Night of the living dead

30 10 2010

In some senses my return journey to Brixton at midnight last night was not dissimilar from any other. Most nights of the year there will be the odd person looking half dead and zombified through an over-imbibing of alcohol. But yesterday was a little more grotesque.

I’m sure it has not escaped your attention, but this weekend is halloween.

Halloween - John Althouse Cohen

Halloween, the one time of the year when all those people who have laboured hard at producing bizarre latex products and tubes of fake luminescent blood, finally get to see the fruit of their labours for 48 hours or so. Slashed throats. Bullet holes in foreheads. Blood-stained t-shirts and women dressed as if witches have some kind of supernatural allergic reaction to non-revealing clothing! Again, not an uncommon Brixton weekend experience.

But why do people enjoy dressing up like thoroughly depressing, undead beings? What is it that people find so attractive about the idea of making yourself look like you have just undergone a grotesque murder, but still lived to drink yourself silly in celebration?

Is it an obsession with defeating death? Perhaps a dissatisfaction with the intangible idea of floating souls escaping a physical world, and a wish for something more concrete? Dead bodies still able to walk, talk, touch. Is it simply macabre, or is it a deep heart cry – a longing for resurrection?

This halloween, why not spend a moment reflecting on this puzzling little section of Matthew 27. How does the gospel of the death and resurrection of Jesus connect with the wannabe-zombies strolling our streets this weekend? I like this little passage. I’d quite like to see this take place… though if it happened this weekend, I’m not sure anyone would notice:

‘And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.’ (Matthew 27:51-53 ESV)

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One response

30 10 2010
Jez Bayes

Even though I intensely dislike the manipulative over hyped 1980s North American imported ‘tradtion’ of Trick or Treat, I’ve often felt uneasy about fear fuelling ‘christian’ reactions to Halloween, which feel a bit too much like superstition, and today I came across this, which is an interesting corrective – see what you make of it:

(NB: Remember, we’re on the winning side in the battle for the renewed creation, and the devil has to flee our resistance.)

http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/13136

(Linked from here: http://richardwalkerblogs.blogspot.com/2010/10/if-you-have-strong-views-on-halloween.html)

Jez/Cornwall

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