Harry Potter and the Kingdom of God

By Eugene C. Scott

Poor Harry. His parents were mysteriously murdered; now he lives in a nondescript time and place in England with the Dursleys, his dreary, selfish, muggle (non-magic) aunt and uncle and piggish cousin; he is confined–most of the time–to his bedroom, the closet under the stairs; and he doesn’t know who he really is, that he can do magic or that he is the most anticipated, celebrated wizard in all of wizarding history. Such is Harry Potter’s small life and world. In literary terms this is the setting, the mileu where certain things can and cannot happen, for Harry’s story.

Worse Harry has no notion such a wonderful place as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, such a powerful, compassionate man as Albus Dumbledore even exist. Harry’s never played Quidditch; never flown on a broom and never met Hermione or Ron. He has no idea who he is.

But then Harry boards a train bound for Hogwarts and his world expands, both his problems and potential deepen.

Poor us. Though the settings for our stories may be less novel and romantic, more realistic than Harry’s, they are often no less tragic. We live in a mysteriously broken world within the confines of our own broom closets. Our jobs appear dreary; our marriages, families, and friendships imperfect. Just like Harry cannot practice magic much less grow into who he was born to be living at Number 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey, UK, we seem unable to grow into who we were born to be in our earth-bound addresses. We too seem to not realize who we really are–the delight of God’s heart, created in his image–or that a wonderful place called heaven on earth or that a powerful, compassionate God even exist. This we believe to be the setting for our stories.

This dusty enslaving setting is just the one Jesus first strode into.  Bruce Cockburn wrote a song about what that day could have been like.

“The only sign you gave of who you were

When you first came walking down the road,

Was the way the dust motes danced around

Your feet in a cloud of gold

But everything you see’s not the way it seems —

Tears can sing and joy shed tears.

You can take the wisdom of this world

And give it to the ones who think it all ends here.”

“Change your lives. The kingdom of God is here,” Jesus said.

It’s as if he said, Get aboard the Hogwarts Express. There is more to this world than you can see or know. I am here to show you you are loved beyond your wildest imaginations.

You can live by faith not fear.

Live as if heaven is here and now, not just a place to go after you die.

Wholeness and healing too can begin here.

Forgiveness, purpose, truth, and life are in My hand. Take them. Live them.

In My world–My kingdom–your problems and pain will serve a purpose–My transformation of this drear world.  Your potential is as deep and wide and long as My love.

Cockburn calls this kind of life “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws.”

Yet we sit in our room beneath the stairs and wish.

The thing we love about Harry Potter is he is immature, unsure of himself, a boy of little faith, so to speak. Again, like us. This does not stop him, however, from reaching out and recklessly grasping for the richer life that is offered him. No matter how impossible it seems. It need not stop us either.

The difference is that what Jesus offers is not magic or a sweet piece of fiction. It is the way the truth and the life. The setting for our stories is more, better than we think. It is a vivid life lived with God beginning here and now.

“Change your lives. The kingdom of God is here.”

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Harry Potter and the Kingdom of God

  1. Georgie-ann

    “We live in a mysteriously broken world within the confines of our own broom closets.”

    So true,…and if we look/seek no further than the information of our earthly senses, we will not only feel this way for sure, but we’ll have lots of “unsolvable” puzzles and problems “on our plate” as well. And we’ll eventually feel stuck and unfulfilled — slaves of an already established and “driven” (by unseen forces) pattern, in which it is more difficult to succeed than anticipated. In which we are less appreciated than we feel we deserve.

    We become both right and wrong at the same time! “There must be some way outta here!”, we cry! We begin to “look for (the) way(s) to escape” the growing sense of confinement and limitation, — the many false ones containing potentially dangerous “side effects,” or leading even to really “dead ends.” If we only to “look to the sense realm” or at what “this world has to offer,” a growing sense of futility or frustration sets in,…

    Acts 28:27 “For the heart (the understanding, the soul) of this people has grown dull (stupid, hardened, and calloused), and their ears are heavy and hard of hearing and they have shut tight their eyes, so that they may not perceive and have knowledge and become acquainted with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their souls and turn [to Me and be converted], that I may heal them.”

    But,…God has much much better things to offer us, AND the legitimate and pre-planned “way of escape” as well! :

    1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the WAY OF ESCAPE, that you may be able to bear it.”

    AND, He promises us SO MUCH MORE!,…the things “our dreams” are made of! :

    Ephesians 1:17-23

    17 “[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,

    18 “By having THE EYES OF YOUR HEART flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),

    19 “And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,

    20 “Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],

    21 “Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.

    22 “And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church],

    23 “Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].”

    As always: “God is Good.” He made us and loves us.

    Acts 17:28 ” … in Him we live and move and have our being!”

  2. Georgie-ann

    (cont:)

    Do not “believe” — “put your faith in” — everything you see and hear in the sense realm. It is by definition “too limited.” A garment that will never fit us well.

    • Very well said, Georgie. Thanks. I like the garment analogy. Eugene

      • Georgie-ann

        Although many Christians did not like the witchcraft/magic/sorcery setting of the HP series, and I, myself, questioned the possible effect of such “ideas” being misused on vulnerable young people by actual practicing servants of satan — (which we have more than enough of around here,…NYC area) — who might try to “prey” on them, the actual moral lessons and character examples were clear enough to be able to successfully underlie and support the (finally) proclaimed gospel message intended.

        Anyway, I’m a “big girl” now and read and enjoyed them, and found them to be quite insightful, especially in “spiritual warfare” ways, and rather surmised the “Christian connection” from the “problems and outcomes and symbols” presented all the way along. England has such a long and colorful history in these ways, that it kind of oozes “literary appropriateness” in such an “entertaining and captivating” setting, but I DO feel an on-going clarification about the opposing differences in Real Christianity and “real” satanism needs to be made to the naive and unsuspecting.

        I did also like that it was very clear that an active and learning and growing process was necessary to “spiritual success,” and that “challenges” are part of the ballgame.

        That said, I think I have forgotten for the moment something else that I was going to say!,…(imagine that!),…if it “comes back to me,” I’ll bbl! (-:

        nice work Oogene, et al!

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