The culture at large is preparing for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Even the CDC is offering zombie preparedness instructions. But as the church we know that it won’t be a zombie apocalypse, but a zombie Armageddon. The wave of zombies is one of the many frightful signs in the book of Revelation that foretells the second coming of Jesus (depending on whether you believe in a pre-, mid- or post-zombie rapture).
But rather than loading the shotguns and boarding up the windows, it’s our responsibility as the church to reach out to the zombie horde. Throughout history it is the church that has stepped forward in moments of catastrophe to care for the least, the last and now the undead.
Here are four ways you can reach out to your formerly living brothers and sisters:
- Through zombie discipleship we can teach them that man does live on brains alone. Preach zombie abstinence as you welcome the undead into your church.
- Perhaps Lazurus can be the patron saint of zombies, the man who came back from the dead to walk among us once more. He managed not to feast on Jesus’ brain (and if you’re going to sample a human brain, wouldn’t the Son of God’s be the ultimate temptation?) and can serve as a role model for zombies everywhere.
- Zombies need a place to belong. Give them something to do. In many churches you could replace your worship leader, proofreader of even your pastor with a zombie and no one would notice.
- Let’s be real: Zombies smell, they tend to groan during the sermon and then there’s that nasty habit of feeding on human flesh. Zombie outreach has its hurdles, but those are mere cultural differences. We need to understand that zombie outreach is a cross-cultural affair. Zombies may be different from you and I, but we all need Jesus.
For too long the church has ignored zombies. But who among us hasn’t merely shuffled along at some point in our Christian journey? Who hasn’t responded to the pastor’s intricately detailed theological treatise with a long and raspy moan? Sometimes we’re not that different from zombies, and once we realize that we can reach out with love, grace and rubber gloves.
Please remember that we’re an ecumenical organization. We agree on the gospel, that Jesus is the way to salvation, and we agree to disagree on nuances of zombie lore.
And for those who find more frustration than education or motivation in this piece, you may be interested to know that the original zombie tale, William Seabrook’s The Magic Island, was a social critique of brutal labor practices by an American company in Haiti. Horror as social justice.