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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, June 21, 2010

So you want to defeat evil?

My children grew up with Harry Potter. Born just a few years before the books came out, they were learning to read at the right moment for this phenomenon. As parents we went to the midnight book parties with tons of five year olds running around in British academic robes while the parents wore plain old bathrobes and groggily charged $24.95 to their credit cards for the newest Potter release. We even had a Harry Potter birthday party once with over thirty kids running around our house playing an americanized version of Quidditch (which is just throwing stuff around a house until you break something!) Ah, those were the days....

Of course, the Potter-mania lasted almost ten years, and by the time the final book came out in print, Chris and I waited in line to buy it, while our children were at friend's houses and working, and couldn't be bothered with such a trivial errand. But we read all the books aloud, and the kids re-read them (our youngest still reads them), but we got every word out there at one time or another. (I always read Mad-Eye Moody with a Sean Connery accent, and I thought for sure he was going to be cast in that role...oh well, you know why I don't belong in Hollywood.)

A couple of weeks ago I was reflecting on the amount of time and money we spent on Harry Potter (and as my parents now live about one hour from the new Harry Potter theme-park I am sure we are not done yet). I wondered what I got from it all? Well, I got great family memories...the hours we spent together reading and watching Harry Potter are some of my favorite times as a family...but I also received a reminder about life, and especially about evil.

I am not impressed with evil much. If there are "Voldemorts" out there in the world, they do not scare me much as I know ultimately they will fail, and I always try to be about the ultimate. But I do realize there is evil, and in my job I get to see its consequences quite often. Lies, deceit, assault, even murder have been part of my job in the last few years, as I have walked with people down the dank corridors of life...but this is where Harry Potter blesses me...because you see, Harry Potter and his story (all seven books and eight movies to date) remind us that if you want to defeat evil you had best have some friends...because friends--and the love they share--are more powerful than even the greatest evil. As another book I read a lot--the Bible-- has it, no man has a greater gift than to lay his life down for his friends...because friends are the most important gift God ever gives us.

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