Zombies are kind of a thing right now. The Walking Dead is pulling in record viewers as its ragtag bunch of post apocalyptic survivors slash, shoot, and club their way through a world of walkers. Where are they going and what hope do they actually have? Those things are not apparent, but there sure are a lot of zombies to kill!
Todays Moravian daily text is from 1 John 3. Here is John’s beautiful articulation about the love that God has lavished on us, he writes these words.
This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. 13 So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.
We often talk about passing from life to death. This is the transition we fear most. We mourn and grieve when those we love pass from life to death. In many ways this is the entire premise of a show like the Walking Dead. The show continually walks you through the experience of watching people pass from life to death. It is especially painful because passing into death is a horrible reality where they become the undead. Each horde of mindless zombies reigning death upon the living they encounter is a reminder of the fear of passing from life to death.
But John here reminds us that the good news of the Gospel is that we pass from death to life. If we have love, the love of God, we are no longer the walking dead. Now we are full of life. That is the paradoxical power of the cross. In dying Jesus opened up a way for us to live. If we do not have the love of Christ we live a life that resembles this show. We are just trying to fight our way through a life that is dominated by death and fear. There may not be zombies but there are certainly typhoons, terrorists, cancer, heart disease, dictators, extremists, and AIDS. All around us are the walking dead, those who do not know true life because they have yet to know the Father’s love.
And so today we are offered these words of hope from John.
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
We have received the love of God and now we are called to show the world that we are alive. The struggle in the Walking Dead is for the survivors to retain their humanity in a world gone to hell. Our mission is to show the world the same sacrificial love and grace that Christ shows us. We have passed from death to life, so live as though you are alive!
In many ways our gospel is the reverse zombie good news. You were once the walking dead, but now having died through Christ you are alive and nothing, not even death itself can take away the life you are given. Thanks be to God.