Monday, September 21, 2009

Vampire Worship?

(random thoughts from a non-theologian)

Vampires are apparently a big thing at the moment. I say apparently, because, as I'm not a teenage girl I've not read any of the 'Twilight' books or watched any of 'Trueblood' or any other of the various vampire shows around right now. It just seems that nearly every issue of Entertainment Weekly (my source of world news) has a mention somewhere about these bloodsucking creatures.

It seems they've even made it into church.

I was at worship this weekend and the band led us in a song that was new to me, that featured the lyric 'From His wounds we drink salvation'. All I could think of was 'ewww'. Couldn't the songwriter have used a different word than 'drink'? I get what the lyricist is trying to say, but the image of lapping blood from the Crucified Christ is not one that moves me, the lyric became a hindrance rather than an aid to worship.

There is a whole thread of christian lyrics where almost magical power is ascribed to the actual blood of Jesus, as if somehow Jesus' blood was different from the rest of humanity's.

There is a fountain filled with blood.
Jesus blood never failed me yet.
It's your blood that cleanses me.
There is Power in the blood.

At times it seems we are in danger of venerating the 'symbol', rather than what the symbol represents. In Bruge, Belgium there is even an alleged phial of Jesus blood contained in the Basillica of the Holy Blood But as my friend Matt once said to me, Jesus' blood is not special, what it accomplished is. When we take Communion, we worship Christ, not the Wafer or the Welch's grape juice. When we remember the Crucifixion shouldn't we do the same?

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