For October I plan to offer a sermon series based on Jesus and the undead. I will also be exploring the kinds of "monsters" that live and operate right within the local church. The church zombie- seeking brains. The Vampire- with a simple touch able to drain the life right out of other church members as well as unchurched visitors. Of course we also have the church ghosts- who only appear to be present in spirit, they have no corporeal existence in the body of the church.
I will admit that at one point I sought to incorporate the Jimmy Buffett song, "Vampires, Mummies, and the Holy Ghost" These are the things that terrify him the most (Jimmy remembers his fears as an altar boy), as well as some references to the Twilight series where that author tries to remove the stigma of monster from vampires.
More interesting to me though, is the existence of such monsters right within the bounds of local churches. Those people who, in the name of Christ Jesus, terrorize others. Some of them, like Frankenstein, never intend to terrify others: the gentleman who waits by the donuts between Sunday and church to police the children as they take 2 donut holes (and not more than 2, other people want them as well). The vampires who pessimistically fight every chance at new life in the church: I'm all for helping others with outreach, but we have to take care of ourselves first! And of course, the church zombies who appear sometimes to be shifting aimlessly around the building looking for something to consume in the tragic yet unattainable hope of finding something that will fill their empty and voided life.
With such monsters lurking inside the church, is it any wonder that the outside world view our building more as a haunted house than a place for new life?
Yet Jesus came to give us life, and in great abundance. What should this new life look like? How can we find, develop, and share the joy of being present with the living God within the context of Christian community? What do we need to do to resurrect our own faith?
I can't wait for October.