Headlines from First Thoughts

Monday, July 16, 2007

Church in the Hogwarts

Harry Potter is growing up. I guess he's joined the rest of the adolescent world. You can't be a cute little boy forever. But as I watched the latest movie the other night, I was reminded that growing up is painful.

In the "Order of the Phoenix," he's confronted with the choices of every teenager-
Do I go it alone or depend on my friends to help me?
Do I remain angry or make wise choices?
Do I name the evil around me or do I ignore it and hope it goes away?

Harry of course decides that he can't live without his friends. Surrounding himself with Ron, Hermoine, and other good influences makes him a better person. His godfather Sirius Black tells them that he can choose not to be so angry. Instead he can choose the good rather than the darkness. When the "Ministry of Magic" is so afraid to face the reality of an evil too powerful to remain hidden, Harry has the courage not only to name the evil-Voldemort-but to summon friends to band together to withstand the wiles of the evil one. Hogwarts becomes not only the training ground for the good but also the support system to help them believe in others who can be just as good as they. Hogwarts is not immune to problems; others in their midst insidiously try to wound them; but the band of believers remains united.

Isn't that what church is supposed to be? The band of believers working together to shape and re-shape the community around us. We are so secure that we can withstand others in our midst who would seek to deny evil exists. Instead we remain vigilant, courageous, unafraid, confronting most importantly the evil that resides within. And all along, we never face the world alone; we do so with each other. And that's how we grow.

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