As I’ve mentioned before, I love Halloween. One reason I like it so much is what has become our family’s little Halloween tradition: a Harry Potter marathon. Every year, for the past three or four years, we start with the first Harry Potter movie a week before Halloween. We then watch the next movie each night until we end with 7.2 on Halloween. That night, we’ll pull out all the stops; we’ll make pumpkin juice and butter beer, and we’ll sit around a huge bowl of candy and pig out. Obviously, it’s a lot of fun.
Our family came late to the Harry Potter party, as it took us a while to get past all the different christian stigmas attached to it. Finally, I attended a viewing of the sixth and seventh movies at a brother in the Lord’s house in preparation for the eighth movie coming out in theaters. I loved them. I immediately went home and got my wife hooked. We then bought the books, read them, fell in love with the whole world, and made the final matinee showing of the eighth movie (Deathly Hallows Part 2) on its last day in theaters. Bridge and I were the only two in the theater. It was awesome.
Harry Potter delights and entertains me much the same way as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. Witches, wizards, dragons, elves, goblins, and other magical creatures abound. Getting past all the witchcraft and other hullabaloo, the story revolves around a core theme of good vs. evil. You’ve got the one dark lord who turns as many people as he can against all that’s good and proper in the world. He kills everyone who stands against him, including Harry’s parents, but Harry survives the attack due to his mother’s sacrificial love. Add on to that, Harry is at his strongest when he has his community around him, which is why the dark lord strives to divide him from his friends. So, sacrificial love, community, and unity? Good story to boot? Sign me up.
I see a lot of Christ in Harry Potter. Christ’s life is one of sacrificial love, and that’s the life by which one who is in Christ is to live. The Church is strongest, and expresses the most life, by her shared community life. She is united in Christ, and that is what the enemy most despises. That is why the enemy, the dark lord, strives to keep Christians divided. Those are just the overarching themes from beginning to end in the stories, but each one carries with it even more pictures of Christ and His life. They truly are a delight to watch.
If you haven’t watched, or read, any of the Harry Potter series, I encourage you to do so. The books are way better. The movies start out as more of a kid’s movie (the antagonists are only 11-years-old), but as the kids grow, so do the movies. It’s a toss up, but I think number six (Half Blood Prince) gets put in more than the others.
Do you have any favorite Halloween traditions? I’d love to hear about them and any other ways you see Christ in the magic of Harry Potter.