Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: Movie Review
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
(Review by Stacey Tuttle)
Drako wants to be chosen. Harry is chosen. “Chosen-ness” is a strange thing. In Lord of the Rings (LOTR), Frodo was chosen to carry the ring, but being chosen, for him, was a burden. One he gladly would have opted out of. However, that is the point of being chosen – you don’t choose – you are chosen. You don’t chose what you are chosen for any more than you choose to be chosen. In the Harry Potter series, chosen-ness is portrayed as a great honor and adventure, rather than the hardship and burden we see in LOTR. Certainly it is an honor, but without a cautious and realistic understanding of the burden of chosen-ness, we are likely to end up much like Drako whose naïve understanding of what it is to be the “chosen one” fuels his pride and envy. He is so desperate to be chosen, so jealous of Harry it leads him to great compromises and evil.
Being chosen makes you feel recognized, special, significant. It also means you have a purpose – you are chosen for something. It’s something we all desire—it’s innate. However, we, like Drako, get into trouble when we look not to our own calling, that thing for which we are chosen, but look instead with envy upon what others are called to/chosen for – wishing that chosen-ness or task or calling for ourselves. It is a prideful thing to think that we have the right to choose what we are chosen for. We are the created, not the creator. We wrongly ask of ourselves, “For what purpose do I want to have been created?” when we ought to ask of our Creator, “For what purpose have you created me?”
The good news is that we don’t live in Harry Potter’s world! In Harry Potter, there is “the chosen one”. In real life, there is a “chosen people.” Chosen-ness isn’t just for one person while the rest of the world looks on in envy. Rather, chosen-ness is for all who would accept the calling of Christ. (Note that while you cannot choose to be chosen, you can choose to reject being chosen.) Do you long to be chosen, recognized, special, significant and called to a purpose? You have only to look to Jesus. He has chosen you and will reveal to you that for which you were created. You need not live as Drako in envy of another’s calling, you have your own!
“…he [God the Father] chose us in [Jesus Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoptions as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to he counsel of his will…For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Questions for Discussion:
- Do you envy the purpose to which other people appear to be called/created/chosen?
- Do you feel that you have a purpose of your own?
- Do you believe there is a God who created you with a purpose?
Trusting your Leader
There are rumors, and frankly the evidence supports them: Dumbledore seems to be losing his mind in his old age. Harry is forced to make a decision – Dumbledore asks Harry to trust him even though Harry may not be able to see or understand what Dumbledore is doing. Dumbledore is Harry’s mentor, his leader, someone he has trusted fully in the past. But now there is evidence which suggests that Dumbledore is trustworthy no longer. Harry decides to trust – to believe that Dumbledore knows more and is acting on a bigger picture than Harry has seen. Harry chooses to believe that Dumbledore’s actions which at the present appear to be crazy will, when all is known, make perfect sense.
There are two key things to observe about this. First off, the object of Harry’s trust is critical. To place that kind of trust in an imperfect or worse, a false (deceptive, evil, etc.), person (or god) would be foolish and destructive. Second, in an object worthy of such trust, it is critical to be able to trust so fully and completely. We are guilty of placing a dangerous level of trust in unworthy sources and equally guilty of not being willing to place enough trust in a worthy source. In truth, there is only one truly worthy source for our trust –the God of the Bible. We, like Harry, are faced with endless rumors and even evidence to support them, that God is untrustworthy, cruel, impotent…the list goes on. The rumors whisper that a God who was good and powerful wouldn’t allow any evil or pain in the world. Certainly though, we see pain and evil. It tempts us to believe the rumors, either God doesn’t exist, isn’t powerful, or isn’t good. Just as Dumbledore encouraged Harry to ignore the rumors and ignore the apparent evidence and trust him, so too God is telling us to trust him. Trust that he is GOD – he can see more than we can see. There will come a time when all will be revealed, and all those things which are confusing to us now will make perfect sense. We will see that those things which appear to fly in the face of the power and love God claims to have are actually evidences of it.
But the kicker is, the trusting comes before the understanding. Harry had to trust and act out his faith in Dumbledore before he understood, and even in order to understand. It is the same for us. We must choose to take God at his word and act on that choice, before we understand and even in order to understand.
Questions for Discussion:
- Who/What do you place your trust in? Is the object of your trust worthy of your trust?
- What do you do when doubts about the object of your trust arise? Is your trust greater than your doubts?
- Would you say that you have to understand before you trust or do you think that trusting brings understanding?