Facing Our Fears
I’ve come to believe that, despite its darker side – Halloween can be redemptive! After all it’s the opportunity for children and adults alike to pretend and to role play. But more than this, we get to face some of our fears, including the reality of evil, and the fear of death.
I’m thinking about Anne Rice,perhaps the most well-known author of “vampire” novels, and who penned The Vampire Chronicles. She has made millions on these dark gothic novels that tap into the human longing to escape death and find immortality. In her books, the vampire characters are immortals who can kill or give eternal life through blood. She describes a vampire as one who “is cast out into the darkness but refuses to give up on meaning….” and looking back, Rice says that “I [too] was groping through the darkness.”
In an interview with Cindy Crosby (Christianity Today) Rice talks about how she lost a child to leukemia; and that in her novels, she was expressing her fears, her longing to escape the darkness and enter the light of immortal life. In 1993 Anne Rice became fascinated with the first century, the history of the Jews, and finally in Christianity. As an ex-Catholic, her spiritual research led her back to Christ and the power of his resurrection which she could not deny. She said of that time in her life,“Everywhere I turned, I found images of the Lord and his love.”
In the afterword of her book, Christ the Lord, Rice calls Jesus "the ultimate supernatural hero"and "the ultimate immortal of them all." In her words, “Christianity achieved what it did because Jesus rose from the dead…. He is real. He worked miracles. He is the Son of God!”
Deut. 12: 23 says that “the blood is the life”; and so it is that on Passover Jesus gathered with his disciples in the Upper Room and said of the bread, “Take eat, this is my body”and again of the cup, “This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Drink from it all of you.” Yes, you heard Jesus right, “Drink!” For our Savior offers us his shed blood on the cross, his very life, not that we would become inhuman, but that we would become more human, more fully what God intended.
Our Lord already knows that we can be quite scary, given the right conditions. He also knows the sum of all our fears. That’s why he came. So this Halloween, let’s remember that Jesus shed his blood, his very life, that we might have the power to love as he loves, that we might be freed from fear as we rest in the gift of his affection; and have the assurance of eternal life.