|Cristo del Otero, in Palencia, Spain, by Víctorio Macho|
“Mommy, was Jesus a zombie?” Zombies are the ‘it’ monster at my daughter’s preschool. During recess they beg until one of the adults agrees to be the zombie and chase them around the play-scape. There are jails and bunkers and bases and people that get turned into zombies. It’s the cutest “Walking Dead” episode ever.
“No. Jesus wasn’t a zombie. Why do you think that?”
“You said He died and then came back to life.” While we’re not a Church every Sunday kind of family, I want my daughter to have a knowledge of Christianity specifically and religion generally. I don’t want to raise a kid who thinks of Christmas as Santa’s birthday, Easter as the international egg festival, and Hanukkah as the one with the fried food.
“Well, yeah. I did say that. But Jesus isn’t a zombie.”
“But that’s what zombies do. They die and then they don’t stay dead. They come back.” She’s not wrong and I’m actually kind of proud that she’s taking facts and attempting to logically generalize them. I want to encourage that.
“Right. But zombies are just pretend and Jesus is a real guy.”
“I see!” she nods sagely, “If you die in real life and then come back to life you’re not a zombie. You’re alive again.” GAH. This is not the direction I want this to go. We have obese pets and elderly relatives. She needs to know that when they die they’re not going to suddenly turn up on our doorstep like surprise dinner guests.
“No, baby. Once you’re dead you don’t get to come back to life.”
“Except if you’re like Jesus.” Whichever way you slice your belief system or relationship with religion, there’s no denying Jesus has a unique biography. Take his parentage: ‘I’m pregnant but I’m still a virgin because God did it’ works great if you’re Mary but otherwise you get offered a TLC show with Honey Boo Boo as your lead in.
“Look, here are the take home points: Jesus is not a zombie. Zombies aren’t real. When people die they don’t come back and hang out with us.”
“Parts of this don’t make sense… Hey Mom do you want to play spies?”
Yes. Yes, I do. I’ve never wanted to play spies more in my entire life. This Christmas season is shaping up to feature a healthy dose of awkward.