I spend too much time on my head, to a borderline unhealthy level. And just the other day, I spent an entire evening thinking about Harry Potter … and the Bible.
It happened shortly after calling my grandma. After giving me a detailed recount of her bowel movements (as grandma always does), she switched to one of her favorite topics: the Bible. Nana, a devout Catholic, was feeling particularly festive and chatty that day, and gave me a long-winded monologue about Jesus and the meaning of Christmas. Forgetting I had already heard all of her stories every year for 12 years while enrolled in a Catholic school, grandma didn’t skip over any detail, referencing every story of Jesus back to its very passage on the Bible, which made it for a very long call where I said a record 15 words.
As the day approached its end, I laid in bed thinking about my conversation with grandma. I thought “wow, she’s so passionate about all these Bible stories.” I was glad grandma still felt so connected to something, but I was also somewhat dazed by her enthusiasm. She would use a self-assured “clearly THAT happened” voice, as if she had lived in Jesus’ times, that was quite intense.
It kind of reminded me of my little sister when she started reading Harry Potter books. She was such a huge fan, so much that most of her conversations growing up were about some sort of Harry Potter reference. As I continued to think about it, I realized both my grandma and my sister were fascinated by the stories of two men who―according to books―performed extraordinary acts such as miracles (Jesus) and magic (Harry Potter). They also both levitated (Jesus) or flew (Harry Potter) and fought the forces of some kind of evil. And while neither nana nor my sis were there when Jesus turned water into wine, or to play quidditch with Harry Potter, they both make you feel like they did when you hear them talk about their favorite subjects. (Not so much my sis anymore, she’s moved on to other topics.)
And that made me think…
What if the Bible was a book much like Harry Potter?
I mean … none of us here on Earth today were in Israel 2000-plus years ago to vouch for the existence of Jesus. But still, we believe because (1) the story has been told down to us by our elders for centuries, (2) there’s a book (and various versions) about it, (3) places and other things mentioned in the book can be found in present day Israel, and (4) faith.
So now imagine if well-preserved editions of the Harry Potter books, along with remains of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Universal Studios ride and some of its merchandise were to survive a nuclear war, and a new civilization in 2000 years were to make sense of the text and read it. Add a little bit of faith and the new civilization may end up glorifying our good ol’ Harry boy. After all, he’s apparently amazing. (I wouldn’t know, I only read non-fiction.)
And with that thought I went to bed that night. Wondering if everything we thought we knew for sure wasn’t true.
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