Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Monsters Are Coming

When I was in 1st grade, Lincoln Elementary had a story teller come to entertain we children.  The story teller was Jackie Torrence.  She was, at least in my recollection, a stellar story teller.  And she told some ghost stories that still make me shudder - mostly because I remember her letting out one of the scariest cackles I had ever heard.

She told the stories well, and they stuck with me.  Usually around October, I find myself thinking of that afternoon, sitting around this woman as she told my classmates and I ghost stories and legends.  And, usually around late September, the stores start stocking their shelves with costumes, decorations, and (of course) candy.  And ghost stories start popping up on television, radio (I know..."Radio?  What's that?"), even on the Internet.

I have to admit that I have some strange fascination with ghost stories.  I love to hear them in broad daylight, but later at night I wish I hadn't!

So I began to think about the idea of ghost stories and monster stories.  Some of the finest ones aren't really monster stories at all, but are instead a commentary on the world, on the time, or on some aspect of life.  I also began to think about what kind of monsters we find ourselves facing in life - not the Hollywood kinds, but the monsters that steal our lives, that put us in danger, or beckon to us alluringly.

This month I decided to talk about monsters (I would encourage you to read the newsletter article to learn more about it).  But I am talking about them only to use them as lenses through which we can see larger issues.  Here is a brief summary of the next four Sundays.

October 5th - Jekyll and Hyde - We all have a dark side.  Actually, we all have multi-faceted personalities.  How does that enhance or diminish who we are and how we relate to God?  The scripture for this week is Mark 8:27-33
October 12th - Zombies - With the tremendous popularity with zombies in our country at the moment, what is it that they represent?  Are the a critique of corporate America, lifeless faith, the absence of critical thinking, or the devaluing of human life?  The scripture reading for this week is 1st John 2:7-14.
October 19th - Vampires - What is it that steals our life?  What offer looks so good that we give ourselves over to it, only to find that the consequences are far greater than we thought?  The scripture for this week is Luke 4:1-13.
October 26th - The Mummy - What happens when we seek to live in the past?  Does turning back the clock advance the Kingdom of God, or just prevent us from having to deal with the present?  The scripture reading for this week is Numbers 11:1-6.

I will offer some additional observations here on this blog as the weeks go by during this month - to add a little more to the ideas I am going to be sharing on Sundays.  I look forward to it, and I hope you will come and join us during the month of October for the series, "The Monsters Are Coming."

Grace and Peace
- Oa

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