NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (CBSNewYork/AP) – A New Jersey pastor and “Star Wars” enthusiast is using the force to tell the Christmas story this year.

Liquid Church, a non-demoninational contemporary Christian church, is holding “Cosmic Christmas” services at multiple campuses that will weave parts of the “Star Wars” movies together with biblical theology, Pastor Tim Lucas (no relation to Star Wars creator George Lucas) said.

Lucas, who dressed as Han Solo for the occasion, said there are parallels between the Bible and “Star Wars,” particularly in the good versus evil cosmology.

“We’re telling the story of Christmas from the Book of Revelation — it’s the last book in the bible — which imagines on Christmas Eve this battle behind the stars between the dark side and the light, the forces of God versus the forces of evil,” Lucas told CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco.

“Star Wars” nativity scenes can be seen as well, with Princess Leia as Mary and Han Solo as Joseph. No “Star Wars” character replaces baby Jesus, however.

For tonight’s free performance, congregants will wield glow sticks shaped like light sabers instead of lighting candles. Participants will also be able to sit and take a photo with “Darth Santa,” and win prizes handed out by Christmas-themed Stormtroopers.

“I think it’s a good way to get people to come out, to go to church,” one participant told Carrasco in Morristown, New Jersey.

Liquid Church has branches in Nutley, Middlesex, Morristown, Somerville and Mountainside.

“We talk about everyone needs to make that choice for themselves — are they going to live a life of fear and hate, or one of hope and faith?” Lucas said. “And we hope as Christians, they choose the light over the dark side.”

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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