The Apocalypse And Harry Potter
By Rev. James Miller
Trinity Lutheran Church, Nashville
In our Lutheran theology, we speak of Revealed Knowledge and Natural Knowledge of God. The former means the Bible; God tells us about Himself through the writings of the Prophets and Evangelists. The latter means things we discover through the world around us; examining the world can show us some attributes of God. Through this Natural Knowledge, we have an inherent sense of what’s right and wrong from our God-given conscience, albeit corrupted by original sin.
One of the things we learn about God from introspection is His desire for unity and togetherness. God made man to live in community with others; in Genesis 2, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” We experience that when we don’t spend enough time with family and friends. Paired with how scripture speaks of the End Times when Christ comes back, that gut feeling of missing people we once loved reveals something about the Lord’s return. (**SPOILER ALERT** I’m going to talk about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.)
Lord Voldemort killed people to split his soul into pieces so he could hide his soul in horcruxes and be immortal. We as God’s creation do the reverse; by loving people, we invest a bit of our soul (I’d feel more comfortable to say “heart” instead) in people. Then when that person dies or has to move away, we feel the pang of loss as our heart is split in two. And it’s not just people: we can invest our heart in places, and sometimes in objects, so when we move to a different city or lose a beloved possession, our heart aches from being split apart.
However, the big difference between us and Voldemort is that where his soul just got smaller, our hearts will continue to grow.
When we love someone and they leave, our heart may be split, but it is ready to grow afterwards. For instance, I grew up in DeKalb, and when I left to attend seminary in St. Louis, I left behind part of my heart in DeKalb. But my heart didn’t stay small; it grew to love St. Louis.
The same thing happened when I left The Lou and moved to Nashville to serve Trinity Lutheran Church. And my heart has grown to love the Nash!
The crux of this lies in our theology of the Apocalypse when Jesus comes back to draw all the faithful to Himself, to remove sin once and for all as He inaugurates the Kingdom of Heaven.
That final-day restoration means reuniting us with our deceased loved ones and thus restoring our splintered hearts. But St. Paul writes in Romans 8 that Jesus will also restore the creation around us, so the parts of our hearts we left in St. Louis (or San Francisco) will also be reunited as we find our completion in Christ Jesus.
We look forward to everything being completed in Christ!