So I rented and watched the last episode of Harry Potter last night. I’m one of those who basically watched the first movie, thought it was pretty silly, and then only saw pieces of others until the final episode, which I saw some time ago. So I needed a refresher, and I can see J.K. Rowlings was not kidding when she said, “My books are largely about death.” She also said it is the goal of every person with magic to seek immortality, and that we’re all frightened of death.
That last episode definitely was not a comedy, but dead serious about many things, especially death. She gave several views of death from different vantage points. Of course there is the totally evil Voldemort who wants to avoid death no matter what it takes. No matter what it cost others, he must be the one who lives.
Harry Potter, on the other hand, almost becomes Jesus Christ! Except for being nailed to a cross and suffering a slow death, he did. Our wizard hero realizes he must die in order for others to live. He comes to believe this is the only way to defeat Voldemort, and has to make this terrible decision of laying down your own life for the sake of others. This wizard who has fought so hard all this time, suddenly decides not to even put up a fight, but presents himself as a lamb for the sacrifice! Apparently, he even goes into death, or a coma, or something. But he has the choice of either going on into death, or coming back to life. (Sort of like a resurrection, but it didn’t take 3 days. Maybe 3 hours.)
In the process of all this, Rowlings presents some pretty heavy hitting contemplations on death. Many others die during this time too, and naturally, it bothers Potter that they died trying to keep him alive. He also has a rather deep conversation with the old schoolmaster while in that other dimension.
The point was also made that no one is really gone as long as they still live in your heart. They might even still be with you in their spirit form.
These are a few of the perspectives given in this very serious show where characters also fly through the air on broomsticks and have a wand battle that reminded me of a weird version of Star Wars. It is obvious Rowlings does not have anything new to add to our speculations about death. Hence, the fear of what might be on that other side. What if there is nothing? We don’t like that perspective and usually offer something different in our movies, which she did also. We tell our children “Grandpa is in a better place now.” We want to believe there is a heaven, but what if there does turn out to be a hell?
The Christian Mystic (CM) knows that immortality is not on this side of the River Jordan, but the other. If a magical person wants immortality then they must be willing to die. (Not that we really have a choice.) But how shall our immortality be spent? Who wants to live in an eternity of judgement? Not I.
The CM looks around at creation and sees a Creator. He examines the word of God and sees wisdom and prophecies beyond what is humanly possible. He studies the history of the nation Israel, who claim they had an encounter with God, and sees more evidence of something supernatural, because these people have such an unnatural track record on this planet, and continue so. He considers what would cause 12 Apostles to totally change their lives and be faithful unto death for that message, if they had not walked with something so convincing they could not deny. The CM looks at all these things and more, and then decides the evidence of the Bible is overwhelming, and wants to know more!
However, the Christian Mystic also looks within. He studies what his heart and conscience is telling him. He does not just feel the wind, but he hears the voice in the wind, and he knows. His faith leaps in acceptance of overwhelming evidence of a spirit world and a God who created all. He looks within and sees the monster, the evil in his own heart that would even murder your own Creator, and then he knows God’s mercy is his only hope. He enters that mercy like the prodigal son returning home, and he sets himself apart from the older brother who became consumed with hate and judgement. The Bible he has come to believe says to repent and call on Jesus, and so he does. He says, You are right God, and I’m so wrong. Please save me through your Son, Jesus. And he means every word he has said.
J.K. Rowlings has created a world in which the bad guy looks like a snake, has a pet snake, and talks snake language. It seems obvious where the source of his power must come from. But who or what is the source of power of all those fighting the bad guys? What makes these spells and incantations work so powerfully? So without any real explanation we glamorize sorcery to be something it is not, and label it as “fiction”. Well, at least that much is true. The way sorcery is presented in Harry Potter is pure fiction.
A Christian Mystic is a servant of God. As such, God works through him to affect this world in supernatural ways. He makes no claim to be anything himself. The power is not his, nor does he decide how it should be used. God does. In Potter’s world, these incantations somehow pull power out of the air, or from the good person, or from nature itself, or who knows what as I don’t know if it is ever really explained in any of the episodes. Please enlighten me if anyone out there knows. But we will look at Doctor Strange next. This is a new and upcoming Marvel superhero of the supernatural. He’s fun to watch, but what is the sermon he preaches about the other side? We shall see.
Harry Potter leaves us with plenty of questions and no real answers. Only the same speculations unbelieving man has offered for many centuries. Jesus came claiming he had seen the place we all are asking about, and he offered first hand answers. But only we can decide if Jesus was a madman? Or exactly what he claimed to be? The real thing. Christian Mystics all over the world seek his face and testify of a transformed life. They also speak of a three-fold path. Soon we will look at these things.