feel bad or guilty. It is not meant to make feel as if you were worthless as a person. It is not a threat, it is not meant to inspire fear or trepidation. It is not a word of judgment in the way of the great Colonial revivalist, Jonathan Edwards, who pictured us as spiders dangling from the hand of God over the eternal flame.

(To listen to the sermon in full, please click below)

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