I know what you’re thinking, How the heck is he going to connect Lent with the Zombie Apocalypse? Well, to be honest with you, it’s pretty easy. Not having a huge (if any) church background, when I look at Lent, and what it means to me, my mind strives to focus on the idea of renewal; a renewal of our connection with the Divine (Prayer), a renewal of our connection with ourselves (Fasting) and our renewal of our connection with others (Almsgiving). I see this renewal symbolized by the use of ash on Ash Wednesday. Because I do not have a long church background, I see the ashes representing our desire to rise from the ashes of a dead faith (those who live as Zombies in the church), to see our faith as a Phoenix rising from the ashes of a stagnant, meaningless religion and spreading its wings over a growing, dynamic, energized spiritual life; one where we truly embrace the Divine and start our faith journey of renewed.
Now, you’re probably saying to yourself, OK, that’s great but again, what does that have to do with the Zombie Apocalypse? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Look around your community of faith, do you see a renewal? Do you see people excited about their faith? Do you see people excited about their church and what it offers to the community? Do you see people energized by what the divine is doing, and can do? Chances are, no you don’t. Chances are, what you see is the remnant of the Zombie Apocalypse. What you see is a group of Zombies, shuffling around in search for fresh meat to devour. Let me share with you several ways of knowing if you’re a Church, or community of faith, filled with Zombies.
The Zombie Walk. Keep in mind this can vary depending on what kind of Zombie you are encountering. Some may have the Dawn of the Dead Shuffle. They have a listless walk, a slow gate where they seem to be dragging themselves along. Some may have that Night of the Living Dead (remake) Scuttle. These people have a horrid sense of balance, and they move slowly, in crowds (or herds), lumbering around with no focus, no direction (which is also a key factor in the Dawn of the Dead Shuffle). They are moved by loud noises, bright lights and sudden movements of the living, and when that movement happens, they attack.
Come on, you see them all around, all the time. These are the remnant that refuses to make a decision, or move at the speed of the Divine. These are the people who simply want to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk – forever. They need to talk out every single “what if” they can think about. They have to address every single possible outcome and it could take months, even years, before they arrive at the place the Divine desires them to be.
Zombie Speak. Conversation is important and if during any conversation their only reply to any question, or situation, is either UGGRRH or MMUGRH, or GRROML you are talking with one of the remnant. Zombies seem to communicate best with moans, grunts and groans – sure, there is the occasional drool and gassy sound – but it is the moans, grunts and groans that count.
If there is something to complain about, they will find it and hold fast to it. They just seem to be the kind of people who simply find something wrong in everything others have to say or share; pessimisms is a rather weak word in describing their views towards life, church and faith.
The Zombie Touch. They’re cold. Cold to the touch, cold in their heart, cold in their spirit. They are like a bad mullet hair cut, all business in the front and no party in the back. They usually find a way to get on to the governing Board, so they can fix the church and put it back on track. When it comes to caring for the poor, or the hurting, or the marginalized, they find reasons why the church just can’t afford to do it. They also feel no pain. One can say that a Zombie is not very empathic.
Keep in mind, they don’t always join the governing board, no sir, they can be anywhere in the church. Luck for us, as mentioned in the first point, they huddle together. Which makes it easy to identify them, but harder to escape when they decided to feed on fresh meat. They speak out against any possible change; they see no up-side to the possibilities.
The Zombie Look. Generally speaking, if everyone in the church looks the same, acts the same, thinks the same, you are facing the Zombie remnant. They see any differences as a direct assault on the collective. Their skin is falling off, their eyes are grayed, their teeth are falling out – yes, they look pretty gross, but they all look the same.
If the church you are attending requires, either directly or indirectly, that you look like them, you are facing the remnant. Individuality is not something you notice within the hoards of Zombies, they just look, act and think (well, not actually think) the same.
The Zombie Smell. Think about it, their dead – granted, they don’t know their dead, but their dead – so, being dead they smell, and no matter how much Axe they use they still smell.
As I said before, Lent is a time of renewal, leading us to the time of Resurrection (Easter). If you find yourself as one of the remnant of the Zombie Apocalypse, there is hope. As you strive to renew your faith, seeking a deeper connection with the Divine, self and others, resurrection is possible. While a Zombie is simply a body without a spirit, when we seek resurrection of our faith we become whole in Christ, we become a people of action, of energy, of direction. The power of the resurrection can move us from being a Zombie, to being a living, breathing, moving child of the Divine.
“Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?”
 If you wish, you can see this article as The Walking Dead, the Church Edition
 To learn some rules on dealing with Zombies, may I suggest the 32 rules from Zombieland: http://www.zombielandrules.com/all-zombieland-rules/
 There are still others who can move at the freakishly Word War Z Speed, I mean freakishly fast.
 James 2:14-17 – The Message (MSG)