The Gospel According to Harry Potter: Inspired to Wonder Again
- Jan 16, 2013
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During the last few weeks I’ve been spending a lot of time in the world of Hogwarts. Yes, you read that right, Hogwarts. Preparing our class on The Gospel According to Harry Potter has been a real joy and gift to both my colleague Zachary Thompson and myself.
JK Rowling’s writing is so clear, her stories so captivating. While millions upon millions of people have taken to reading about these characters and plots in fiction, Harry and his cohort present us as a people of faith in the real world, with real questions about good and evil, religion and magic, even life, death, and resurrection.
Maybe the greatest gift that the Potter series has given us at Holy Innocents' during this season of wonder is the opportunity to re-imagine or to re-engage with purpose our Christian stories, prayers, artifacts, and beliefs.
Given that we as a people are Christians in training, Harry and his crew model for us that process of formation that begins with our earliest members and carries through the fullness of life. After all, to nuance the ancient Christian thinker Tertullian, Christians, like wizards (not Tertullian), are not born they are made.
So I wonder: what of our traditions, artifacts, songs, prayers, or rituals are you taking for granted? Which ones have you said for so long that they have just become normal, when in reality, they are the stuff of magic?? How might we as a community embrace Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church as place for faith that inspires us to new and life-giving mission in the world because we are simply doing normal things, but because we are becoming wizards...uhum..Christians in the world?
My friends, Harry Potter has a lot to teach us about living life in world full of meaning. And yet, so do all the texts, rituals, and artifacts of our Christian faith. May you who find meaning at this place for faith be empowered to wonder at a world chock full of God’s life.