My bride took me to see “The Not So Great Gatsby” last year, Old Sport. I have to confess that I did not like the film, or the book, or the earlier film with Robert Redford, Old Sport. Just didn’t like it, Old Sport. When we were leaving the theater I told my brilliant and beautiful life companion that she owed me five “real” movies after TNSGG; we settled on three or four, I think.
A little later in our 2013 cinematic experience, I took her to see World War Z. Now, I am generally not a fan of the Zombie genre. But, in my defense, the previews did a pretty good job of selling the movie and I decided it was worth a try. My wife and I went together. On the way out she said, “We’re even.” I said sheepishly (by the way…how did sheep get the rap for when we look stupid?)…anyway, I said, “Yep.” Because we were, even, that is. And I was, you know, stupid.
Meanwhile, back at the Zombies. They’re kind of fun to watch for a little while (at least they were for me).
You see, Zombies appear to be alive, but they are not. They walk and they grunt (see “grumble” in your Bible concordance). They mass together in directionless mobs intent on the consumption of every resource in sight. They don’t “give back”; they don’t really “give” at all (unless you count the smirk-laced amusement from a movie audience). They devour anyone in their way. When they are done, they move on to the next consumption opportunity. Plus…they chatter and snarl…a lot. They are just plain mean, but then again, they are Zombies. You don’t expect much more from them; they are what they are.
It’s just that, from the outside, from a distance, for a moment or two, in the noir of a theater, they look like they are people. Not dead but alive. They look like they could help in times of trouble and provide respite for those in need and a cool cup of water on a sizzling summer’s day (which is apparently NEVER COMING this year).
But then the Zombies come closer (they have remarkable speed for being, ummm, dead). And when they get closer, at the last minute, when it’s inevitably too late (unless you are Brad Pitt…see World War Z above), they close in for the kill. They have done harm–which, it seems, is all Zombies can do, even if they look like they are alive.
And…sad to say…Zombies cannot go back to being alive and being productive and being forces for good.
But we can…at least Jesus thinks so…
Revelation 3:1-3 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent.”
I know that I have my Zombie moments, like everyone else in the Body of Christ. And there have been (and are) times in church life when I feel like I am hanging with the Zombs (yes, I made up another word). But we need to stop and turn and quit it. Individually, collectively; alone, together; the world has seen enough Zombies.
We have stuff to do; empowered by the presence of the Living God, we have stuff to do, Old Sport.
© All rights reserved. Scripture from the NIV, Zondervan.