I'm not a vampire but…

I spent the summer working at a Christian camp in New York. As I’m from Northern Ireland where we get approximately 17 hours of rain-free sunlight a year I was somewhat lacking in sun tan at the start of the summer. This was especially obvious whenever I was swimming and had my T-shirt off and the white paleness of my stomach was exposed.
So one afternoon for a camper activity I was down at the waterfront with a group of middle-school kids and a couple of other counsellors. And we were playing about in the water, throwing a ball about, playing tag, marko pollo, that sort of thing. And suddenly one of the girls swam up to me and asked why my chest was so pale. (I was a bit miffed that the thing people chose to notice about my chest was how pale it was as opposed to how muscular it is…). So I started to explain about the lack of sun back home. But she wasn’t buying that, and decided that the much more obvious explanation was that I must be a vampire. And soon a large group of the kids decided I was a vampire when they noticed I have a V-shaped birthmark on my back.
As the week went on the idea that I was a vampire stuck and got extended so that by the end of the week I was a Northern Irish Jewish Leprechaun Vampire. Now I have something to confess. While I am Northern Irish born and bred, I’m not a leprechaun, I’m definitely not Jewish (and no you can’t check!) and I’m pretty sure I’m not a vampire (for a start I don’t sparkle in the sunshine like all good vampires apparently now do…). But like a vampire I am dependent on blood. I am dependent on the blood of Jesus.
It is because of Jesus’ blood poured out for me that I am saved. It was through His death on the cross that the punishment I deserve was paid in full. It is His blood that washes me white as snow and allows me to come to God, clothed with a righteousness I did not earn, and could never deserve, apart from the miracle of Jesus’ love. It is because of Jesus’ blood poured out for us that we can embrace the promise from God that “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18).
But often we forget that. We forget that we are saved purely because Jesus gave His life, and we start to think that it is because we are good people. We grow overly confident in our own ability and our own strength, we stop relying on God and then we wonder why we fail. We forget that not only did Jesus pour out His blood for us, He also did it for that guy we sit beside in class, that girl we work with, and we don’t tell them about the Good News. We need a greater awareness that Jesus died for us. We need to constantly be reminded that we are who we are not because of anything we have done, but purely because of what Jesus did on the cross. And we need to remember that the only hope for those around us is the blood that Jesus shed in love for them.
I’m not a vampire, but I do live by the blood of Jesus. Are you trying to go it alone, or are you dependent on the blood of Jesus to sustain you?
{Jen J – thanks for keeping that vampire nickname alive…}

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