Some of you are going to read this and think I am silly. However, if you spend enough time in our church office and you will discover that I love the television show The Walking Dead. I love watching the survivors of the zombie apocalypse go through all they do just to survive. I love the makeup and how they make the zombies look as they lumber around looking for something (someone) to eat. And I love see how the characters evolve and devolve as the stress of the situation takes its toll.
A couple seasons ago, however, the writers inserted something into the story that I wasn’t happy with. It just went completely against the spirit of the whole zombie deal. They wrote into the story that all humans, even those are still alive, are infected with the zombie virus and will reanimate, no matter how they die. I did not like this twist in the story because it goes against all the lore that has come before. After I had some time to think about it though, I came around to see it differently.
You see, the zombies in the show are walking through the world doing nothing but looking for opportunities to satisfy their basest desires and needs. In their case, it is nothing more than to feed. Even though we don’t yet have to deal with zombies in the real world, there are definite parallels to reality to be seen. There certainly are people in the world who are focused on satisfying their basest desires to the exclusion of all else and who, if given the chance, will share their brand of infection with anyone they come across. Before we get to feeling too superior, though, we should remember that, just like the new twist in the show, the truth is that we all are infected with the desire to fulfill our base desires of pride, pleasure, materialism, etc. and we have to be ever vigilant to keep that infection at bay.
Just like the folks in the show, we cannot survive alone. We need God’s grace to help us keep the infection in check so it doesn’t take us over. God offers us the power to overcome through the working of His Holy Spirit on our hearts, but to tap into it we need to be in regular contact with Him. We can help each other do that. Together with God we can fight the infection inside each one of us and, by extension, the infection in the culture. We are called to be the salt of the world. Salt is a preservative. It was used to stop meat from rotting. We are called to fight the rot, fight the infection in our world. And the first step is by looking inside ourselves, seeing what our personal variety of the infection is, and standing firm against it. May God continue to bless you in your fight.
Rev. Pat Bell