I still haven’t seen this movie. It’s already saved on my queue for netflix.
I don’t do scary movies very well though. There was a time when a group of us went to see The Others (starring Nicole Kidman) and I sat between a guy and a girl. I was totally freaked out, and there was a part where I literally jumped and screamed, and grabbed the person next to me. I guess I was still shocked and scared, because I had no idea what I was doing until my friend, Omar, whispered “Joe, the scene is over. You can let go of me. It’s getting kinda awkward.” Apparently, I was hanging on to the guy for quite a while. Of course, this made me the butt of jokes for the entire night (and following days to come). Jokes ranged from why guys like to take girls like me to scary movies because we’ll be holding onto them tightly to “you sat between a girl and guy, and you went for the guy??”
Actually, this past Saturday, my wife and I watched Drag Me to Hell right before we went to bed. She fell asleep immediately after the movie was over. I was still freaking out. Everything looks different in the dark. Needless to say, I will never watch anything scary on a Saturday night, so that I can get a full night’s rest for Sunday worship.

The point of this post is that I was intrigued by Paranormal Activity in the way it advertised itself. When I first became aware of it, I never saw any scenes from the movie. The trailer was how people reacted to the movie. Then there was buzz all over the blogosphere about how scary this movie was and how much better it is than the Blair Witch Project. But the neatest part of their marketing was that it didn’t open in every single theater. In fact, if you wanted to see it, you had to go to a website and “petition” for the movie to appear in a theater near you. I like to say that I was a part of the movement to bring the movie to Irvine. Except, I never had the guts to go see it.
It was creative and the movie created a lot of buzz. So much so, that though I chickened out of seeing it in the theater, once available, it will be mailed to us and I can watch in the comfort of my house (and under the blankets).

In Mark 1, Jesus heals a leper. Jesus then instructs the newly healed to “say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” But the man went on and begin to spread the news of what happened to him and about Jesus, so much so that he created such a buzz that Jesus no longer could stay in town openly. He went out into the country, and people still found him and came to him.
The leper’s life had completely changed. And he was grateful and excited over this new opportunity. I’d like to think that, for him, there was just no way to stay silent about this man that had cured him.
Jesus created a lot of buzz for his ministry. And this is way before viral marketing. Or marketing in general.
People got excited about what God was doing. Skeptics wanted to see if this Jesus was the real deal. The sick came with hope that their voice would be heard over the crowds and Jesus would heal them.
People were excited about Jesus, seeing Jesus, listening to Jesus and wherever Jesus went, the buzz about him grew louder and louder.

Going back to the Leper, do we get that excited over what Jesus has done in our lives?
As a church, we get excited about a lot of things: the new born baby in the church family, the new church members, the new signs and banners, new babies in the family, the next pot luck event, programs… but do we get excited for the reason for all the things we do: Jesus?

Are we excited about what God is doing in and through our lives, that we just have to go share it with our friends and neighbors?
Are we excited about how Jesus is moving through the walls of our church and beyond?

We don’t need smart and memorable marketing tactics. (Though, I’m sure they can’t hurt).
What we really need is people to be in love with Christ and be excited in the transformation that is taking place in our hearts and lives in the name of Jesus. I feel that, then our hearts will be so overfilled with joy and love that it’ll just pour out of us, even if we try to keep it in.
We have the ability to talk and we have the ability to walk. We can put those two abilities together and go praising the name of Jesus to tell and show what Jesus is doing in our communities.
Or we could be dead and silent as rocks.
Although Jesus said that even the rocks will cry out.
But really, how embarrassing would it be to be replaced by rocks?

One Comment on “Paranormal Activity

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