So here we wrap up this month's blog tour about Haunt of Jackals by Eric Wilson, the second book in the Jerusalem Undead Trilogy. On the third days of these tours, I usually ramble and wax philosophical. And so it is today. There was one element of this story that really resonated with me, and that's the earrings and vials with Nazarene blood that seem to be a standard piece of equipment for the Nistarim.
In the Bible, blood has a special significance and power. It was Abel's blood that cried out to God against his brother Cain. The Israelites were forbidden from eating meat with the blood still in it. That prohibition was one of the few placed upon Gentile Christians after the Council of Jerusalem. Blood is life itself and the source of the new life we have, just as Peter says in 1 Peter 1:18-19. Given that this is a vampire novel, this use of blood is a great counterpoint especially given the Akeldama Cluster's origin.
So why does this resonate so much with me? Because I regularly drink Nazarene blood myself. And I'm not being cute. There's a lot of us who do.
See, I'm a Lutheran, and one of the distinctive things about Lutheran theology is our beliefs about Holy Communion. We don't believe that the bread and wine are symbolic. We believe that Jesus' body and blood are there, in, with, and under the bread and wine. We call it the Real Presence. So when we celebrate communion, it's not a symbol of anything. It's a sacrament that grants us forgiveness of sins.
But more than that, it also gives us strength. You know that old saying, "You are what you eat?" Well, we believe that by taking communion, our faith grows and strengthens to make us what we eat: Christ Himself.
So while I may not have cared for the story overall, there was still a poignant touchstone for me anyway.
Did anyone else have that kind of connection? Go check out what the other tourists had to say:
Wayne Thomas Batson
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Rachel Starr Thomson