When I first started this blog, about this time of year last year, one of my first postings was on Twilight, the popular teen vampire series. It seemed appropriate for late October. So, it seems the right time now to consider the other major monster that has been all over our cultural horizon…zombies. Of course, the living dead have been on the sliver screen since George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” back in 1968. But much like professional wrestling, chain letters (now emails), and dare I say vampires, I am surprised that zombies have had staying power in our culture. All we need do is go to the video store and find the latest installment of “Resident Evil” or turn on AMC and find their latest show “The Walking Dead”, to going to the latest DVD rental box to find Woody Harrelson’s “Zombieland” and we’ll find zombies are all over our mass media. You’ll find the same if you go down to the bookstore including not just science fiction, but classical literature with zombies, and even tongue and cheek books with titles like, “How to survive the Zombie Apocalypse.” What do we do with all this?
The idea of the living dead, not literally but symbolically, was raised by Jesus himself. When asked by a follower to first go to a funeral, Jesus responded, “Let the dead bury their dead.” In other words, there are lots of people functionally alive around us but they are living as if they are already dead. What do we do about it?
My favorite zombie movies come from a single book (I am Legend): “Omega Man” and “I am Legend.” I like them because, unlike so many other Zombie movies which completely focus just on staying alive and re-killing zombies, those two movies have their lead characters trying to develop a cure. They hope to stop the dead, not by using violence (which gets increasingly graphic in today’s zombie features) but instead by turning them back into the living. And after all, isn’t that what Jesus did for us with his life? We were all dead until he gave it all for us.
The challenge, both in the movie and in real life, is even when you are trying to save them – the zombies are after you! Can we stay ahead of them long enough to make a difference? That’s the question.
Our Lord is the Lord of life, not death. Christians will find people with dark visions and lifestyles all around them. Many are on the long road to nowhere. And it will take perseverance for Christians to stay the course. But it can make a great deal of difference, not just to us but maybe especially to those we go to work with, school with, and even are in our home.
So, as you go forth this week (maybe even seeing a few Halloween decorations about) remember not to give up on the zombies, but don’t let them get you down either. 🙂
All the best and until next time,