Obsessed: The Walking Dead

{Spoiler Alert — there are spoilers here — consider yourself warned.}

Mr. RM is a good sport. We didn’t spend our anniversary together, nor will we share a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. Why? The Walking Dead Season 6 premiered on our anniversary, the mid-season premiere is on Valentine’s Day, I’m obsessed, and TWD gives Mr. RM nightmares. Sorry, Love-of-my-life, we’ll be romantic, sans zombies, another day.

I am o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d.

I’m so obsessed with TWD that it served as the main metaphor in my 2015 Pentecost sermon at Community UCC, Champaign, IL. (You can watch that here: A Pentecost Moment Among The Walking Dead ). As a result, some of my congregants started watching the show. For the next few months, I got TWD-related emergency texts from the church Moderator, a 60-something Grandmother. When you’re a pastor, emergency texts are never good news. Either the church has burned to the ground or someone’s dropped dead…or both. But for a few blissful months, her messages read, “OMG! They shot Carl! Call me,” and “The Governor is nuts.” It was a nice change of pace.

I am so obsessed with TWD that during a funeral luncheon, one my church members approached me, smiling, and said, “Happy Walking Dead Premier day! I know you’re watching when you get home. Here….” She handed me a package containing an itty bitty Rick Grimes who now lives in the Pastor’s Study at the church along with my Michonne and Daryl bobble heads. These bad asses typically stand guard around the Holy Family. (Jesus is a Buddy Christ bobble head, because, why would he be anything else?)

I am so obsessed with TWD that the church secretary gave me an all-things-zombie Christmas gift this year, including a Zombie Doodle book, a Reedus Nation t-shirt which I sport proudly, and a Saint Daryl Dixon candle she decoupaged herself. I light it when I’m writing sermons. 12338703_933579796725713_874268080_n

I am so obsessed with TWD that when Josh McDermitt (aka Eugene) liked one of my tweets, I jumped up and down for ten minutes and texted one of my bff’s, the one who introduced me to TWD, who was equally excited. We’re going to a Walker Stalker convention to celebrate my big 4-0 later this year.  Happy birthday to me.

I am so obsessed with TWD that I’ve started a regular Instagram series: #liturgiDaryl (Liturgical + Daryl Dixon = LiturgiDaryl, a Daryl Dixon bobble head clad in the liturgical color du jour). I’ve made tiny vestments for Daryl to wear as he poses around the sanctuary or in the altarscape in my Study.  You can enjoy this internet oddity on Instagram by following @revlkrm.

If a Pastor who’s obsessed with The Walking Dead seems odd to you, maybe you don’t know that one of Jesus’ best friends was a walker: Lazarus – Jesus raised him from the dead after he had been dead long enough to stink. Now that’s friendship. To read this story, which is pretty great, actually, see the Gospel according to John, chapter 11, verses 1-44 (which you can read here: John 11:1-44).

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time daydreaming about TWD and its characters. Being the PopCulturePreacher, though, these daydreams happen under the banner of my own personal genre of weirdness and churchnerd-dom. I see the theological themes in the show (and have the extensive notes to prove it). Most interesting, to me, is what I imagine to be the faith journeys of each character.  Why does Carol spout a litany of “I don’t know whether I believe” statements about heaven, hell, good, and evil at Daryl in the parking garage?  Why does Lori tell Carl to go say his prayers, yet Rick says that Lori wanted them to be “the kind of family that has pancakes on Sunday mornings”?  Why has Glenn, the moral compass of the show, struggle through a silent prayer on the Green’s porch, yet Merle, one of the most morally conflicted characters of the show, readily prays while hand-cuffed to the roof?

I love thinking about these questions and mapping out the journey that may have gotten our favorite characters where they are today. Think about it with me, would you?

For your theologitainment, beginning tomorrow, look for PopCulturePreacher to feature an on-going series, “Faith Journeys:  TWD Characters.”

Blessings, y’all…

PopCulturePreacher

One comment

  1. Patricia Mannen · January 23, 2016

    Love this post, I am that 60 year old Grandmother!

    Liked by 1 person

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