Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CSFF Blog Tour: Haunt of Jackals Day Three

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:

Brandon Barr
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jennifer Bogart
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Amy Browning
Karri Compton
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Carol Keen
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson
KM Wilsher


Rachel Starr Thomson said...

A thought-provoking post, John. Did you read Keanan Brand's post today? It gives another side to the Holy Communion issue -- he did make the connection, but found the story's handling of blood degrading rather than uplifting. I also addressed the blood vials in my review yesterday, but I was bothered by how much "drink the blood" seemed to replace "put your faith in Christ" or "come to relationship with God."

I tend to agree with Keanan, but I'm really glad to get your thoughts on this. I'll be thinking more about this today :).

KM Wilsher said...

Great post. I am so surprised that there was so much controversy with this. Guess I shouldn't be.

Absolutely love: "So why does this resonate so much with me? Because I regularly drink Nazarene blood myself." :)

One thing this book did do was bring us all together in conversation. I've never seen such a participated blog tour :)

I really liked this post!

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

John, I understand what you're saying, but the part I take issue with was the drink-a drop-and-you're-in concept. Drinking the blood or drinking the symbol of the blood comes after salvation, not as a means to it.

And Krystie, this is why I like CSFF tours so much. These discussions remind me more of book clubs than anything.