When I was a kid, the only vampires out there were the evil villains of Fright Night or Count Dracula. Nobody wanted to be a vampire. But since my childhood, vampires have received a makeover. Since then we have had Lestat from Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire, Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Edward from Twilight.
Now it is hip and cool to pretend to be a vampire. And not just on Halloween. You can find all sorts of lists on the internet to help you figure out whether you are a real vampire or not, so you don’t even have to pretend. Why pretend to be something you are?
Let’s ponder one element of vampire mythology, the drinking of blood. The reason vampires drink blood varies depending on the author making the stuff up. The general idea though is that vampires need blood and in consuming blood they are taking the source of life from others so they can survive. Now a good vampire would only take as much as they needed to live, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he is taking from others. A vampire is a life sucker. Are you a life sucker?
We don’t have to be vampires to be life suckers. Do you profit off of others without every giving back? Are you always trying to get one over on people and come out ahead at their expense? Do you give back to your community or school or just keep enjoying the hard work of others? Do you participate in church activities without ever volunteering your own time to give back? Most people don’t have fangs, but a lot of them are still vampires, sucking out life while not giving back. Those life suckers are worse than vampires because - I’ll let you in on a secret - vampires are not real.
In Jesus, we see a different approach to life than those who suck life out of others. Instead of being a life sucker, he is a life giver.
Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:53-56 ESV).
A healthy church plays a role in that. It should be a group of people that encourages, enables, and empowers each other to restore the world around them and give life to others. Vampires can have their covens and suck the life away from the world around them; I’ll take the church over that. A group of people giving life sounds way more fun to join than a group of people sucking life.
We might not drink blood when gather together as believers in Jesus, but every week we pretend too. In that act, we are reminded of the life-giving sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. An act that we can join in on if we are willing to be life givers rather than life suckers.
You might also be interested in "Are You A Zombie?"
Here is a great clip from the Colbert Report on vampires.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Difference Makers - Patrick Rodgers|