Have you ever wondered about our culture’s fixation with fantasy?
I was asking the Lord this question in regards to the Harry Potter story specifically. Why does this one story grab hold of so much of our population?
I’ll tell you what I think is the Lord’s answer. Harry Potter is a metaphor for the times we live in. The story taps into some kind of collective consciousness, a common understanding of what life is like and will be like in the future.
Harry lives in a world where most of the population is completely in the dark about how the planet actually runs( the Muggles). Yet there is another group, perhaps almost as large as the first, which understands the way of the world and yet chooses to walk in complete denial of the facts that the world it knows is threatened. Choosing to hold onto a foolish hope that evil can never rise to a place of preeminence this group refuses to heed the warnings to prepare. Finally there is a third group, smaller than the other two, which understands the signs of the times and chooses to sound the alert whatever the cost and to prepare whatever the penalty.
Now that is not a much different paradigm than the one in which I live. Much of my world does not even know the first thing about the Word of God. I once watched an episode of Jeopardy in which the contestants on the panel could not answer simple questions like “Who received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai?” or “Who died on the cross?”
Without knowledge of the Bible men (like the Muggles of Harry Potter) cannot have a clear view of how the world actually works. So many are operating under a false set of “truths” which are leading them down a primrose path to Hell.
But in my world there is a second group of people, almost as large as the first. This group of people dub themselves practicing Christians. Yet they have no personal experience with God. Their religion is nothing more than ritual and form without substance. No miracles exist in their world. Prophecy is not something to be bothered with and the point of conversion is really only to get the biggest church attendance in town. When certain “overly zealous” brothers and sisters in the faith start talking about the end of days or spout off about how the church should operate in the supernatural, this group moves to “calm them down”.
The third group of people in my world are the Harry Potters, the Luke Skywalkers, The Frodo Bagginses. These are the people who know that there is something in the world beyond the natural. This group knows the dramatic claims of the Bible. This group believes those claims and actually seeks to live them out. This group also knows that part of the promise is that the very nature of who we are and what we are here to do is threatened and attacked by a magic far deeper and older than our histories can record; For this magic comes from a place and time before us. This group knows that the world is beset by a supernatural power that seeks to destroy us all. This group also knows that there is yet a God, named Jesus, who loves us and who has done an incredible work on our behalf to save the world. This group lives by faith and prayer. This group lays hands on the sick and watches them recover. This group believes in a God who is coming to take them out of this world. This group believes that the world is coming to an end of days. This group lives as though that day was around the corner.
Why do we love Harry Potter so much? We love it because somewhere deep inside of us it strikes a chord no matter which group we fall into by our choices. the story resonates with something in us, something that tells us that though it is fantasy the reality is not so far removed.