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Summary: This is week one of our Walking Dead series. For seven weeks we will be looking at folks who died and lived again but his message is about the 10 Lepers who were in every sense of the phrase the Walking Dead

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Well, here we are “The Walking Dead”. Some folks have been looking forward to this series with anticipation, others with dread and some with confusion.

So why “The Walking Dead”? The title and theme come from a Television series of the same title that will begin its fourth season tonight. The show has won numerous awards including a Golden Globe for best television drama. The TV series had its roots in a comic book, excuse me, Graphic novel series by the same name.

The series revolves around a sheriff’s deputy by the name of Rick Grimes, who is wounded in a shootout with armed criminals, he awakens from a coma weeks later in a deserted and badly damaged hospital. When he gets outside he discovers the world as he knew it no longer exists, instead he is in post-apocalyptic world that now includes Zombies, or walkers as they are often called in the series.

Grimes eventually hooks up with a small band of survivors which includes his wife, son and former partner and best friend, Shane. And for three seasons the survivors have been seeking answers for what has happened and have been battling the walkers. There is drama, romance, intrigue betrayal, in other words it is a soap opera with Zombies.

Personally I’m on the side that it’s all a dream, that someday Rick will wake up in a clean, fully staffed hospital and declare “You’ll never believe the nightmare I just had.” But that’s just me.

As a nod to the geekiness of this series, each week I shall wear a different Zombie T-shirt. This week’s T-Shirt simply states that I am a member of the Zombie Apocalypse Response team.

For those who are concerned about the dark connotations of this show, these aren’t your parent’s zombies. People who don’t watch the show often confuse the “Walkers” from the Walking Dead with Zombies from the horror flicks from the 30’s and 40s, White Zombie was the first zombie film ever released in 1932 with Béla Lugosi as the evil protagonist who turned a man into a zombie, in 1943 “I walked with a Zombie” told the story of a Canadian Nurse who encountered a female Zombie on the Caribbean Island of St. Sebastian. These Zombies had overtones of Voodoo and black magic.

It was in 1968 that George Romero made his cult classic, “Night of the Living Dead” which introduced us to the idea of some type of biological disaster that resulted in “the living or walking dead.” Romero’s original concept for Night of the Living dead was that it would be a comedy, guess that didn’t work out. It spawned five sequels, was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as a film deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

Different time obviously but the film was made in 1968 and the lead man and hero, Ben, was played by Duane Jones and there was a little bit of controversy because it was the first time a black man was the hero in a horror flick.

So that being said, the “Walking Dead” are not some part of a Voodoo conspiracy, weren’t animated with witchcraft or black magic and aren’t involved in Devil worship, just victims of some strange post-apocalypse plague.

But what does that have to do with church? Well, for the next seven weeks we are going to look at examples from the Bible where people died and came back to life, or in the case of this morning’s message people who were considered, “the Living Dead”

For those of you who think that Zombies are too frivolous of a topic to discuss in church, may I direct you to this video. (Parliament on Zombie Apocalypse)

He was without friends, family or future. He lived a life of tragedy without a home and without a hope. Have you ever heard someone say “They treated me like a leper” or “they acted like I had leprosy?” Back in the eighties when AIDS was just surfacing and society and science still didn’t have a grip on how it was spread or who would contract it you would often hear those who had acquired AIDS make that statement, “I feel like a leper.” And while I wouldn’t want to minimize the hurt that people feel when they ostracized by others it is doubtful that anyone in this time could ever fully comprehend what life as a leper was like 2000 years ago.

Leprosy was probably the most feared disease of the time, and that wasn’t just then either, we don’t think of leprosy as a modern disease but the world health organization estimates that there were 232,857 new cases diagnosed in 2012.

We forget that the rest of the world doesn’t have the health care that we have. And while we gripe about a half-hour wait for the doctor or a three-hour wait in outpatients there are many places in the world where the closest hospital is a day journey away, and drugs are almost impossible to acquire for the common person. As a matter of fact it’s not a far stretch to say that this group of people would be considerably smaller if we lived in a third world country, because some of you would not have survived without the medical care that you have obtained in Canada.

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