Subject: O2: The Force Awakens...

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THIS WEEK: The Force Awakens | Luke 1:39-45
NEW Live IT Episode and Gathering Guide
The Force Awakens...

Anticipation has been building. This Friday the newest installment of Star Wars Episode VII: "The Force Awakens" hits screens around the world, promising to set box office records and define popular culture for the foreseeable future.

What might that mean for Christmas? To Christians? In this Year of Mercy? In our present cultural circumstances? 

"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." - John 1:14

God speaks through history. Through the ordinary. He is the Author. Whether we're aware of it or not. Whether we intend it or not. God is embedded in our story. Though the trailer's reference to "Christmas" will likely be dismissed as seasonal marketing-savvy, is God not proclaimed in association of
"Force Awakening" and "Christ's Mass"?

George Lucas' principal influence in creating Star Wars was a book written by a Catholic, Joseph Campbell. "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" explains the "monomyth" underlying every epic story. While there are other pagan and gnostic influences, one can't escape recognizing a paradigm underlying all great stories, including our own.

We share an ultimate narrative: "life," "death," and "resurrection."

What if the masses recognized their own defining narrative in... the Mass? What if we recognized our call and opportunity to make this connection? Seems we could have a Mass Impact.

This Year of Mercy we're invited to look through the lens of Christ's Mass. We're invited to follow the example of God Himself. With  undying heart for others, we're invited to leave our cozy "world" to incarnate (enter into) another's. We're invited to affirm God's presence in the mess, without which we would have no need for a Messiah.

This begins with our humble recognition of our own mess, such that we earnestly turn to the Messiah. The relational heart of ritual is awakened. We encounter Jesus Christ alive and reaching out in our broken, ordinary world... most significantly in the appearance of ordinary bread and wine.

God is reaching us in our ordinary right now.
This is why we exist. There is no greater pursuit.

Let's pray that the ultimate Force of Jesus Christ awaken within us, that we would no longer be merely spectators but participants.

That's what we're about. View this week's short, impactful Live IT Episode. Even more, make a difference. Reach your world. Share it.


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BY GREG SCHLUETER and GUESTS

What's Wrong With the World? LINK Chesterton's two-word answer challenges us all to more than mere agreement, but to action. We invite you to Live IT.

An Open Letter to Youth Ministers LINK
Anne Marie Schlueter challenges those entrusted with leading young people into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

You Can Go to Hell LINK Deacon Ed Maher's homily challenges us to regard God's great mercy and provision for eternal life.

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