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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Horror

I've never been a fan of the horror genre; I never read horror books or cared for horror movies. I appreciate that there is value and even classic literature in the horror genus, but it’s not been my preference. Horror appears to come and go as other styles do, and just now we do seem to be in the midst of an up-wave as movies, television, pop culture explore horror themes.

This week’s lectionary readings take us right into this ever-so-human fascination for themes horrific. I recall doing the research a few years ago into the prophet Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones. It occurred to me that Ezekiel was a man before his time—one might even call him prophetic! As I read the text, and others from his book, I imagined he would have made an amazing producer of modern film or video images. What might a Spielberg do with an Ezekiel text of flaming chariots, wheels within wheels, and rising armies of dry bones!

This week’s preacher then turns to the gospel and finds there the images of the Lazarus story. No wonder we wish to cast our thoughts quickly ahead to new life and resurrection, quickly putting aside the descriptors of the sights, the smells, the gut-wrenching emotions in that story.

And yet, we are not there yet. We are still in the midst of the Lenten season. We need to spend a bit more time considering the evils that brought us those images I think. Ezekiel well knew where those dry bones came from. He had lived through and with the choices that created them. Two years of siege by the armies of Babylon leading to the exile of himself and his people must have created conditions not unlike some of the conditions we’re watching on our televisions every day. One of those Middle East wars not unfamiliar to us created for him that valley of despair and, yes, of horror.

Is it not the role of the church to examine the systems, the choices, the patterns that create despair in our own surroundings, our own world? Have we made choices, or failed to make them, that have contributed to the despair of our own neighbours? We write often about community in this blogspace. Mostly we write the good news that’s happening in that loving community. But don’t let’s forget that we have neighbours without hope. When the scriptures send us to stories that hold the horror in front of us, we are obliged to look and then to offer better.

I must think about it; how will I respond to that call?

Posted by Marion

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