Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monsters, Van Helsing and Jesus: A popculture understanding of All Saints

I have spent the last three weeks preaching a sermon series inspired by Halloween and ultimately All Saints day. We focused on the monsters that live amongst us in Christ's Church. Like something out of the darkest corners of our imagination these church monsters arise and threaten our safety, our effectiveness and our futre. They threaten to devoir the body of Christ from the inside out, like a stage four cancer ravaging the body of our loved ones...they are very real and they are in every church across America. Vampires, Zombies and Werewolves roam the halls, sanctuaries and pews of our local churches and often we just tolerate it, but we need to over come them.

Over the past weeks we have talked about the life sucking church vampier, the contagious and devouring church zombie, and the ravenous church werewolf. There are ways to remove and stop their reign of terror, but most importantly there are ways to cure, to heal the monster among us. Ultimately its a combination of love, patience, hope and courage that leads to the healing of these church monsters and even more at the core of the source of healing is Jesus and the Saints.

There's a list of "monster hunters" out there, none more popular than Van Helsing. Van Helsing is a German/Dutch Doctor who suffered the loss of his true love at the hands of the famous Dracula and has devoted his life to ending dracula's reign of terror. Van Helsing was nearly killed by Dracula early in his hunting life and was saved by a man who became a father figure and taught him all he needed to know about hunting Dracula. There's Blade, another vampier hunter, but he's half vamp and half human. Blades mother was devoured by Vampier Deacon Frost, who ate her during Blades birth. Blade was then taken in by Afari, who was a jazz musician and vampier hunter. Afari helped Blade hewn his skills and learn to use the special vampier enzyme that was transferred to him from Deacon Frost at his birth.  There's Red, an adaptation of the Little Red Ridding Hood story. Red is the great, great, great grand daughter of Little Red Ridding Hood. Red is now the most recent of a line of Werewolf hunters, who devote themselves to ridding the world of werewolfs. She was trained by her mother, who was trained by her mother, who was of course trained by her mother and so on. There's Rick Grimes, the Georgia Sherifs deputy who is the leader of the remnant group of survivors in the Walking Dead's post zombie apocalypse world. Rick was left to die in a hosptial. He was unconscious when the outbreak happened and woke up 6weeks later. He was wondering in the post apocalyptic chaos when Morgan Jones and his son Duane recused him. They taught him about surviving in the new zombie world, they told him about all that had happened and they provided him with food and shelter.

What all theses monster hunters have in common is they all owe their survival and success to others. If it were not for those who came before them, they would have never survived. Because of their survival and success the world is a better place. It's safer, there are less monsters and all the oppression and injustice that societies monster often cause is righted. Much like these monster hunters the world is a better place because of the Saints and we owe all our life and success to Jesus. Jesus saved us. He taught us how to live, how to make it in this wilderness, how to stop the injustice and the monster who plagues or world and even or churches. And much like the monster hunters we saints not only owe our survival to Jesus, but to the Saints who come before us, on whose shoulders we stand. This all Saints the Gospel invites us to celebrate the lives of those who come before us and to remember that with out them, and most importantly, without Jesus we would be lost.

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