While preparing for this weekend’s video-making workshop called WePrayers for the youth of the Diocese of Los Angeles, I joking said, “If we don’t give the youth a specific topic, they would most likely make a vampire movie.” We decided to give each team a Psalm on which to create a video. My offhanded comment moved me toward further reflection on how young people today probably know more about vampirism than Christianity!
So I did a little research on the internet and discovered the following: There were over 300 movies made about vampires, and over 160 of them featured Dracula, making him one of the most frequently portrayed characters in films, second only to Sherlock Holmes. There has been over 19 TV shows that feature vampirism. Over 1000 vampire novels were published, most within the past 25 years. When I googled the words “vampire” and “resurrection” together, I got over 7 million results!
In contrast, there were only about 37 movies made about the life of Jesus. I don’t remember any TV shows offered by the mainstream media that featured Jesus explicitly except for a few documentaries. Of course there were many books about Jesus, the most popular of which is the Bible. But in terms of popularity, Jesus doesn’t seem to measure up to vampires even though both the Jesus story and the vampire myth feature resurrection.
In this Easter season, Christians need to reclaim and tell the story of the life-sustaining resurrection of Jesus. Vampires’ resurrection is about the continuation and spreading of death. Jesus’ resurrection is about giving life to all who believe. Vampires return to their coffins everyday and walk by night eternally - still dead. Jesus left the tomb on Easter day forever and challenges believers to arrive at a new understanding of eternal life—to live in the light in spite of death. Vampires heal very fast presenting a beautiful seductive façade covering up the reality of pain and injuries. Jesus’ resurrection did not erase his wounds from his crucification. Vampires consume human blood, draining life and when infecting others with their bites and blood, more are turned into blood-thirsty life-depleting beings. Jesus offers his body and blood symbolically through the blessings of wine and bread so that those who consume it will continue the life-giving ministry of Jesus. Jesus’ resurrection inspires his followers to share everything they owned creating sustainable communities.
Invite members of your community to explore “vampire” as a symbol of unsustainability:
Reflection Questions for 2nd Sunday of Easter (Year B)
1 John 1:1-2:2
Eric H. F. Law
For competent leadership in a diverse changing world
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May 4-5, 2012
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