Have you heard about the zombie banks?
Me either, until tonight.
I don't usually use Wikipedia though I liked this thought about zombie banks. "A Zombie Bank refers to a bank with a net worth which is less than zero, but which continues to operate because of implicit or explicit government guarantee." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie_bank
It turns out the zombie banks are a huge problem for our economy. Maybe you've heard about those banks that are insolvent which we are keeping alive with outside, intravenous capital. With the "old rules" such an entity could "survive" by feeding off of others. The losses are sustainable only as they have been spread over the larger market, and the collapse now is very much related to the approach and the lack of regulation. The risk is now much riskier and unlikely sustainable as we've gone through this meltdown. A little too little, too late changes are coming as scrutiny tightens and restructuring will eliminate this drain.
"A 'zombie bank' keeps draining bailout capital from the government but doesn't respond with any meaningful lending that helps the economy recover. The prevalence of zombie banks made the long Japanese recession of the 1990s especially painful." http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100762999
Of course, there could be any number of zombies running around. It makes me wonder about "zombie churches" and "zombie clergy." Think of those organizations and individuals that aren't living on their own, those who never move beyond feeding off of others, those who are sustained by others.
On this first Sunday of Lent the text is in Mark 1 including verses 13-15 speaking of Jesus.
13He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. 14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
Perhaps it is time for all to spend some time in the wilderness. Zombie churches, clergy, agencies, and denominations that aren't brought to life should be offered our prayers and a fitting memorial service. Everyone else needs to follow Jesus and be launched "immediately" (to use one of Mark's favorite words about Jesus) into the mission because in these challenging days the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is upon us and we certainly need every available resource for the task at hand!