Harry Potter and the Prince of Peace

This summer, I’ve decided to use my time ‘wisely’ and have set out to read the 7 Harry Potter books!

Just as I was starting high school in 1997 the first book was published. By the time it had become something of a phenomenon, I thought I was too old and beyond reading such childish books!

Now, 15 years later, as a youth worker (my youth group all know the stories & films inside out) I thought I’d try figure out what the fuss was all about. I’ve still managed not to see any of the films, and hadn’t even heard any spoilers on the way – so that even the shock ending of The Half Blood Prince – was indeed, a real shock!

I’ve just begun the final book, and have been gripped by the amazing story telling of J. K. Rowling.

But why am I writing this here? What have I learnt? Are there any themes that can help us on our own journey down the narrow path?

There are many.
The obvious biblical themes & similarities abound (though I’d be careful to push any of these too far).
There is the Chosen One, destined to do battle with the snake-like enemy, fulfilling a long-ago given prophecy.
The idea of sacrifice, and love being most powerful.
The need for companionship and faithful loyalty between friends, brothers & sisters on the journey.
The forces of darkness, however attractive for some, are indeed powerful, but are ultimately dehumanising and only end in suffering & failure.

I haven’t finished the final book, so am not certain how it all ends, (though I could make a guess!) But I don’t think my summer reading has been unprofitable. In fact it’s reminded me of the power of good storytelling.

Jesus the ultimate storyteller, knew how to grip and shock people with his tales. His aims were no doubt higher than Rowling’s – not just suspense and entertainment. His parables intended to provoke change and inspiration. They were told to challenge, teach and rebuke.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Matthew 24:35

Harry Potter will no doubt remain in our culture for sometime still, but compared to the ultimate Word of life, well, there is no comparison. Truth, creativity, victory, love & salvation all start and end with Jesus, the Prince of Peace.