So for Christmas my daughter, Stephanie gave me the complete set of Harry Potter books. Looks like about 5000 pages of reading or so. No step for bibliophiles like us. I read the first one in 97 or 98 because some Christians didn’t seem to think we should be reading about magic. I picked it up again not really remembering too much of what it was all about. I loved it.
What a wonderful reflection of the gospel.
The great wizard, Dumbledore tells Harry this, “Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort (the evil one) cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mothers for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign…to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved you is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin.”
Reason #2 Powerful affirming words spoken to Harry from men in his life.
Here is one example. Harry is nervous about his first day going to Hogwarts, the magic school. Everyone knows who he is and believes he is special because the evil one couldn’t defeat him but he has always been treated like dung by his aunt and uncle. He is feeling inadequate for the task and Hagrid, the giant, earthy gamekeeper leans over to him and says, “Don’ you worry, Harry. You’ll learn fast enough. Everyone starts at the beginning at Hogwarts, you’ll be just fine. Just be yerself. I know its hard. Yeh’ve been singled out, an’ that’s always hard...”
We’re made in the image of God and Hagrid says to trust it, have courage and be just who you are. Not unlike the movie Braveheart where the Irishman asks William Wallace what they should do as they enter battle. Wallace looks at them and says, “Just be yerselves.”
Reason #3 Harry sees Dumbledore giving him the chance to grow as a man.
After the harrowing adventure and victory over evil again Harry tells his good friend Hermione who saw that Harry could have been killed, “He’s a funny man, Dumbledore. I think he sort of wanted to give me the chance. I think he knows more or less everything that goes on here, you know. I reckon he had a pretty good idea we were going to try, and instead of stopping us, he just taught us enough to help. I don’t think it was an accident he let me find out how the mirror worked. It’s almost like he thought I had the right to face Voldemort if I could…”
We can’t grow if we don’t risk and face challenges. There is an affirmation of a boy into manhood and a man into maturity when we risk, and sometimes get bloodied up, and sometimes prevail but either way we take the next step.
Reason #4 Feminine affirmation and wisdom to Harry from Hermione
As Harry ponders taking on Voldemort again Hermione, the most studious and book smart girl in the class sees his courage and his doubts and says, “Harry, you’re a great wizard you know.”
“I’m not as good as you,” said Harry.
“Me!” said Hermione, “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things—friendship and bravery and –oh Harry—be careful!”
If we live out Hermione’s words of other-centered courage as men (and women) our lives will overflow with meaning.
Reason #5 It’s a book with magic and I love magic.
And there’s another book of magic I hope you read along with this one. This other book I’ve read includes stories like: a woman made from a man’s rib, a donkey that talks, a sea that splits, rocks that gush water, a man who goes to heaven on a chariot of fire, men are healed with spit and dirt, dead stinky men live again, lame men rise and walk, there’s a big picnic where just a little Long John Silver’s feeds 5000, a man walks on water, and in love a man dies, he has scars yet he rises from the dead and just like Harry Potter, evil cannot defeat him.